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Race Report: Richtersveld Transfronteir Wild Run: Day 2

Day 2: De koei to Hakkiesdoring

33km - 630 m of climbing

We all set off in smaller groups depending on where we had finished the day before. I was the last to leave at 9.30am, with Tobias, Dawid, Linda and Stephen. We thought being a shorter day that this would be an easier day with not so much climbing. It started well going up the way we came in the day before for a few km, and then turning off to the left to explore a river valley. Dawid disappeared ahead at this point and we kept him in sight for a little while. We tried to choose a fast route cutting a few corners. It was a lovely downhill to an open valley with big red rock faces on either side. After 19 km or so we could see the yellow of the aid station coming into sight, although it took a while to get there!

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(Photo: Stephen Cunliffe)

It seemed half the field was there so we had a good catch up with people, everyone was having fun. We munched down some salty potatoes, refilled water and had some other yummy snacks and headed off to negotiate the route up the river valley. We immediately found ourselves on the wrong side, the others moving faster in the river itself or on the other side. So we made our way back down to join Stephen. It seemed to take an age, the travel was quite technical, sandy, rocky riverbed, and so was slow going. People were all over the place, above, and below and always seemed to be moving faster! It was tempting to stop have a picnic with Fran and Roland on the pass, but we kept going moving as a three, Stephen, Tobias and myself taking it in turns to find the best track. 

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Disaster struck 8km from the end where Stephen went over on his ankle.The ground was still pretty tricky riverbed and neither of us had decent tape to strap it, so it was slow, painful going for Stephen.

jo williams outside sports nz

It was a relief to reach the final checkpoint knowing there was only 2.5km to on a 4 wheel drive track so was easier to run. Tobias took off at 4 minute km pace. He was keen to finish and enjoying being able to run for a change, I tried to hang on! We came in about 10-15 minutes behind Dawid, in second and third, Tobias forcing an uphill sprint finish! This was one of the tougher days for me. The lunch, massage and yoga with Fran all helped for recovery for the next day of running.

jo williams outside sports nz

Sleeping out under the stars was just amazing this night. I don't think I have ever seen so many stars.  The memory of being woken by the noise of a stove and the smell of fresh coffee will stay with me for a while. Sipping coffee and munching a rusk while watching the sunrise. Thanks Fran and Roland for the invite to sleep under the African stars.

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