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Race Report: Richtersveld Transfronteir Wild Run: Day 4

Day 4 De hoop to Wilderness Hot Springs

49km

Transfrontier country we were off in our groups, to start the days race on the other side of the Orange River in Namibia. A boat trip across the river to start the day was great.Amazing logistics to be able to achieve this. Not sure how Wild Run, Boundless South Africa and the national park staff managed this!

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The first few kms were fast along a sandy 4 wheel drive track, then we turned off and had some lovely running all the way up river beds and canyons, to a more steady gradual up. Then up the Zebra Kloof, and down, towards the fish river canyon. We had some great technical running in this section, Daniel from Suisse and Steve were flying through here. Then we were in the Fish River Canyon. It was stunning. I spotted some zebra and some bok. There was a lot of crossing from one side of the canyon to the other, to try and find some animal trails and a more direct line. There were potential short cuts which Dawid, Tobias and I didn't take which I think we should have. As Daniel and Linda caught us up having taken a short cut, it was obviously a good idea. I found this terrain hard going, a lot of soft sand mixed up rocky river bed, where you had to make sure you picked up your tired legs....

"there was at least one face plant for me."

Then we were on the wrong side of the river bend and pushing through rushes and wondering if we should swim across. Again we saw Linda and Daniel fly past on the other side. So it was a nice cooling crossing of the Fish River about 3-4 km from the end and we had to catch up again. With the finish line in sight, Elsabet appeared out of nowhere. We had seen her ahead a few times during the day and when stopping to get water, but not since. She and Dawid sprinted for the finishfollowed closely by the rest of us. This was a hard day, long and quite technical underfoot with quite a bit of route finding. Everyone had different distances on the GPS depending their route choice. This could definitely be done faster, there were no records broken here. When it was tough, you just had to stop and look around to appreciate the enormity of where we were in Fish River Canyon, the second biggest canyon in the world!

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The camp was yet again stunning very remote. I don't know how they got all the gear in. We did discover the hot springs for our feet, as we were a little cold after our cold recovery dip! But there was also the hot showers....amazing! Last opportunity to sleep under a blanket of African stars in the desert was a must.

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