2009 MdS: Stage 3 (56 miles)

As noted earlier, this MdS is unique in that we have not been made aware of future stages in advance. In the evening after Stage 2 we were told that Stage 3 would not be the already longer than usual 80k, but instead 91k/56 miles. We were told it was not an April fools joke & it certainly was not.

While the weather was yet again cool, it was quite windy & we ran into it for most of the first 50k. In retrospect I went too hard early, but took turns blocking the wind with other. By 25k my hip flexors were shot from all flat running on soft footing. However, between 30-40k a runner drafted off me & would not lead. I got pissed & the anger overcame my fatigue.

I ran strong until dark when I realized my glasses had broken. I ran 4.5 hours on bad footing with minimal light & poor vision. I caught Ted at CP & ran much of the rest with him. No energy last 20k.

We were 19 (Ted) & (me) 20. Team 2d. Meg 2d in stage 3 overall. I’m now 19th overall. Marathon tomorrow.

Thanks for the messages!

There are 12 comments

  1. Sara

    Oh no! Glasses breaking would be so tough. Glad you made it through, and hope you can fix them, you have a backup, or you can function okay without them. Despite the challenges, you're doing so great!

  2. Lance

    Bryon – way to go! Keep up the great work and keep the blogs coming. I was in downpours this week in Kuwait and Dubai and was thinking about you….

  3. Bryon Powell

    Phil,I was actually pretty psyched that the longest then usual "long stage" had been lengthened even further. I was racing off of strength and ultra know-how, so the tougher and longer the race, the more to my advantage versus most competitors. Many others were not as excited… to say the least.Sara,The lack of glasses made things pretty difficult. Twilight was the worst, as I couldn't pick out the glow stick markers in the distance. I was left following dimly lit shadows and breathing a sigh of relief every time I pass a marker. Once darkness set in, it was a bit better. However, many folks complained about the section I crossed glassless at night as being one of the rockiest and most difficult terrain sections of the entire course.I did manage to fix my glasses after the stage…. but lost them the following day. Fortunately, I had my pair of prescription sunglasses and the rest of my running was during daylight. My only remaining difficulties are shopping in the bazaars and navigating in the airports.Dane,It's been odd to not know the next stage until the night before or the morning of the stage. We found out the true distance of the long stage post sunset the night before it was to begin and while we knew the final stage would be at least 42k the night before Stage 4, it was only that morning that we learned it would be a true marathon. I think the uncertainty had an effect on both the top contenders and most of the folks aiming to simply finish the run. As for me, I was running strong, but conservatively, so it wasn't a problem other than needing to shift around my intra-race food supplies between days at the last minute.Everyone else,Thanks for your kind and encouraging posts! I'm on the plane ride back to the states at the moment and am so happy to be returning to were so many great friends live!

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