I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Catching my breath after NDC

What a special week: running 220km through the Namib Desert in the land of big skies, vast horizons, towering dunes, canyons, and mile upon mile of now grassland bursting with life, and sleeping each night under star-studded skies illuminated by electric storms.

That’s the Namib Desert Challenge – a gruelling five-day stage race with a touch of class, self-sufficient with style, where the runners are sweaty but not stinking for long, the desert water is not only plentiful but cool, and the finish line is followed by a bush banquet beyond expectation.

It was a tough race and competition was stiff. The sun grilled us mercilessly and the dunes were higher than I’d ever imagined. But the most memorable aspect of the NDC has got to be its brilliant organisation.

Gary and Terry, hats off to you and the whole of the Kinetic Team for putting together this fantastic event in the middle of the desert where there’s virtually no infrastructure – the logistics alone must’ve been the REAL Namib Desert Challenge! The entire team behind this race went out of their way to make the event really special.

And to Amy and the medical team, you guys shone your socks off (no pun intended) – without you most of us wouldn’t have completed this race.

Very importantly, thank-you to Velocity Sports Lab for believing in me and making this race happen; to my sponsor Salomon for always ensuring I have the best kit in the world (come stone or sand, mountain or plain, S-Labs ROCK!); and to my fuel sponsor, PeptoSport, which fuelled me the entire race and gave me the vooma to run as well as I did. PeptoSport is the BOMB!

Thanks to everyone for all the messages during, before and after the race – you gave me strength! And to all the wonderful people who donated to Solomon's Haven - together we've raised R40 000! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’m still in the Namib for another week to catch my breath. There’s not much in the way of technology in the desert, and I’ve sniffed out the only Internet Cafe within a 300km radius to post this quick blog. For those keen to hear a bit more about this brilliant race, I’ll be posting a more detailed report when I’m back in civilisation in a week’s time.

Til then, happy trailing!

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