This morning I had expected to be extremely stiff but was stunned to find that my body seemed totally unafected by the previous day – miracles do happen! The only thing I can think of is that the hammock ensured my feet were more elevated than normal and this sorted out the anticipated stiffness.
Up, dressed, fed and watered andeverything packed into the backpacks. Atually I had a number of packs attached to me. My main pack on my back contained the majority of my supplies but I also had a 3 litre pack around my waist which carried some basic medical supplies as well as my nutrition to keep me going through the day (sweets!) and then across my chest I had another small pack which contained a few bits and pieces to help take some of the weight off my back.
And we were off. An early start and we headed off down the road for the first 20k. Today I was on my own for the whole day but this was fine. The majority of my training has been alone and it is amazing what the mind can do to keep you going. The road was a long shallow descent passing through a few small villages along the way until we reached the track that led into the jungle. This is where the terrain really changed and I finally felt I was running a jungle ultra. To start with it was a gentle introduction to the jungle, running along the side of fields with workers until we hit the trees, vegetation, mud, hills and water that we had been anticipating. We had 20k of steep climbs, steep slippery descents, mud, bogs and bugs. And I absolutely stank! Everyone from previous events talked about the smell, but this was only the second day and it was horrible.#
The ascents were not a problem other than being hard work, but I hated the descents as they were so slippery. The flat sections had sticky mud and bogs. Wading in sludge above my knees was challenging and I was soon falling flat on my face and totally covered in muck from head to toe. But this was exciting and fun and was the whole reason for doing the race.
I reached camp somewhat later than day 1 but am fed, watered and tucked up in my hammock by the time it was dark. I can’t quite believe it, but I have completed the first two days of the race. Just 3 to go.