It must be frustrating not having regular updates from the organizer’s results web site and there’s not much we can do about it because they just say, “Si!”, which you and I know means “Manana!”
The screen here in the Start/Finish tent is updated immediately as a competitor cross the line but our tent is 50 metres away so it is pretty frustrating for us although on a lesser scale.
It has been a scorching day again after a humid overcast start. This is a very brutal competition as it takes it’s toll on every competitor in some way or another and at different times, often without warning. Exhaustion due to effort is compounded by extreme environmental conditions (hot in the day and chilly at night) as well as the effects of self-imposed sleep deprivation over a week or more. You can tell who is affected at any one time by the lap times: short lap times indicate an athlete who is feeling good and has had a period of rest and recuperation, longer lap times illustrate an athlete who is experiencing tiredness, illness or injury.
All the athletes have their own plan regarding when they sleep, whether and how often they stop to have a mini break or fuel stop, pattern of pace (run/walk, etc.) and try to stick to them. However, these plans can and do change according to conditions and influences at a moment’s notice.
Dave has had to adjust quite drastically to take into account for the stomach pain he experienced two days ago, problems with the tendons on the top of his left foot, and difficulties coping with lack of sleep which has had a cumulative effect since the beginning of the week. Trying to rationalize and work out the best course of action to take in reaction to the difficulties and problems when you are tired and disorientated is not easy! Dave has taken time to sleep and recuperate which has left him adrift of the leader by a large amount but without this rejuvenation and recovery time it would be true to say that he would probably not finish at all.
The leader still has 100 km to go to clinch the title and, as stated earlier, any number of things could go wrong without warning and affect the outcome. There is plenty of discussion amongst the athletes and crew members here about the factors and variables, the tactics and the risks involved in this gruelling challenge, which can be so rewarding yet so cruel to those who dare to take it on.
Dave has completed 128 out of 220 laps and the leader has done 170. Third place is on 86, and fourth on 82. The person to watch is Sergio Cordeiro (Brazil) as he is running very quickly and could suddenly appear in the upper ranks – he is a wonderful runner with a best marathon time of 2 hr 19 mins!
Dave has gone for a shower and sleep until midnight when he will get back to the circuit and continue to complete this remarkably tough event in the fastest time that he possibly can.