Greetings from Camp 2 in the Sahara Desert

The big day finally arrived this morning. At 07h00 we set off on the 37km first leg of the 2011 Sahara Race.
 
I am very pleased to report that I finished today's leg in 5h15 in 28th position overall. But it was tough, very tough. The heat and soft sand were much tougher than I ever expected. And the landscape is just amazing, oftern there is nothing, really nothing other than kms of flat sandy areas, then a few beautiful sand dunes spiced up the landsacape, before returning to flat, soft sandy areas.
 
More amazing, out campsite last night was next to the Northern Lake, a massive stretch of water in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The first leg was therefore called 'Traversing Ancient Waters'. The first 8km this morning followed the countours of the lake until the first waterpoint. After the waterpoint and crossing a small bridge, we then ran in the vacinity of the Southern Lake, at some point up to 34m under sea level. By this time the Sahara started showing its true colours, with temperatures of up to 42 degrees measured in some areas.
 
But I made it to the finish without any major problems - no blisters - just tired legs and sore feet from the hot sand.
 
Given the heat of today, and similar conditions expected over the next few days, the challenge is definitely going to be how best to manage running and walking in these conditions. This is going to get painful and I will have to take it very easy as of tomorrow. Already a number of runners will not continue after today.
 
Tomorrow will be a special day as I will wear the orange armband of the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.
 
So now that it is no longer just a rumour that I will be running through the Sahara, please take out your check book, your credit card or the cash under your bed, go to http://www.ngopulse.org/npng and make a donation in support of this great organisation and the 4 others which form part of the 2011 SANGONeT 'No Pain No Gain' fundrasing campaign.
 
The biggest donation will be rewarded with a bottle of Sahara sand (2011 vintage), personally autographed by myself. It might not be worth much, but be assured that it will travel far and with much effort!
 
Remember, "No Pain No Gain".

 
Until tomorrow from another hot sandy spot in the Sahara Desert.
 
David

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