World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 0.0 km (Accumulated: 22514.0 km)
Elapsed time: 00:00:00
One day ahead of the scedule (see "news" section) I reached the city of Caleta Olivia after a short run yesterday and thus its time for the first restday of the 2. half of world run two :-)
Under normal circumstances Iīll aim at taking one restday pr. month as I did during the 26 000km of world run one. And while I do certainly Enjoy the running; the small daily changes in nature, the cultural encounters, the landscape which is my daily companion, the reaction from and communication with the body as it adapts to the increasing km-load - then I for sure also enjoy the monthly restday :-))
For the small team, at the moment Jamie Fullbrook from England who is doing a fantastic and very patient job as both supplydriver & cameraman, its a chance to regain energy and supplies for the long open streatches ahead; check up on the condition of the supportcar and perhaps do a bit of repair of the tenting-equiptment which is beeing truly tested on the hard, windy and beautifully remote rugged pampas of Southern Argentina, which is where we live on the large distances from one city/settlement to the next..
For my part the restday is a chance to build my "Spirit" for the next 1000km ahead as well as to tend to any injuries and review the experienses and emotions on the road behind me.
To sum it up, its been mostly a case of, so far, a huge sigh of Relief:
- I was quite concearned when I toed the starting line of the South American part of world run two ! Firstly the challenge of running the nearly 12 000km straight through Africa, North to South, had left me battered like never before in my 27years as a longdistance runner or indeed no-where before in my 39y. of experienses. Not the streatch of running through the Sahara Desert w. up to 53c as one could have expeced, but the extreme struggle to keep running the last 7000km through East Africa after having local difficulties in Ethiopia followed by various tropical challenges such as dysenteria, malaria, two operations to counter deep infections in the right arm to name a few.
The more than 6months of "recovery" back in denmark - the first and hopefully only time Iīve had to take out a rest off-route during the world runs - left me wondering if the body was up for the last 20 000km of world run two.. During the summer and autumn back in denmark I had the least successfull season ever in my time as a runner ! Several "dnf." and mediocre performances to put it mildly, with a single 1.place and a 2.place - but in those cases eigther only one other competetitor on the full-distance (a local 6hour race; where most of the other runners stopped at the marathon-mark; but a very lovely event btw. !) and the other a finish time which was considerately slower than my split when beeing at shape in 100km races (a marathon of 3:12h. - my ave. split for the marathonīs during my best 100kmīs is around 15min. faster with double the distance.. ;-) So, all in all I didnt have many places to put my self-confidence as an ultrarunner except at experience. And that experience - told me that without proper preparation one does not stand a chance at challenges of this scale.
But whether the body itself had held back energy for this second half (since it fealt during my "rest-time races" like driving a car where the accellerator can only be put down halfway) or wether the exitement of beeing back in my right element was what provided the energy needed; in any case the first 1000km actually went better than those first 1000km back in world run one, 2004-, and world run two part one, 2008-.
Ofcourse there were indications that the body was working to adapt: loss of weight, approx. 5-7kg down since Punta Arenas, light shinsplints in right leg/ancle which though seemed to disappear 4-6hours after that particular stage with proper rest in the tent and elevated legs. Also a bit of sore achilles tendons, as always is the case the first 2000-4000km.
But overall much less of a struggle at start - which is the more enjoyable since I especially expeced it this time ! Importantly though, I did start out more carefull this time, averaging only 33km pr. day where I would usually open with 40km or even 50km average. Therefore, as the average begins to hopefully increase within the next 2months, weīll see how the body and spirit holds up. Yet in any case the beginning has been a hugely enjoyable īfeastī of impressions of the vast windblown Pampas, the sparse but impressively persistent small flowers and low bushes/shrubberyes, the Southamerican friendliness and insistent helpfullness :-) As well as the amazing geological formation mainly due to the volcanic nature of this part of the world.
... But the restday is not only a day filled w. facts and impressions of the run. Its also a day to take in the history and culture ...
So, as promised Iīll bring a little bit more of the tales and myths of the first people to settle this part of the world. A people who came around 7000years before the europeans/Spanish settlers and who the last 3000y. leading up to the change of culture had a flourishing and fascinating culture of their own :-)
The Tehuelche people are now all but extinct, at best blend-in with the new peoples of Patagonia as they mixed through the last centuries, and with a language which was never written down during their time; a time where history and legends were passed on by word and only due to a observant few of the "new settlers" their stories from millenia back are kept for us to enjoy:
The Myth of the Sun
"KO-OCH (the spirit who created the world) created everyting with life, even the stones are alive in their own way, but their way of life is so slow that we dont notice it. The rocks turn into sand with the friction of the water and the wind, and in its turn the sand becomes stone and so-on, everything. The earth is changing very, very slowly, and where today there is sea one day there will be land. And here were we now stand, there was once sea"
"KO-OCH created the sea with his tears, and he dispersed the darkness from around him, but it remained there, far off and this stopped him from seeing his world from a distance. He moved himself further and further away, untill suddenly he raised his hand making a swift movement with which he rent the darkness asunder and a big spark burst out, which followed the sweep of his arm, successfully dispersing the darkness. Then he was able to see the wonderfull world lit up by it, and he called the light Xaleshen".
- And with this little story of the sun and the light, also a Greeting to my friends back home where it will now be slowly turning from winter and darkness into the summer and long Scandinavian days of light :-) Most of all a greeting to some of the people I respect highest, persons whom I know fight daily much more than I will ever do during my runs around the world and yet with a smile and a gentle stubboness: The deaf-blind people whom I had the thrill, challenge and adventure of working with before and between world runīs when beeing back in denmark. A perhaps overlooked group when it comes to the eyes of the else caring "wellfare-state", yet people whom take on their daily challenge in a world without outher light or sound - and perform challenges like my friend Henning who at past 80y. of age still plays competetively at chess; and leaves me no chance of beating him the times I have foolishly tried my luck at a quick game in-between assisting at the annual deaf-blind chesschampionships in denmark.
If I come to struggle during the next two months I need only to think of their spirit in a life which has no rest-days :-)