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: 22.0 km (Accumulated: 24583.0 km)
Elapsed time: 02:19:50
Start 08:00am, 6c, l. wind, clear, sunrise. At green roadsign "Cerro Del Cristo Redentor" at exit to old mountainpass, on hwy. 7 to Chile.
Finish 14:26pm, 10c & same. At green roadsign "Santiago 147km" at exit of customs in Chile, on hwy. 60.
[Nb: the gps appeared to struggle more than I at the high altitude and switched off at 4km/3800m.alt. Restarted it imediately and tracked the rest of the pass but when I fell down at the main road just after the pass it wouldnt restart so last 3km isnt tracked. But its covered by doc.pic. each 500m., as the rest of the stage]
4200m alt. on a Long short day !
The pass got cleared on an incredibly beatifull run, climbing by running w. a background of a steelblue sky and the highest peaks of the Andes Mountains around me :-)
But also a dramatic day, w. a fall just as I had reached down to the international road below the old pass. At the finish customs missed to give us the right paper reg. the support-car: back again, this time enjoying a full car & engine seach ;-) Making it a long short day.
Later today Ill try to upload the amazing pictures & write the details of the adventure of running at 4km altitude.
But first I have to find an accomodation to clean the wound to the knee asap., so here is a brief timeline untill then..
Pass reached by 9.42am.
1h. rest at 4000m. alt.
Down to Chilean side by 12.18pm. 13pm. fall at roadwork (knee & hands, else ok).
13.25 reached combined Chile & Argentine passport control. 15.30 car clear.
Update written from Largo del Inca, 3000m. alt, the next day:
The run across the 4200m. Cristor Redendor Pass yesterday into Chile was perhaps the most amazing day of running in my 28 years as a longdistance runner ! And one of the best and most emotion- & experience filled days of my life so far.
When doing runs like these around our world one might not live extremely long in years, but on days like yesterday running at 4000m. up amongst the main mountain peaks (Aconcagua of 6960m. etc.), and staying in silence by the glacier lake today after the intense drama's yesterday; each second and minute feels like an eternity filled with Joy :-)
I hope the images in the gallery from the stage can give an impression of the feeling of how it was to slowly run up the mountain pass on the ancient passageway which has been used back to the pre-inca times as one of the main corridors between the East and the West side of the Andes mountain chain. The sun rising and one by one lighting up the grey, brown, silver, gold and ice/glacier coloured peaks around me.
After a while the oxygen got low and from around 3500m.alt. it became difficult to breathe properly while still running upwards.
There were a slight worry that it might afterall not be possible to run at this altitude (in Europe there is nowhere this altitude can be reached by running, the highest mountain, Mt. Blanc in France stands 4800m. tall and the summit can only be reached by full scale mountain climbing. The highest its possible to go by chair/cabin-lift in Europe is at Aguille du Midi, 3800m. - which is 400m. lower than I was aiming to reach; and by running ;-) In the Himalayas I think there is a normal long distance run which reach just below 4000m. So, all in all it was unchated territory.
But just as I around 3600m. began to feel that "this will really be a tough challenge to keep running" as the road kept winding steeper and steeper up the mountain and obviously the oxygen got lower by the same rate - then to my surprise it began to get easier ! And very very enjoyable :-)
.. I think its a common thing that we as humans are not only able to tolerate hardship or pain when we need it, but will actually experience that the body for a limited time blocks off the pain/fatigue signals to the brain. Todays run became more and more pleasure filled as I slowly approached the top, tough w. many stops to streatch and take in the scenery and fully appreciate the views while snapping for breaths of air in the sharp cold wind near the peak of the pass. Only later, after running down the mountain, clearing the customs at a welcome break to eat some food, and resting a while at the cabin at the Largo del Inca - did I begin to feel the regular signals beginning to return to the body.
- I noticed that many of the tiny blood veins in the eyes had burst (giving a look like a person who has stayed up for a couple of nights in a row watching tv non-stop; or a boxer after a rough match ;-)), probably due to the lack of oxygen in the body while still keeping running upwards. And when once again cleaning the wounds in the knee and hands after falling on one of the last km's of the run with the 99% alcohol gel I use to clean deep wounds it fealt like it always does: like someone trying to pull off all the hair on the head ;-) When I did the same pure-alcohol cleaning of the wounds while still running: it fealt like smooth cooling balsam; nice and calming (!).
Its important to know that Ultrarunning is NOT done by ignoring the pain. Definately not ! Actually one of the requirements to become successful at an international level is to be able to carefully read the signals from the body, and to keep becoming better at this. If not; one ends up breaking the body instead of achieving the nearly limitless goals that this amazing sport offers !
Therefore, in respect of the body, and to make sure to give the knee a chance to heal up properly, I will take a restday here at Lake Inca. And what better place to bit by bit digest the impressions of a day and a run packed with emotions, views and joyfull struggles ! And to share them with my good crew, Jamie from England and the new addition to the team, Alex from Usa - who takes turns in driving the supportcar and making a documentary of this run around the world.
Lastly - but importantly, this is an oppotunity to Thank also my sponsors, and especially Ecco who provides not only the shoes for this long run, but also the main financial background. I have been very positively surprised by the extend of their support when heading into problems w. recieving the packet from denmark or indeed when having to take a long rest after reaching Cape Town. Its a Joy to cooperate with you on this run :-)
NB: You can view the slideshow of the pictures from the stage at: http://www.worldrun.org/report_day.php?day=2011-04-08 or by clicking on the link at the spanish flag at the top of the front page.
I have just uploaded a series of small video-clips taken w. my Nokia cameraphone. And as soon as my excellent webmaster Kasper Vibe-Leonhardt has reviewed then and found the good ones, they should be avaliable in the "News" section.