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: 40.0 km (Accumulated: 29389.0 km)
Elapsed time: 04:07:15
Start 10:10am., 25c, a few clouds & light wind, at white roadsign "Rio Cuenca" on the E35 to Riobamba. Finish 15:49pm., 14c, half cloudy & strong wind, at small km-stone "34.780" on hwy. E35 to Riobamba.
A full range of highland surprises..
The day began early; around 3am. when I woke up for my usual 10min. night-snack to keep the recovering going faster (helps the bloodsugar stay higher during the night). The first unexpected happening: One of the inner-teeth fell out, root and all. It took the silver filling of the adjacent tooth with it in its fall-of-grace ;-)
Around 5:30am. I was tired enough to fall asleep again; the sleep finally gaining the upper hand over the pain.
Next surprise, also not-so-jolly, was when I wanted to check out of my hotel in Cuenca city. The price and conditions had changed since I booked in two days ago ;-)) Usually the people come across as honest in South America and certainly in Equador where Im thrilled by the friendly treatment, so this was definately an exception - but a light display of the Viking temper solved things.
The following surprises where in principle much more pleasant and interesting. In principle. This days stage was planned to be 40km and by all indications from my maps and online reserach it should be fairly easy and as flat as can be expected when running in the Andes Mountainchain - but at the Altiplano'(highlands).
It could have been the first bland stage with little variation from what I already have seen in a week of running through Equador where the nature and scenery often changes dramaticly during the daily run. This wasnt the case. The fairly flat stage turned out to be anything but flat. Still I was in luck: I first checked the gps-data of the run (see the Endomondo-link below this report!) when I had completed the stage. It wasnt from around 2300m. to 2500m. as my maps had me believe, but instead a nice climb to a finish at 3574m. altitude on a chilly windblown mountainside.
... I did think to myself during the run "It certainly has its uphills today", yet since the nature also today turned out to be such a treat - I eventually forgot about the constant uphill the last 32km's. It did from time to time occour to me that it surely was a bit more than 2400-2500m. I was running at; happily unaware that I was instead running at 3000m. to 3500m. altitude. "Unaware" might be streatching it a bit as I did a few times times stop at the side of the highland-highway to catch my breath during the last 15km's. My conclusion was that I certainly am beginning to get older, and at a rapid pace !! ...Gasping for air on a fairly easy 40km, feeling the lactateacid build in the legs for each km. So far from my days of competitive marathon-racing where the present pace would have been laughable even as the lowest imaginable recovery pace. While I chewed' on that fact the nature unfolded below and beside me - and I hope to give you an impression via the daily pictures once I have rested a bit.
But seen afterwards it was good that I didnt have the full knowledge of what was ahead of me today. Else I doubt I would have settled for 40km ;-) For example the stages when I ran across the Argentinian Andes at 2800m. to 4000m. alt., was never longer than max. 30km due to the lack of oxygen and the need to recover for the next day of running. As it unfolded today, I put the stubboness first and waged my own little war' against the old-age and the surprisingly steep altiplano' "flat road".. With the toothpain as a side-kick following me faithfully during the stage ;-)
The last surprise of the day - atleast so far - came after the run when going (half asleep ;-) by the supportcar to a hotel which I had seen along the route. The hotel looked fancy and somewhat expensive, but somewhere I fealt I had earned it and it had been my motivation when the eyes got a slight bit of the old tunnel-vision near the finish ;-) Still, the hotel had a surprise for me too: expensive it wasnt ! The hotel had heard of the interest from the local media in Equador and instead charged me a symbolic amount for staying at their place, the "Hotel Lion" in the andean' city Azogues, if I mentioned them officially. So I forced myself to enjoy the deluxe room w. a view over the mountains and a heated swimmingpool to relax the legs in. Life is sometimes almost tolerable ;-)) Even with all its surprises !