Gobi Race: 5th Stage. 3rd overall!
We had the long stage yesterdayâ€¦ We woke up at 5am, after another cold night. We prepared our kit and got on the bus at 7am for a 2 hour drive to reach the start. I ate the breakfast in the bus and tried to get some rest. We finally started the 75.4 km stage at 10am and it was already hot. I started slowly running with John. We caught up Anne-Marie and Justus right after CP2.
The scenery on this section was very nice, wide open view over the mountain range and high peaks (over 7000 m I guess). John was a bit faster and left us. Then the weather became stormy, we could see the rain in distance and then the wind and stand storm picked-up. We were a bit worried when we arrived at CP5 because there was nasty twisters just a few km away and we were on flat terrain with no shelter whatsoever.
Gobi March: Justus in the sand storm (Â© P. Gatta)
Then we had a long long straight cross country trail. For some reason my legs accepted to accelerate the pace. I left Anne-Marie and Justus who both were a bit sick. I passed John and continued in a major sandstorm. It was hard to find the trail as we could see one marker at a time in best case. At some point I could barely run against the head wind, but then I saw two women working on a field and I told to myself â€śshut up, stop complain and runâ€ť. I passed the last check point in 60km/h wind at least, fortunately it was coming a bit from the back. I took some extra water just in case I would get lost, constantly keeping an eye on my Suunto watch to check the distance. Then I saw the finish line, so happy to finish 3rd in 8h38!!
Thanks Mo and Vincente for your cheering at the end. We are resting today in a fabulous camp site, with an amazing view. Tomorrow we have 15km to goâ€¦ 15km away from food, showerâ€¦