Update from the Sahara

by Tom Gallagher

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When we left off our intrepid blogger was making his way across the Sahara Desert. Here's the update:

Day 2 - Really difficult, but completed
26-Oct-2009 02:37:52 AM [(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time(US & Canada)]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
Last night we actually had about 2 minutes of rain and then again this morning.

Today was a 28 mile day, the longest of the week after the 54 mile day coming up on Thursday. Hot, all sand with some hardscrable. Going from Checkpoint 2 to 3 during the peak of the day took its toll on almost everyone. When I staggered into the check point the doctor and nurse advised that I rest a bit. So I stayed about 1/2 hour lying down in the shade with my feet up on a stool, which I needed because of the muscle cramps from my toes up to my back. Then the final stage was another 9 miles or so with the final two miles up and down three substantial sand dunes. Breakbreaking. I rolled into camp around 6:30pm - wiped out.

Some highlights include getting some cloud cover/shade during the day. The medical staff and volunteers are terrific.

Unfortunately, several people have dropped out due to injury, including a tent mate, Pat, who had an injury reoccur.

Now I've got to fix my feet, try to get some food in me - not particularly easy, and recover.

Tuesdays in these races are slow emotionally because we still have another 25 miles on Wednesday before the big day.

By the way, the word vastness hardly describe the Sahara Desert.

Will be back at it in the morning. Thanks for all your support.


Day 3 - Did not finish
27-Oct-2009 02:34:55 AM [(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time(US & Canada)]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
Today I ran into significant vomiting during the first section of Stage 3 at 1/2 way through, and worse, at the checkpoint. It's very disappointing. I've been having difficulty keeping food down. The temperature today is 48 degrees Celsius. The doctor gave me medicine and made me stay in the tent for quite a while. When the camels came to the first checkpoint - who serve as sweepers, it was not a good sign. Being an official finisher is off the table.

So I've taken anti-nausea pills and am trying to get a handle on things.

Given that moment in time at the checkpoint, it was the right decision. Hydration takes time to slowly get back to normal. I'm going to see how the evening goes and try to get to the starting line for Stage 4.

There could be a number of factors at play, acclimation, correcting the balance between electorlytes and water, finding the right food combination that allows me to put calories in my system, acid reflux, and the like.

On the bright side, I've received plenty of great emails for friends and family, especially from my "desert friends" from other races, all of which are invaluable.

Thanks for all. Onward.

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