Today was long and hard. We started with a brutal portage with thick sticky mud followed by another similar one.
It was 5 hours of hard labour covering about 23km. In between we got rained on as well.
From the end of these two portages, was another 74km of riding in slippery mud. I soon dropped off the back slipping and sliding and protecting my dodgy knee.
I find with this event that I stay locked in the moment which keeps me turning the pedals over and not getting too overwhelmed by what still has to be done.
After a little dorp called Roussouw, I got hailed on. It stings. But I kept my new mantra going: it is what it is.
A wonderful descent brought me to an emergency support station called Moordenaarspoort. When I saw the other guys there, I felt relief that I wasn't at the back anymore.
This was at 17.00. I figured I could do the last 40km in about 2,5 hours. It was dark quickly but I felt that I was on an adventure on my own - no one around.
Unfortunately I had run out of water and food so when I lost the route and asked the farmer for help, I realised I was really really buggered. I could hardly string 3 words together. I still had another 14 to go.
Gerhardt and his wife made me tea and an avo sandwich. He offered me a lift which meant a time penalty tomorrow. This was already past 8pm so I called the race director and gladly accepted. The others arrived after 10.
The time penalty means I can only leave at 9 tomorrow which has one benefit. Maybe I can shake this cold I have but it does screw up our schedule. So we will have to re-strategise.
This race is very hard. But so far I am coping but it takes its toll.
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