naseba7 day 5: Andy’s guest blog
transition: 15 minutes
transition: 15 minutes
5th IM 13:52
View Sharjah in a larger map
Day 5 of the challenge in the support van, and cabin fever has taken hold. Wrenn has become obsessed with buying an Arabic kadora robe, because “they look like they’ll still be comfortable no matter how fat you get”, and Mohammed has commandeered the camera equipment to make a short film series which -after WAY too much deliberation from all of us- is going to be called “Mohammed Investigates”. It’s sure to become a YouTube sensation.
Scott’s assistant, Bob, has also succumbed to van madness… even though he hasn’t been in the van much. After watching us tidy up the pile of equipment in the back this morning he immediately jumped in, ransacked it, took our last case of water and poured half a pint of sand into the camera bag. Happy days.
Anyway, the Naseba 7. Yesterday we were in Sharjah, which is conspicuously more developed and less deserty than where we were the previous four days.
The course design was a masterpiece of mental torture for Scott; something the Spanish Inquisition would have been proud of. Most of the bike, and all of the run, comprised laps of a 14km rectangle with perfectly straight edges. In the middle of the long sides, the road literally stretched into the distance in both directions, as far as the eye could see. Genius!
Scott dealt with this partly by his determined attitude, but mostly by assisted denial – he stared straight downwards at his front wheel on the bike, and had Mario drive right in front of him with the Rangerover so he couldn’t see the road.
He’s getting slower each day now as the fatigue starts to bite hard, but he hasn’t stopped pluggin’ away. He still managed something that vaguely resembled a sprint finish last night, so there’s clearly something left in the tank.
Dubai today, very very hot and with an impressive vista of skyscrapers raking the sky. Freud would have had a field day.
40km into the bike course and Scott is looking strong. He’s out of the saddle as I write this. A stiff breeze is building up. Romain is on an outrider motorbike wearing a ridiculous leather hat. All very exciting!
Abu Dhabi tomorrow, and then we can go to the bar (at last!)
Well done Scott! Coming from the man who thinks variety to his regular running route of the wiggly bits from his home to Hyde Park, 5 laps thereof and then the wiggly bits back home is to add a sixth lap, Andy’s assessment of the mental strength required to cope with your route today, when you are already so tired, speaks volumes for your sheer bloody minded determination. Reading between the lines I have now decided that your route has been specially chosen to minimise the opportunity of your support crew getting distracted by any sort of bar opportunity and over the course of a week that is an enormous logistical feat! Congratulations!
Absolutely amazing Scott! Two days to go! A true inspiration not only for your own team but also anyone looking in.
Andy, Are there any videos being uploaded? It would be good to see some footage from each day.
Phenomenal performance Rags! Mind-blowing! Your old team from California is rooting for you! Go Bears! I look forward to your arrival in Abu Dhabi! Stay Strong!