August 4, 2015
Red Bull X-Alps 2015: Day 4
Where did I leave off? Oh, right, I was walking down a deserted road in the middle of the night. Jim was with me for a while, then a sleepy Mike collected him so they could both get a little sleep. I kept walking, eventually connecting with Chuck once he got a few hours of sleep. After the rainstorm it had been clear for a while, but I did hide in Chuck's van from another quick shower.
My feet were hurting pretty back by the middle of the night, with both shin pain and the ache that comes with being on your feet for too long. After all, I had walked 75 km on Day 2 and other 75 km on Day 3 plus the night pass. So about 100 miles within 48 hours, and more to come.
By 6 am my pace was pathetic and I decided to crash in Chuck's van for a short nap. He woke me up after way too short of sleep (maybe and hour!?!), but I got back on the road and even got leftover pasta for breakfast when the motorhome showed up!
The day was grey and foggy, with low clouds and the threat of rain. By midmorning it wasn't a threat anymore, but a true downpour to soak me completely. Thanks goodness for a great poncho to keep my gear dry and light. The surprise of the day was a woman stopping me in the pouring rain to offer me apple juice! She knew my name and wished me luck before getting out of the rain and driving away.
Although I had passed Villa (COL) in the night, he passed me right back again while I was sleeping. But my night efforts had paid off as I was able to stay ahead of Colas (ESP) and Neynans (NZL) for a while. Kruger (RSA) wasn't too far behind either, and I watched in amazement as he ran to catch up to me! He needed someone to walk with, and we chatted to pass the time on the bike path which seemed to run forever along the town of Garmisch.
I think it helped both of us as we picked up the pack and tried to chase down Ha (KOR). We never caught him but at least we were making good progress. By late afternoon, Kruger was determined to make the checkpoint that night. I let him charge on ahead and slowed down on legs that were beyond tired. Once he was out of sight, it was a struggle to walk at all, and I slowly made my way to the motorhome for some promised pasta and chicken.
With no chance to fly today and looking iffy tomorrow, I was hoping to call it a day at dinner. My supporters had been looking at the weather, and said it might be flyable, and oh yeah, I needed to do another 6 km tonight to be able to get to launch tomorrow. That about did me in, and I ate my dinner with a tear or two rolling down my face. Even an hours rest and a foot rub didn't help much...my feet hurt with a pain that I couldn't fight.
Somehow I struggled another 6 km down the road, with Jim walking with me although I was terrible company. Colas (ESP) was there as well and we ended up staying in the same parking lot for the night. Now there was only 1 person behind me, and I would need a really good flight to not end up eliminated in the next cut. But for now, as darkness fell, all I could think about was sleep....