It was ambitious of me to try to update everyday during this race, but as it turns out, there usually isn't much time or energy for that sort of thing after a stage.
But I'll do what I can to give you all a quick update of the last few days in Africa.
Stage 1 was long and HOT, with my Garmin reading 42 degrees at one point, and that definitely took its toll on a couple Canadians. So much so, I was questioning my ability to find the motivation to start Stage 2, let alone finish in forecasted hotter temperatures.
The morning of Stage 2, we awoke to news from the Epic that for the first time in their 14 year history, they would be shortening a stage from the original distance after recommendations from the race doctors.
Stage 2 became a 60 km day, which revamped my mojo. So off we went, with the temperature already at 30 degrees at our 7:55 am start time.
That stage really was the worst experience I've ever had on a bike. Temps hit 45 degrees which just about knocked me clean out.
Somehow, we managed to make it across the finish line with less than 10 min to spare, but we were definitely worse off. I think I may have not handled the heat as well as Coleman, as I even mentioned to him how knackered I was from the heat. In fact after we finished a visit at the med tent, I think my exact words were "That was f***** and there is no way I'll be able to start tomorrow"
And somehow, even after a rough morning, feeling worse than I've ever felt the morning of a race, I found myself kitted up, on the start line for Stage 3.
Temps were forecast to be cooler at 35 degrees, so I took some solace in that, but as it would turn out, I'd see another 40 degree readout on my Garmin during one of the eye-watering climbs of the day.
Coleman was the strongman on the day, dragging me through some rough patches and keeping me motivated. We crossed the line with more time to spare from the cutoff this time, but somehow that wasn't making me feel better.
Today was the day where the culmination of multiple long hot days had put me into a pretty big hole. I spent the day on and off the bike fighting with some stomach issues, either a stomach bug or heat stroke, and may have come a little too close to over-exertion a few times, my weaving tire tracks evidence of flying too close to the sun so to speak.
I spent some more time at the med tent today, to which they were a little surprised I had been able to keep my hydration at adequate levels, but as these stomach troubles get worse, I'm a touch worried I can keep that going.
So that's where we're at. Trying to come around, trying to find some food to stomach, and trying to find a miracle!
Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, but the fear is that the hot first three days have dug a hole that will be tough to get out of. But then again, that's why it's called the Cape Epic..
(By the way, 2017 Epic, exponentially more difficult than 2015)