The photo below is Katherine from the UK, both Men's and Women's Winner last year! Mohamad Ahansal and Didi Taida! Right now Mohamad is leading the race and Didi is in 2nd place. I spoke to Mohamad before the race and he said he was going to take it easy the first few days and that he has trained harder this year for the race then any other year. Looks like Mohamad may be working harder then he thought he would have to with USA Mike Wardian running on his heals! This year the course looks so amazing. It was warm enough last night that they did not even have to sleep in there sleeping bags! I have a strong feeling the race is really going to heat up and many positions are going to change on day 4 the long day. Many people have gone out way to fast for the heat to come and the course which I have run before. More people have dropped out by day 2 then in the past years, always sad to see anyone name on the list who have had to stop the race. It takes such dedication, drive to get there. Sending them all our very best!
Right now in the lead for the Men:
Mike Wardian who is about 9 min. behind 1st
Salameh Al Agra who is about 3 min. behind 2nd
For the USA:2nd overall is Kyle McCoy
3rd overall is Meghan Hicks who is running awesome. She is 1:35 behind the lead women
4th overall for the USA is Ed Ackerly
5th is our Jay Batchen!!! Honest..he has run 10 miles a week and played ice hockey 3-4 times a weeek!
6th overall Greg Pressler!
7th Lane Vogel
8th Jenny Vogel
The leaders for the Women:
Didi Taida: she is just 7 min. behind Monica
Jolanda Linshooten: she is 11 min. behind Didi
Here it is where you can read more...send them ALL emails..it is such a joy to get emails. The bring them to your tent at night:)
THIS IS A GREAT RECAP THAT JEN WARDIAN SENT FROM MIKE!!!
Stage 2 (35K) another great day for Mike -- he finished 2nd again, less than 2 minutes back from the leader and is now about 9 minutes off of 1st place. He also lengthened his lead over 3rd place to 3 minutes.
I received this message from him earlier:
Today was great, I ran strong but Mohammed got away (think he has 8 mins) on a climb and I thought I would roll him up on the flat (like the other guys) but he was strong and ran smart. I am feeling fantastic and while I ran hard I didn't expend all my energy and have been able to eat and rehydrate since the finish so I will be in good shape for tomorrow. My pack is terrific and the water bottle holder is $$$, I was through the CP (check point) as fast as the Moroccians/Jordians and much faster than the guys with bottles, so cool and I am so glad that I decided to go with this pack. I did have one scary moment where I looked down (don't know why) and saw that the front pack was open and my Compass and Roadbook (both required) were exposed. I zipped up and rolled up the 2nd guy but was freaking that I was going to get a penalty or DQ, I didn't. Pack was 8.4K after stage.
Here's a snippet from the race's recap of Stage 2:
Just after CP 3, at the foot of the mountain, hell starts.The sensation is of thighs in fire and lungs gasping for a bit of oxygen in the overheated air.Mohamad Ahansal (1 - MOR) is top of the race when he gets there and he climbs calmly but with great determination. He stops once in a while to relax his legs but he never looks back. A few minutes behind him is US runner Mickael Wardian (698-USA) who doesn’t seem to be suffering too much either. Further down, Salameh Al Aqra (91 -JOR) seem to be playing it safe in this particularmly difficult area.
Here's a good shot of him (currently image 2 of 14) from Stage 2 today (Monday):
He's also featured in the 3rd video on this page:
And again, here's the link to send him a message, (he's #698):