Hi everyone! Well the fast pace has hurt many people as well as the heat. Many have had to pull from the race, are sick from the heat...This race is so much about pace and staying in your own race. Many of the Dreamchasers are doing so awesome! Meghan Hicks, Jenny Vogel, Mike Waridan, our Jay Batchen:) Send them emails...the long day is on Wed. it is going to be one very hard, long day for all of them. One very long, hot test. The journey will be something I look forward to hearing about.
Below is a GREAT update from Jen Waridan, Mikes beautiful wife.
Thanks so much
Hi all, Stage 3 was a tough day for Mike. He finished 16th today which bumps him back to 4th overall, 1 hour and 4 minutes back from the leader, 30 minutes back from 3rd place.
He called this afternoon and we had a long chat -- he said the lead group went out strong and kept a fast pace, he held on for as long as he could but the heat got to him. He regrets not slowing down sooner, he thinks if he had backed down 10 seconds per mile he would have had a stronger finish but in true Mike fashion said, "I couldn't let them just run away from me." He walked into CP 3, vomitted a few times and kept walking for quite some time. He sounded weak when I spoke with him and was stunned to hear he was as far back as he is. He assured me he's OK and has been drinking a lot of water and will be able to handle tomorrow's long stage.
He also said one of his tentmates was bitten several times by a spider in her sleeping bag and was foced to drop out when her leg inflamed. He was more concerned about this than his own state!
Apparently there's a one day delay in messages being sent each way so please keep sending notes, he's very greatful for all of the e-mails!
Here's the link to send messages, sometimes it jams up and you have to retry, again he's number 698:
Here's the race's recap of Stage 3:
Check point 1 (km 12.8) is only reached at great pains by many competitors.Including Touda Didi (D3-MAR), last years’ winner on the women’s side, who struggles to follow the pace set by her challenger Monica Viladomiu Aguilera (1020-SP). 10 minutes behind the Spanish runner, Didi is dehydrated and has to get medical help. Sadly, the Moroccan icon must withdraw from the race. She probably couldn’t recover from the huge efforts she had to make yesterday to try to keep up with her Spanish rival.Further along the track, Michael Wardian (698-USA) tries to keep up with the pace imposed by the two Jordan runners, Salameh Al Aqra (391 -JOR) and Mohammad Alswaiti (D390- JOR), whilst Mohamad Ahansal (1 - MOR) seems to be waiting, ambushed in a group just behind, with the rest of the top ten runners.Today’s stage features no major technical difficulties but endless straight lines and a hellish heat (especially after midday when the cloudy veil protecting the competitors evaporated) that reminds everyone that the sun is sole master here.
Heat stroke for Michael Wardian (698-USA)
Mohamad Ahansal (1 - MOR) yet again wins the stage, before Salameh Al Aqra (391 -JOR) and Jorge Aubeso Martinez (989-SP) who gives an astonishing performance, whilst US runner Michael Wardian (698-USA) loses 46’ 29’’, a victim to his eagerness to stick to the top of the race.The best runners reach the bivouac around midday, their faces sometimes showing clear signs of exhaustion. For the lesser runners, the stage has now begun to feel like martyrdom.
And here's an e-mail I received yesterday from Mike recapping Stage 2:
Jennifer & All, feeling good now, had some stomach problems last night but took immodium and feeling marvelous today. Some huge climbs (could you follow with the GPS?), want to get pictures, they were epic, unbelieveable running right on the edge of these huge mountains (they had safety ropes) and then jaw dropping decents though dried out river beds with huge rocks and boulders. It was so beautiful but Mohammed was very strong, really incredible, he dropped us all and gained another 9 mins, I was able to put some good time into people too but not 9 mins, that is unbelieveable. Aziz, the guy that was 2nd last year dropped (he helped me on the 1st day by telling me where to run like a dog, snapping at me) and Muatfha (#4) had a tough day so I need to stay strong and well and I should be able to continue to improve. Need to catch a break with Mohammed, I am not giving up, he has to beat me each and every day but I am impressed. My tent is good, food is great (enjoying your granola bars now).
No photos of him from Stage 3 posted though they add throughout the day so perhaps there will be something here later:
No Stage 3 videos yet either.
Tomorrow is the long day, runners will have Wednesday & Thursday to complete 82.2K. He said he'd call tomorrow when he's done Stage 4.
Not sure how much rest I'll get tonight but I'm very relieved he'll still have his race-issued GPS for tomorrow's stage!