D-Day is here! The 6th Edition of La Ultra starts at 8 pm this evening. EXCITED!
I started the morning with an easy 45 minute run with Michael Harrop. He observed my running style closely and gave me couple of valuable tips on how to use my arms to help my running. He also shared his thoughts on how to drag the feet to get better speeds. Unfortunately this doesn't feel natural to me because I have trained myself to run as illustrated in videos by Eric Orton. We stopped by the Sand Dunes for few minutes to chat up with some of the runners who were awake as it was on the way.
After breakfast, we got a physio training session from Mark and Neha. Simple rubs to free calves, IT band, hamstrings, shoulder and reduce fatigue for the runners and ourselves.
At 4 we left for the Sand Dunes and there was a lot of hustle and bustle to get final preps done for runners. We could feel the tension and anticipation in the runners. There was some good ribbing amongst the runners.
At 6:45 we left for the start line in the middle of nowhere. We reached around 7:40 and watched the runners do their final preps and stretches before their long ordeal. Lots of photo opportunities with the national flags of the runners and plenty of jokes. Unfortunately I'll share pictures at a later stage because of my poor internet access.
Dr. Rajat flagged off the run at 8 pm sharp amongst hooting and howling. We waited about 15 minutes before jumping into the Tempo Traveller for the long journey back to Leh. The core crew supports the runners to the 78 K mark at South Pullu and then we take over.
We reached Goba past 1 am and slept. There were some anxious moments as we were stopped at a check post for over an hour because we didn't have some permission. Finally he relented and let us go. Few hours of sleep before my role as Personal Crew for Chris Yeo begins formally. We have to wait until morning to see how runners are faring. I go to bed with memories of Allen Wrinkle who unfortunately was forced to drop out last year.