Time to go to sleep, but a quick update.
We landed in 2nd place after a hard-fought nearly 4 hr race. We find ourselves 8 minutes behind Team Thule and 5 minutes ahead of Team Moxie/Nuun. We consumed lots of salt tablets today and finished with lots of mud on our faces. I love stage racing in China — it doesn’t get much better than this !
Here I am happy at the start — ready to go ! A fast 7 km through town and over the mountain.
Here we are coming down off the last set of stairs on the first stage — captured by Daniel GoPro. Kristin pushed super hard today and never complained about her cramps at the end. Great effort by the whole team.
Highlights included a spectacular trail run across the high peaks on technical rocky terrain followed by a 200 meter rope rappel into a cave. We ran through the pitch-dark cave with our headlamps, which was about 10 degrees C — compared to the 25+ C outside. We nearly got lost in there, as it was hard to follow the flags. Daniel had an amazing sense of direction despite the surrounding blackness and stopped us and turned us around and got us heading in the right direction. Thank god for that, or we would have lost our 2nd place. We finished off the cave run with a little swim across a creek to the finish line.
There was also some fantastic Chinese single-track on the mountain bike that I couldn’t wait to see on my GoPro when I got home, but then found out that I had the camera in the wrong mode and missed the whole bike section ! Argh …
The finish area was a beautiful green field surrounded by steep forested hills. This is a great area to race !
Tomorrow we’ll paddle 70 min, bike 80 min, and then we have a 2+ hr run over lots of steep stairs in the hot mid-day sun … We gotta pace ourselves to finish strong tmw …