Logged another long stage into the books. I had a fantastic day, happily finishing at 3:30 am and coming in 21st overall! To shortly recap the day: Stage one was full of water crossings full of tall grasses that I enjoyed weaving in-and-out of, over small embankments and into ice cold water. Stage two we ran through a village where the people lined the street to watch us crazy runners, marching onward with our bacpacks on. At one point a group of four little boys joined me to run; however, they wanted to sprint. Stages 3, 4 and 5 were actually very long and quite uneventful providing much time for introspective thinking. If only my blog would be as great as the profound entries that ran through my head then. Stage 6 took us through the salt flats. Thangk goodness they were not even close to what we experienced in the Atacama. After sitting for about 10 minutes at the checkpoint, I decided to forge on to checkpoint 8 on my own as that would just give me one more to complete. A valuable lesson learned on this stage, do not go it alone if it´s about to get dark. After the sun sets, it became rather dark and I discovered that no glow sticks had been placed to guide me to checkpoint 8. A little afraid I had to slow way down to move my headlamp from tree to tree in the hopes of locating the pink flags. I took one wrong turn and rand 10 minutes off-course. I´ve never been so happy to see a checkpoint. I sat there to wait for anyone to help guide me through the sand dunes leading to camp. Fortunately, four guys came through and let me tag along. Honestly, I don´t think I would have arrived at camp in such good condition without them.
I am rather tired today and awaiting our final run tomorrow. When I have time to absorb all of this, I promise to post a final Gobi Desert blog. Thanks everyone for all of your blog comments and emails, they absolutely helped to keep me going.