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Gas Station on Rd 491 to Crownpoint / 06.07.2011
66.4 km / 1238.2 km complete
41.3 mi / 769.4 mi complete
8 Participants at the start / 8 Participants at the stage finish
Daily stage results
Total race results
Show photo gallery.
Only 1 turn
It’s cool this morning and our fireflies string out on the road, one behind the other following the pack, except for Peter and Rainer, who are well ahead from the start! The sun comes up on a new day which will not be complicated.
There will be only one change of direction at the 3rd kilometer! Then comes the long ribbon of asphalt studded with little men who are lost in the immensity of the desert.
Serge is among the last to leave every day; a true diesel engine because he advances steadily along the line of runners and exchanges a few words with each person he passes.
Koshita is fast today and says he is hurrying so that he won’t have to suffer too long in the heat.
By doing so, he moves into 7th place in the general ranking, ahead of Bando.
Bando stops in front of the finish line in imitation of Michael Jackson.
We can’t remain indifferent to Bando; he makes us laugh and sometimes is painful to see with his suffering and the unpredictable way he manages each stage.
Italo and Patrick finish the stage together once again, 9 km per hour, which is fast for a stage that is hilly even if it is not extremely hot.
But there are still 52 days to go, so the most important thing is to feel good and both men are in fine shape… It’s important not to think of ranking at this 18th stage, it’s a little early to think about being 2nd or 3rd on the podium.
Alexandro gets better and better; his body is limber and at ease and he doesn’t seem to make as much effort as he did earlier on.
It’s a pleasure to see and his thoughts are surely in Italy, with his wife, his 18 month old daughter, Sofia, and the baby that is due to arrive at the end of August, like Dad in New York. Rainer is having trouble with the skin on his face.
"Normally, I don’t use sun block and for once when I do it’s worse than ever”.
But it doesn’t seem to bother him; he’s always full of energy, lively and available. Peter wanted to do the stage in less than 6 hours; he is within his time in spite of a watch that seems to have died on the road.
This morning before the start he called his wife.
He is always happy to have news of his chief sponsor, whom, as he likes to say, is his wife who permitted and accepted this long absence so that Peter could take part in the dream to cross the USA.
At the age of 68, what could be more beautiful than to make dreams come true, and still to have dreams! Gérard is back and we hope that it will be a new start.
His blisters seem to be just a memory. Jenni’s feet hurt.
She has more blisters than she can count with the 10 fingers of her two hands.
Anneke, at her side, is her main supporter.
I know that she has a very strong personality and she won’t give up now. Markus seems to have found his cruising speed, is all smiles and it is easy to see that he is enjoying himself. Mr. Tanaka has highs and lows, with recurring stomach problems these last few days. Mr. Isshihara forges ahead willy-nilly, a slight wave of the hand but never much conversation.
He is very reserved and there is the language barrier.
The whole team admires him because at the age of 66 he is one hell of an athlete. The Japanese support crew is wonderful, everything is always OK I have extra words to write about our James, who treats you daily to his comments on his Blog… but this evening after a tiring day, the time has come to eat some rice, to drink some water and go to sleep without using the computer. Between bouts of vomiting and diarrhea, James rests for 30 minutes, then starts and suffers in silence.
Anne walks with him for more than 15 kilometers; the team hovers over him because James must not give in and tomorrow he has to be within the time limit and have some energy.
Perhaps he has to take a good look at his eating and drinking habits because from the beginning we have been surprised to see him eating candy and hamburgers and drinking only Gatorade and "Monster”… Even if we know that Rainer drank almost 10 liters of Coke and ate stuffed green olives and now eats black ones… it’s true that eating habits are very personal.
This is not a marathon where you have a special diet for a short time.
Here you have to eat with appetite and absorb a minimum of calories. For example, Peter and Rainer take the time to eat two real meals after the race and they eat well with June, who is watching over them! See you tomorrow on the roads of Pueblo Pintado… Consult your maps because this is an out-of-the-way place.
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