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Needles to Kingman / 26.06.2011
82.5 km / 566.4 km complete
51.3 mi / 351.9 mi complete
10 Participants at the start / 8 Participants at the stage finish
Daily stage results
Total race results
Show photo gallery.
As beautiful as it is difficult
There was a full agenda for this morning’s 15 minute meeting.
The intensity of these meetings varies depending on events the previous day and the day’s stage. With almost 1300 meters of positive ascent over the day, it was another exhausting stage, even if the temperature was somewhat lower.
Our thermometer shows 37°C (98.6°F) in the shade. At km 2.4, mid way across the bridge over the Colorado River, we entered the state of Arizona.
Then at km 15, the second change of direction lead us into the Black Mountains.
At the foot of this chain there is the small town of Oatman, where the prospectors pitched their tents to search for gold.
When Route 66 came through, the town had a revival in the 30”s, even movie stars came to see it and Clark Gable and Carole Lombard spent their honeymoon there in 1939.
When Interstate 40 was built and swallowed up a good part of Route 66 Oatman lost a lot of its "splendor”. Oatman is now a ghost town, where tourists throng to the only street and donkeys wander freely among the curious onlookers and cars.
It was today’s attraction.
Rainer took the opportunity to eat strawberry ice cream and cameras were everywhere. Leaving the city the road becomes narrow and twisting and there is a steep climb to reach Sitgreaves Pass, where there is a magnificent view.
There is a short descent to the very "boring” Sacramento Valley.
This interminable straight line looks like it will go on forever before we pick up Route 66 again in the direction of Kingman. Arizona is in the same time zone as California so for the moment there is no time change. Today there are two withdrawals: Gérard Bavato at km 17. Blisters and an inflamed tendon prevent him from going on.
Since he fears infection he sees a doctor at the hospital.
Armed with a cortisone salve, he returned to his stopping place, with the intention of starting again; but he knows he will not be within the time limit (the cut off time has already increased by 1 hour, which takes us to 16 hours to run 82.5 km and remain in the race).
Unfortunately, Markus is not fast enough.
His time is more than 17 hours.
Hats off to Dan, his crew, who accompanied him on this very long stage.
Markus has decided to rest for 3 days. We now have 8 out of 14 runners still in the fray, not counting Peter on his kick bike and Anneke on her bike. Now Jenni, Philippe, Ishihara, Tanaka, Gérard and Markus will continue outside the ranking.
Their times on the stages they run will be posted on the website under their bib number.
You can continue to follow their progress, even if they are not in the general ranking. The runners are « wiped out, » the organizers tired, the support crews are also beginning to be extremely tired.
The heat and the wind give you a headache and rob you of your energy.
Even if today’s stage was beautiful, as the days pass they begin to dip into our reserves, and yet there is still a long road ahead of us.
Tomorrow we will gain some altitude in the mountains, which we hope will bring us some coolness… The runners are drinking an average of 10 liters of liquid during the hours of the race (Patrick drank 4 liters and Tanaka 20 liters).
It is worth mentioning that Rainer, in order to rehydrate at the finish, after having drunk almost 10 liters of Coke during his 9 hours of race, mixed a can of Budweiser and a can of Coke.
He managed to convince us to try and it seems that it’s very good.
Rainer seems to have an iron stomach, like James, who at the finish line ate a MacDo menu with a milkshake. No particular injury to mention, except that Orru is beginning to have a sore levator muscle.
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