As the final runners rose in full spirits, yet hobbling around, it was another early start as we watched them get ready as the sun rose over the river. An amazing setting for the final stage. A few kit checks, feet checks and the runners were off. The rest of us hobbling around inspecting each others wounded legs and all relieved we were still in one piece. It was on the sweat bus to the finish, the pleasant fish smelling beach front with a beautiful view of a massive tanker. as the medics set up shop, the finish line was set up (after a few attempts), Katie and I headed to the river edge and found a table to sit and order some well earned fish and chips and some beer, it was 9am after all…
As the first runners came in we cheered from the side lines, finished our breakfast and limped to greet them at the finish line restaurant. Everyone was in high spirits at the end of an amazing week. It was all over. Bags returned, back on the sweat bus and to Hotel Bagdad, also known as Hotel Paradiso…a dip in the pool to ease the feet and some make up and hair gel to prepare for the prize giving party.
A shakey bus ride to the beautiful setting looking at the sunset across the Amazon with all our new friends. A few miffed words from some at the events misgivings but after a few beers and some hearty grub, Shirley returned to present the prizes. As Dan Dillon picked up his 1st place, he grabbed the mic and said a few eloquent Glaswegian words. In a nutshell, he backed up the race, it is what it is, a tough race in an amazing location and if it wasnt for Shirley, none of us would be there. That said and done, everyone was on their way, some onward to a local bar, some of us to bed for the 3am rise to get home !
As the tired and weary, some of which hadnt been to bed, got back on the bus to the airport, everyone was ready to go home. With a long journey ahead of us and some ankle swelling to come, everyone was exhausted yet all seemed happy.
On returning to the UK and the facebook frenzy that has followed with new friends, photos of the event, you cant really explain the ‘jungle comedown’. It was such a magical, mystical, obliteration of the mind and body that you miss it, strangely.
As a new career is planned, a new race is searched I can only thank my fellow runners and medics for their support throughout the week – and to my Katie who came with me to support through heaven and hell. Without her, I wouldnt even have got to the start line.
Until next time, obrigada !