Stage 4 – 42 km (ish)

An easy day today apparently. Flat. Now as most people who competed this year and the years before, you should take what you are told with a pinch of salt. Early rise out of the jungle to some lush wet terrain and some more steep inclines (flat and easy I believe its referred to). The highlight of the first bit was the 1km water featurette. ‘just float down’ said the race organiser Shirley who greeted us at the stream crossing. Feet first I jumped in ready for the relaxing float downstream to the the next checkpoint. Bash, bang and whollop. My legs were getting smashed to pieces underwater. Then climbing over logs, swimming under – always looking out for snakes and whatever else was lurking in the water. Still, greeted at the checkpoint by the medics who had been on the local cognac all morning. A quick sip of cashew juice and off we went, again getting a good pace but then started to wobble a bit as the heat was taking its toll. Checkpoint 2 was a heavenly sight, Katie waiting patiently to service me with some water and nuts. More taping of my well chafed back and a random clown driving along to the village path with loud music blearing – was it the heat making me hallucinate ? goodness knows but off I went on a small trot to the next checkpoint. More hills !! this was supposed to be easy. Delved into my race bag for some gels to help keep me going however they wouldnt stay down. Initially some mild heartburn followed by some vomitus which didnt go down well (ha !) with the medics as I stumbled into the final check point overheating and very weak. Some ice was thrown over me to cool down, a sneaky banana and the final stretch to the finish for the day. At this point I was ready to throw the towel in. My feat, back and chafing between the legs (wont go into detail) i started to realise that this race was a tough one and I wasnt going to last much longer. More stumbling, more swearing and finally got into the finish where a slumped my bag and headed straight for the medical tent. The lovely Subias from Spain gave me some of his magic powder to add to my water which made me feel better immediately (not sure what was in it but some form of recovery drink). Made me realise I have my nutritian and hydration strategy a bit muddled but Katie helped force it down me. The leader of the race, the delightful and pleasantly fragrant Dan Dillon from Glasgow told Katie to feed me instantly and drink loads as I would thank him for it later. As I got a head massage whilst getting my rotting feet re-taped. Katie was off into the night to the checkpoint for the next stage so I rested in my hammock contemplating the next stage of 105 km. As I rested in my hammock I felt a judder and suddenly fell in the darkness to my arse on the sand, my hammock had come loose… much to the nearby Brazilians delight, I found the funny side and re-tied and went to sleep as it was up at 3am for the 5am start. As a slowly rested my eyes, I could hear Jungle Jim getting annoyed with the noisy bombaderos, and fair play to the man, he just got out of his hammock and moved it. by this time it was arround midnight so I think I fell asleep as I was awake at 3am to get the head torch on and prep some breakfast.

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