It was an advantage that I attended the reconnaisance a week before the race. This made many parts of the route familiar to me.
The gunstart was at 1am (Sunday). Prior to the start of the race, my friends and I picked up our race kits and checked in to a nearby lodge. We took a quick nap, ate dinner at around 7pm, slept again, and finally prepared our gears.
We were at the start line an hour before the race and had our timing chips scanned. I was feeling loads of emotion at the start – happy, scared, nervous, and estatic.
1am: Off we go!
KM7: 1st aid station – I filled my bottle with soda; had to remove my cap because it was blocking my head torch
KM16: 2nd aid station – I needed to pee! Found the perfect spot behind the tent. Drank soda again and ate some bananas. Swallowed my first GU.
The way to KM25 (3rd aid station) was a STRUGGLE. I was so sleepy and regretted that I slept only for 2 hours before the race. My legs were good but my eyes were drooping and my head felt heavy.
KM25: Took my 2nd GU and grabbed my trekking poles from my drop bag. No time for power nap but I gulped a glass of soda in the hopes for caffeine to kick in.
STILL SLEEPY. Sat several times along the trail to close my eyes for 5 minutes.
KM30: A few more kilometers to Miyamit Falls and I’m done with the first half of the race.
Brisk walked / ran my way back to AS3; left my trekking poles in my drop bag.
The road back to the finish line was a battle to block the pain and endure the tremendous heat. It was great that the aid stations have ice cubes for drinks.