Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Race to Cradock - Elandsberg

We were tired. In the absence of a mirror I had no idea how I looked. If it was anything like Casper, then I needed a shower and a good nights sleep. Unfortunately that would have to wait until the following day.

We had one more checkpoint to go (Newlands) before the finish in Cradock some 130 km's further down the trail. Under normal circumstances it should take 10 hours to finish. But the circumstances were far from normal. Elandsberg is the forth checkpoint of the race. We had covered 440km's since leaving Rhodes the previous morning. So far we had been on the go for 39 hours during which Casper had managed a little shuteye and I had only managed to watch him sleep.

The prospect of heading out into the night didn't have us trenbling with excitement. We snacked a bit and had tea. Casper tucked into another custard. He then sat down on the couch and fell asleep.

I milled about for a while and was interrupted by the arrival of Anthony. I honestly thought he was destined to spend the night on the mountain after he headed up the wrong ridge. As it turned out he got to the top and saw our lights disappearing down the trail below him. He made his way down and was able to find the right track. It had rattled him a little and taken the wind out of his sails. His initial intention was to push through to Newlands which, at his pace, was less than 3 hours away. His unscheduled detours on Elandsberg had cost him a couple of hours. He decided that he would hit the sack and leave early in the morning and have breakfast at Newlands.

Alex was 3 hours ahead, Anthony was going to ground, and Fjord's last known position was in Hofmeyr. We needed to press on if we wanted to secure a second place finish.

We filled our water bottles, donned helmets and gloves and pushed our bikes across the lawn toward the garden gate.

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