Tomorrow, Pete Fleck flies to Madagascar to take part in one of the greatest adventures of his life. The day after, I do the same.
The time has finally come for us to leave our respective home countries, hope that our training has been enough, and embark on 250 torturous kilometers across one of the world’s most fascinating islands.
Although we’ve done our research, taken the advice of previous competitors and done everything in our power to make sure the race itself go as smoothly as possible, we are still going in blind, and have no idea what it will actually be like.
We know it is long, we know it will be tough, but we also know with 100% certainty that it will be among the most amazing things we’ve ever done. Each day the excitement – and the fear – grow a little bit more.
The numbers look good. I’ve hit 900km in training. Pete, a few more, over 1000. A total of over 2000km between the two of us isn’t too bad.
Over 60 encounters with Big 5 animals while out running would be enough to give anyone grey hairs, but thankfully nothing too serious has happened during our criss-crossing of the dirt tracks of Londolozi. Our closest calls have certainly been with buffalo, although I did surprise a young elephant bull the other day that was only ten metres away in a riverbed next to me, unseen, and the first I knew of him was an explosion in the bushwillows as he took off, thankfully in the other direction.
Then of course there was the Sparta Pride, who camp manager Jeremy Whitfield and I accidentally blundered into last week while they were resting in the shade of a marula tree in long brown grass. A loud grunt and snarl and then tawny shapes bursting in every direction served to give us the adrenalin boost we needed to make it home in good time.
There’s no more to be done now except keep stretching, make sure we have ticked off every item on our mandatory kit-list, go to Madagascar and get it done.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated to the GWF over the course of our training. We are closing in on our R300 000 target (only around R40 000 needed), and with two weeks to go until our fundraising drive ends, we are confident we are going to hit our mark.
If you have pledged money or are determined to do so, please make your donation before the 7th September.
Here are three ways in which you can get involved:
1. Make a personal donation through our location specific donation platforms: CLICK HERE
2. Pledge an amount through your own personal fundraising efforts and submit the amount through our location specific donation platforms: CLICK HERE
3. Make or pioneer a corporate donation from your business / organisation: EMAIL RYAN JAMES OF GWF HERE.
Pete and I will be uploading a blog from the race so supporters can follow our progress. It will be accessible through www.4deserts.com.
See you on the other side!
– Pete and James