Completed stage 4 today… at 3rd position (?!)
Will have to update back a bit with more details, and a lot of pictures about stages 2 and 3 – you can look forward to see some pictures from stage 3!
In the meantime, you can see this picture, taken by the race staff during stage 2:
Stage 4 was another hot-and-humid stage, starting with a punishing sun and no hint of a cloud in the sky. This continued for quite a while before we could enjoy some clouds coming in later in the day.
After yesterday’s very long and technical stage – in which I didn’t feel so well, and took a long time to finish, today was relatively short (38 km) and straightforward (only 1,400m climbs and 1,300m descents).
I also felt much better, and was running strong from the beginning. Felt a bit strange to spend the first 1 km with the group leading the race – a first time for me, but it got even more surprising when this continued for a while, and by the first aid station I realized I am the 4th runner in.
I kept waiting for my body to shut down, but allowed it to go as it wants, while keeping an eye for body heat and a reasonable heart rate (average HR for the full stage was 140).
By the time I reached the second aid station, the staff mentioned there is something 5 minutes ahead … it took me a while to realize they were talking about the French runner at 3rd position. That was quite a shock. Still didn’t think this was relevant information for me, and just continued as we were entering the stage’s main climbing section.
Beer will have to wait another couple of days, but we have some entertainment and community-donations event this evening.
Tomorrow is a transition day, so a recovery day before our last stage of the race. This one is the shortest stage, but I expect it not to be easy – all the pains coming together, expect it to be at the top of heat and humidity, as we will be running on the beach, deep-sand beach, and super-muddy forest trails in the menu.