Day 2, Monday 26 March 2007, 35km
Day two was probably the hardest day route wise, and certainly the hardest day after the 70km stage........
that was yet to come. The day started well, with a great flat into CP1, which I ran. Realising the error of my ways from the first day, I breezed through without stopping. After CP1, we hit the first of several big climbs, climbs which I was not about to run up! In terms of scale, I would best describe this as being akin to the Peak District, with plenty of rolling climbs. In my section of the race, it is actually very difficult to run on the climbs as you are on single track paths with little opportunity to overtake in many cases. The same is true on the descents, when you would like to run.
The next climb was more like the Lake District in scale. Finally, we hit the flat again with a nice run into CP3. All the while, the final, steepest climb of the day was visible on the horizon, behind CP3, long before the checkpoint itself became visible. This was a typical route – a wide open plain that seems to stretch out forever, before hitting the climb at the end of it. The 30km to CP3 took me around 30 mins less than the previous day’s time, which was pleasing, particularly given the tougher terrain today.
The climb after CP3 was simply horrific! Imagine a 400m rock face with a sand drift up the side. We essentially tackled this head on and went straight up that sand drift.  Being soft sand, you struggle to get traction. After a rock scramble at the top, the final bit was roped.  As we cross the top, you can see the bivouac below us in the distance, a welcome sight, although one that seems to take an age to get to. Overall, I took 7hrs and 26 mins to finish today, but pulled up around 50 places in the rankings.  My feet are still fine and I am beginning to take less care during the day, changing socks only once during the race today. However, coming in at position 479, whilst a vast improvement, is still not good enough!!
Today, we lost Jason, who had to pull out due to the return of a calf injury. He has completed the MdS before and will no doubt do so again. Having stormed into the top 150 on day 1 despite ‘taking it easy’, it is a surprise to see him go, particularly as I imagined the whole tent coming through in tact. Another sand storm brings the tent down, but tonight we can’t be bothered moving and stay put. In fact, tonight we don’t really notice it came down!