I woke up an hour late, and laced up my running shoes, and headed out the door at 4am. I wanted to run a few hours in the dark as I knew at this time there would be less traffic than the insanity of mid day traffic in Tangier and Tetoun. I would also be avoding the deadly heat for a few hours. Abdul Azziz, my mobile aid station was following me along the way. We had pizza, watermelon, 10 liters of water, imitation Gatorade, two bottles of ensure, boiled potatoes, 6 gels, and 4 packs of cliff blocks for fuel.
New energy came out of me when the sun rose an hour and half later. It was here that the elevation began to kick in. It was only 2 weeks prior I had finished the Grandfather Mountain marathon. This run was equivalent to two Grandfathers in terms of elevation gain, and 4 miles short of 2 marathons. The heat was unbearable in Tetoun. Running in the dry heat with the sun beating down on my body was difficult at times. Shade was nowhere to be found. Twice I sat in the car with Abdul Azziz in the car for 10 min just to shade my body from the scorching sun. Both times I contemplated abandoning my idea of running from Tangier to Cabo Negro. If I didn’t finish this run now, and decided to drop, I would have to come back again next year to do another run I kept telling myself. I kept on going. I reached Cabo Negro in 9:27 (11:51 pace). I surely thought I would do this run in much longer time considering that my legs were still a little trashed from Toubkal 3 days prior, and the sun ravishing my body.
I built a small reputation for myself in North Morocco, the crazy American that ran longer than anyone they knew. Some of them promised to run with me next year!
the longest day on the AT - (originally published March, 2004; photo credit: Mike Day) The thought of a Shenandoah Challenge Adventure Run (SCAR v2) popped in my head not long after ...
3 days ago