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DID YOU KNOW? Over 275 people a day are newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
DID YOU KNOW? Nearly 1 million Australians have Type 2 diabetes.
DID YOU KNOW? The cost to Australia of diabetes is nearly $7billion per annum.
DID YOU KNOW? Over 60% of people with Type 2 diabetes can overcome it with fitness and healthy lifestyle.

Day 1 -Ron

Monday, March 05, 2012

Day 1 was to be a day where the Born to Run team would discover the answers to a few questions.

For me, I wondered how I would fare -
- Carrying a 10kg Pack
- Running at 3000m altitdude
- and how I would handle the rough surface.

I was surprised that I was able to run long sections of the race. After 200m I was puffing heavily at a gentle pace, but that seemed to pass and I didn/t notice a big altitude effect. The surface was a bit easier than I imagined, so all in I was pleased with todays run. We ran as a team, as per the rules, and all finished well.

The conditions were good early, but soon warmed up. I have a little pack rash that I will need to tape tomorrow.

I may have to back off the pace a little tomorrow, as I am a bit stiff, 8 hours after,

So tomorrow will reveal how we will handle the back to back running ahead of us.

GPS Distance 31.3k  Time 4:16

Stage 1 -Roger

Monday, March 05, 2012

Finally got running today! After months of anticipation, running with loaded packs, late nights ordering bulk foods, gels, bars, mandatory kit, and clothing to suit an environment likely to be anywhere between freezing and 40 degrees C we got to kick up some desert dirt. Team Born to Run is an assortment of unlikely elements that are yet to fully meld but already work together well. Matt Donovan’s the least experienced as far as running goes but is just nailing it whenever we head out together. 

A crossfit instructor with a genuine interest in nutritional theories and bodywork, he has trained by running 2-3 hour blocks wearing a 20kg weight vest. That on its own means nothing, but the guy’s both a quiet hard worker and leader by example. When he gets through this year he stands to be the youngest 4 Deserts Grand Slammer yet. The long day might challenge him with the brutal Pure South Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon in New Zealand being his biggest hitout so far, but Matt loves a challenge. His dad’s a dreamer with a vision bigger than his sweat gland. Since this whole journey began for the rest of us just a few months ago, Greg keeps pulling out the big surprises, both in terms of what he brings to the table and his own efforts. Also training hard, he ran just a bit outside himself today. Not a fan of half measures, backing up day after day will present Greg with a different challenge altogether. A dynamic father and son pairing, they’ll likely swap the lead more than a few times over the coming days.

Ron Schwebel directs a 12-hour race back in Sydney and at age 60 comes to the 4 Deserts with prospects of becoming the oldest Slammer so far. If he keeps playing team like he did today, he’ll not only get himself through but he’ll make the struggle to achieve this ambitious feat of endurance easier for the rest of us too. He loves his distances, time targets, and Garmin, but more than that I think he loves the possibilities of what we’re doing and he’s eager to make it happen. Deliberately left til last though first in my thoughts, Jess Baker is primed to knock this entire year of Racing The Planet out of the park. Even as the thin air and the first slope and overloaded backpacks kicked in, her face was beaming in the breaking light of day this morning, also so happy to finally get her run on. The strongest runner in our group, but bound like all of us by the 25-metre team rule, at least a couple of us would love to see her get the chance to Race The Planet solo and dominate like we know she could.

More specifically, today rocked. Open rocky plains, baked in sun and devoid of even the smallest vegetation were the name of the game, as were sweeping mountain vistas, red, empty riverbeds, and a sense that the week ahead will really try to stare us down before letting us pass. Reaching camp in a time of 4:15 for just over 30km, we ATE and DRANK – activities newly endowed with a near religious fascination. After exploring a nearby network of highly mineralized river gullies – again totally bone dry and crack-surfaced – we returned to camp where a sudden wind storm destroyed 2 shelters. Meanwhile, rain clouds darkened the horizon, obscuring the peaks of 6,000-metre volcanoes with foreboding grey haze while wind continued to blast us in our patch of isolated sunlight. Eerie.

Tomorrow we run through the Valley of Death. Yes, for real. Can’t wait!!

Update from Day 1 -Matt

Monday, March 05, 2012

First a big hello from everyone following from home. If your reading this it means I have survived day one. Better than that i am feeling quite well having cruized through the first 33km of day one. no blisters, injuries or little niggles from me has me in pretty high spirits.

The coarse was altered due to rain shaving a couple of kms from the total from the days running. The team managed to iron out a few equipment problems early and posted a pretty good time of 4 hours and 10 mins. My first 2 hours of running today was a pretty harsh lesson in bowel management. Breakfast might have to be re-thought to avoid loosing it out the back.

The coarse itself was absolutly stunning. At one stage we were running through a small canyon with a nice brease and a sureal mountain range as the backdrop. Hot knees was present to catch some of the action and everyone is in for a treat when the footage is cut together.

The weather was again pretty harsh. at camp this afternoon we spent about an hour securing the tents from blowing away. not exactly what you want to be doing when trying to recover.

The rest of the team is holding up pretty good and tomorrow should be another strong day. Thinking of everyone at home and i know your thinking of us. Keep the love coming!

Stage 1 -Greg

Monday, March 05, 2012

After all of the buildup and a restless night it was great to get going thismorning. As I was possibly going to be the slowest in our team I decided I would try and set the race pace by my heartrate. I decided to go for 135 to be able to sustain this over a long time. Unfortunately I soon realised that with a 13kg pack and 3200m altitude it would only produce a brisk walk. So I picked it up to 145 which produced a slow run before settling for 150 to get a reasonable pace happening. I then stuck on this.

The team worked well together, and today was a big learning experience for us all.     The terrain was varied and quite rocky in places, with undulating hills. By the time we got to a long uphill canyon section at 3hrs a 155 heart rate was only producing a walk! The team pushed on through the stunning scenery.

I was wearying a bit but when we got to the last checkpoint with only 3.5km to go mainly downhill the spirits lifted and we soon saw camp. A bit of a struggle on the home stretch through dehydration I think and we crossed the line in about 4.15 I think. We probably could have gone faster, but they dont hand out the medals after day1.It was equaly as hard as most marathons, with 3 more days of this before the long day.

I figured our team has 178 marathons ahead over the next 15 months, so we are now 4 down 174 to go.

Now in camp with very high winds threatening to blow our tents away. Matt gave me a good massage after a couple of post race cramps. Plan to have an early night and do it all again in the morning. A bit like Atacama groundhog day!

Love to family and friends at home, will  blog again tomorrow (If I make it!)..

Stage 1 -Jess

Monday, March 05, 2012

There's something wrong about being sat in the middle of the desert and writing a blog. My preference would be not to, but then as I ran along today in such whoop-inspiring vistas, I just felt lucky, so lucky. If Team Born to Run would like me to write a blog, write a blog I shall. I think another reason I do not like writing blogs, is that I don't feel I have the words to express just HOW amazing it is. Imagine windy rock canyons with stunning rock formations to the left, the right, the front and behind. Imagine running free across a plain of beautiful "nothing", with hazy snow capped mountains in the far distance. A good warm-up of 33km today with heavy packs. The team worked well together. We've experienced some awesome sandstorms, and had to weight our basic tent down with rocks. 12 in a tent. One British couple who are motivating gigglefits. I am so happy. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Lets Climb A Mountain -Jess

Sunday, March 04, 2012

3100m off-piste ascent from sand to snow.  5500m altitude crazy on Mount Toco in San Pedro.  Favourite quote comes from Matt Donovan, "I keep drifting in and out of consciousness"!  And the event hasn{t even started yet...  :)

Why Run When You Can Blog -Roger

Sunday, March 04, 2012

No, seriously, here we are in beautiful downtown San Pedro and i'm sitting on a computer thinking out loud. What a strange choice. Legs are burnt, beaten and happy from yesterday's high altitude assault on Mt Toco with Jess Baker, Ron Schwebel, and Gregand Matt Donovan of Team Born To Run. For some great pics, go to my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/roger.hanney and have a look. Will be back here to type something hopefully generally edutational shortly but for now i'm off to get some thermal gloves that work and perhaps check out a flamingo colony. ; )

Competitor Briefing - The Countdown Begins -Matt

Sunday, March 04, 2012

After another huge buffet breakfast at our beautiful hotel the Born to Run Team made our way accross town to the competitor briefing. Some of the more colourful points of information and hazards that runners must look out for include lightning, landmines, wild stray dogs and flooding. Dogs have been known to follow runners hundreds of kilometers to the end of the race. We were told they were mostly friendly but i suspect they were just being polite and waiting for and easy dinner. Suprisingly lightning has been identified as the primary concern and we were given very clear instructions of what dto do when we inevitably get caught in a storm. I was amoung a number of "special mentions" as being the youngest competitor in the field. Team born to run is getting very excited and itching to start the first day which is forcast for rain. Thinking of everyone at home. Thanks for all your support and well wishes, it means everything to us!! Adios Amigos! Cya on the other side!