Hot day behind us. Getting Darren through this portion of the race was criticial. It's the hottest of the 135 miles from noon-5pm on day one. Even though he runs through the day on Tuesday, we are on the other side of Death Valley and it might hit 90. We were at a steady 112 degrees all day today.
Darren clipped right along from when we (Ken Wood and I - Jessica) pick him up at Furnace Creek. On and off, Ken and I ran with him through the 6 hours of crewing we did. The pace Darren kept was very strong and steady and in great spirits. Biggest reason for high spirits and attitude was because he and NO BLISTERS! In 2009, we were already on blister care starting around mile 35. Darren just left mile 42 and his feet look awesome!
Some calf cramping initiated me to kinesio-tape both his heels to create better stability for his feet/hips. This did wonders for his gait. I've been making him do stretching on a regular basis to keep his back spasms at bay and his entire musculo-skeletal system in check.
Mile 30-42 is in the Sand Dunes part of Death Valley. It's windy and brutal. One good thing was that Darren had a great tailwind for most of that part. During a few last curvy turns to get into Stove Pipe Wells, Darren hit a hard stretch for 3 miles.
The wind was beating him down some. While taking a few minutes to stretch at the van, Darren decided to vomit. Puke. Spew. However you want to explain it. Morning breakfast! Getting that out was about the best thing that could every happen. Having that sit in his stomach for most of the day was not allowing him to completely digest all the things he was taking in.
Heading into SPW, Darren's stomach was feeling much better, however now that he had not gotten any calories in him for some time, and the heat was keeping his heart rate up, we had to cool him down. After checking in at mile 42 in SPW, we met the other crew members. They were great help in getting Darren set up to cool his body down, and do some much needed stretching and "feet up" time.
After a 45 minute pit stop, Darren was on his way. Duane, Ken K and Audrey are on the move with him to get him up the 12 mile hike up Townes Pass, and down the other side. Ken and I took a swim, showered, prepped for the night shift, ate dinner and are now going to head for a few hours of ZZZZ's.
We will pick him up around mile 75 at 2:30-ish in the AM. The temps drop to 65-70 at night so it will be a good time for Darren to eat some solid food, and reset for the two mountain passes to come.
Good Night Everyone!
Jessica and Ken
PS -- And, Niki, Ken will NEVER do this race. You have nothing to worry about ;-)