Thursday, 04 June 2015
Rain, wind and running at the Richtersveld
Day 2 of the Richtersveld Wildrun took place in freezing conditions as
runners made their way across approximately 35km of mountainous desert
terrain through driving rain and wind. It was no ordinary day in the
desert and the double rainbow that greeted runners at the start of the
days running was indication of just how extraordinary this kind of
weather is in this part of the world.
Double Olympian gold medallist, James Cracknell arrived early on
Wednesday morning from the United Kingdom after being delayed due to
previous commentating commitments in Poland. He did not have much time
to recover from his travels though as he was off and running an hour
after his arrival, joining Thabang Madiba, Dayle Wheeler, Katya Soggot
and Nikki Kimball in the final batch start of the day.
Madiba took off like a rocket and after five kilometres he had already
opened up a three minute lead on his closest rivals. At the first
official checkpoint he had overtaken all the runners who started ahead
of him and he sped off on a mission to the finish. If not for the slight
route change because of the change of campsite due to inclement
weather, his finish time of 3:14:03 could well have been faster than
Bernard Rukadzas time at the same stage in 2014.
The second male and first two females crossed the finish line
approximately 11 minutes later when Dayle Wheeler, Katya Soggot and
Nikki Kimball crossed the line hand-in-hand in 3:33:35 with James
Cracknell coming home not long after in a time of 3:41:56. Karoline
Hanks was third lady home in a time of 4:03:23.
After a tough day in the office for all runners spirits are still high,
with weather conditions steadily improving and the promise of a little
bit of sunshine on day 3.