Apr 3, 2012
Distance today = 63.24 km; Total distance = 4466.08 km; Location = Durango – 37 16.184′ N, 107 53.066′ W; Start time = 0840, Finish time = 1809
It's a good thing we can't read the future. If we knew what we had to contend with each day, we sometimes wouldn't get out of bed. Today might have been one of those for me.
Not that it was a bad day in the end – just that the weather conditions had me wishing I was in a warm bath (which I soon was after finishing). It's when days like this are over that you actually appreciate them.
I managed to cover a big 63 km, but it was the climbing and altitude that added the spice to the acheivement. Both the ascent (1,524 metres of uphill) and the maximum elevation of 2,566 metres, were records so far for my run around the world. I actually got within 80 metres of the elevation of the Col du Galibier in France, the third highest pass in Europe, and one of the toughest climbs in the Tour de France.
All this was done in reasonable weather conditions …… until late in the day (although it did snow quite heavily at one stage during the ascent). About 5 pm it started snowing heavily again, but this time it got really cold. The snow persisted for so long that I ended up totally soaked, and that's when things get nasty. The combination of being soaked when the temperature is below zero results in rapid hypothermia. It's amazing how, when your fingers get that cold, there's not a thing you can use them for – they lose all strength and are completely useless. Even putting gloves on requires a herculian effort.
But it all ended well, with a nice hot bath (see photos), and a lovely dinner cooked by Libby.
I should also mention the fantastic dinner we had last night in Cortez at the Main Street Brewery. Not only did they have great food, but also some unique and delicious beers and wines. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the region.
I also took a call this morning, during my run, from my old Tour de Bois friend PT (not to be confused with my other friend PT, from Perth and Shanghai). I have not seen this PT for a few years, as he has been working in the Middle East. In fact, he called me this morning from India. It's always good to talk to friends during the run, especially from exotic locations all over the world. Isn't technology amazing?
Note: As is usually the case with long days, my GPS battery ran out and I used my auxiliary Garmin to complete the day. Therefore, you will find two Garmin data links at the top of the page. It certainly appears that cold temperatures run the battery down more quickly.