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REPORT FROM CARLOS IN THE JUNGLE: We are alive. We finished stage 1 in 9 hours. It was hard very hard - had to stop 3 times and cool down because it was so hot. Two Jaguars were spotted today by the Army. We have seen things which we can only describe as awesome. Four people have been taken to hospital evacuated from heat exhaustion. It is very hot.
Swamp day tomorow.
The first stage.The waiting is nearly over and as expected, apprehension was rising in base camp the day before the Jungle Marathon begins. It was also obvious that some of the competitors from less tropical climates were suffering with the intense heat. It was just as well that everyone arrived a few days in advance to acclimatize.
After breakfast the competitors received their first briefing from the military about the potential dangers in the jungle: snakes, jaguars, spiders, piranhas and poisonous plants. They were warned how to avoid pain, paralysis and possible death. During this instructio
n we had our first medical emergency. One of the volunteers fainted and injured her face. The cause, most likely, was dehydration.
After lunch the Champion chips were handed out to each competitor. These small plastic chips will be laced onto the left shoe of each athlete so that their times can be recorded accurately. Not only do these chips provide timings at each check point for the daily results, they are an essential safely measure so that it is known what the last point they reached should they not arrive at the next.
Shirley and Penaforte ran the first stage of the course in the morning so that she could report back as to what to expect tomorrow. All the highs and lows were recounted in the evening briefing with any last questions from the competitors answered.
Now it is night time and the competitors are sleeping while the bugs party on my laptop screen. Tomorrow the adventure really begins. Will everybody finish the first stage....?
THE RACE BEGINS - Race Day 1The day began early with the competitors ready at the starting gate for 7.30am following medical & kit checks. Some raced off at full sprint whilst others began at a more measured pace down the beach towards the first check point.
This first stage of the Jungle Marathon was 15km consisting of swamp crossings and lots of very steep inclines and declines. All of which were sure to test the
competitors endurance and stamina, even in the lesser early morning heat.
Gradually athletes began to arrive at base camp and recount their adventures on the day, often with photos accompanying them: a tarantula defeated by a single hornet, boa constrictors with the circumference of a grown man’s thigh and even jaguars with large saucer eyes watching from a distance.
And so the race continued with only one competitor deciding not to go to the end and one unable reach the finish within the time allotted. No serious medical problems were experienced during the race, however after the first arrivals began to rest in their hammocks, the first medical emergency occurred. Three more followed shortly after, with three evacuations to the nearest hospital in Santarem two and a half hours away.
Although one of the emergencies was due to a previously existing medical condition, the others were due to dehydration and too much salt intake. These outcomes should have been prevented with better fluid control and a slower pace in the extreme heat and humidity. A lot of athletes were rightly frightened and concerned by these events.
The second stage tomorrow is longer and consists of further water crossings. All we can hope for is that everyone keeps properly hydrated and stays within their physical limits. Nothing would be better than to see all the remaining competitors continue to the third stage
As you might have heard us shout in your ears, we are going to Brazil to run the Jungle Marathon in October in order to raise funds for the work of St Clare's Foundation. If we have not yet had the chance to shout in your ears then please read about our challenge.
A group of four of us are going to Brazil in October in an attempt to run a 200km jungle marathon. The 200km will be run in 6 stages.
Runners are self-sufficient. They are required to carry their foods and provisions during the race, which is run through numerous swamps, in the midst of humidity and heat as well as the eventual wild beasts that can be found on the way. This has been described as one of the world’s most challenging marathons and we are giving everything we can to reach the end.
Nights will be spent sleeping in hammocks at campsites along the shores of the river. If you would like to find out more about the event check the link below.
AIDS is killing a whole generation of Kenyan parents. Hundreds of thousands are being orphaned and Kenya’s large extended families, which have traditionally taken the orphans in, cannot cope any longer. These children are being left to live on their own, or with frail and elderly grandparents. They are vulnerable to abuse and rape, and often end up uneducated and living in desperate poverty. They typically do badly at primary school and can’t afford to go to secondary school.
St Clare’s Foundation wants to give these vulnerable AIDS orphans a lifeline – by creating a place where they can flourish: a combined children’s home and school. With your help, we can give them the childhood and education that they need and deserve. To find out more about the work that St. Clare is doing or to find out more about the charity check: www.stclaresfoundation.org.uk
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