Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Chapman Ventilation Death Valley Challenge - Completed

This is a quick blog post to say that the 78 mile Chapman Ventilation Death Valley Challenge was successfully completed at 21:00 on Friday evening. I always thought it would be tough but nowhere near as tough as it turned out to be. The fight against dehydration and overheating was considerable and I almost came to, what I can only describe as physical shutdown on numerous occasions. Perhaps I was foolish to carry on but I got lucky and somehow managed to get to Jubilee Pass without major incident.

I took the above picture at mile 17 ish on day 1 where I started to feel very unwell. I was certain that the hovering bird was going to swoop down and have a bite at me! 

I'll write a full review of the run on my return to the UK. In the meantime, here are a selection of Tweets that I posted to give you an idea of what I've been through during the previous 48 hours.

  • 18 miles done. I've never ran in such hostile conditions. This is about pure survival now. 
  • I've stuck to a plan so far and each mile is different to the last. Felt very unwell at miles 4 and 17.
  • Drinking about a litre of fluid every 3/4 mile. Haven't had anything to eat yet. Zero appetite. 
  • Can't overstate just how dangerous a place #deathvalley is. I'm very close to overheating. 
  • Feelings of sickness come and go. Time to dig in. 
  • Finished day 1 of the @ChapmanVent #deathvalley Challenge after 13 hours and 41 miles of running. 
  • Most difficult day of running ever. Finished running in the dark and it was still 110 Fahrenheit. Drank approx 30 litres of fluid today. 
  • Finished with a headache, nausea and tingling fingers. It remains to be seen if I can safely manage day 2. 
  • Very sleepy now. Had nothing to eat all day, yet still feel like I've got plenty of energy. Very strange. 
  • Got a canny tan despite factor 70 sun cream. 
  • I've had some close calls in the past but had cause for major concern throughout today's running. Rarely have I been as worried. 
  • Going to try and eat something now and get some much needed sleep. It's no exaggeration when I say that I'm glad to be alive. 
  • Woke up feeling very sick with a huge headache. Tablets and back to bed for an hour. Looks like I'll be starting to run at 0800 today. 
  • Off to start day 2 of the @ChapmanVent #deathvalley Challenge. Only 37 miles to the finish line. Very anxious about running today. 
  • After 25 hours of running madness I finished the @ChapmanVent #deathvalley Challenge. Never again will I attempt something so stupidly dangerous. Until the next time! 
  • The temperature was hotter than yesterday. It's going to hit 117 F tomorrow! Today's 114 F was bad enough. 
  • Almost 25 litres of fluid consumed today. I almost gave up 5 times today. I am a broken man. 
  • Looking forward to running again in the very cool North East. 
  • Running across Australia is going to be a piece of cake compared to running through #deathvalley. 
  • Final reaction and summary is that if I was ever close to death then these last 2 days were it. Will blog full thoughts soon.
As you can see, I've had a very tough time of it. It's almost 24 hours since the end of the run and I still feel very much out of sorts. I can only describe it as if all of the nutrients have vanished from my body. It's nothing a few Californian burgers won't cure!

Thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me. If you haven't yet and would like to do so, in aid of The Children's Foundation, then the link below can be used. Thanks in advance. Please bear in mind that I was very close to death when you sponsor me! Only joking. As ever, all donations, regardless of size are very greatly appreciated.