As we rolled through town and getting closer to the Main Gate (mile 50) the town was already awake and people were on the streets watching as we ran by. We were excited to get to the Main Gate as the road then started to head down hill and later would bring more open roads but first it was to get through town before early morning traffic got heavier.
Molly's stomach was feeling much better, although she said she could still feel it just a little bit but as long as it was it better we were taking advantage of the all the run time. We passed gas station which was the Petrol Pump, 86km/53miles and 10,770ft. which was nice to be running so low in elevation, this would be actually be the lower parts of the course. As we continued to dodge traffic and some stray dogs the rest of the crew had went to make a breakfast run and said they would catch up with us shortly, so we made sure we had water and were ready to run solo for at least an hour, luckily, I had eaten a Isagenix bar when I first started pacing. This morning run was really nice because it a gradual downhill and as we kept moving out of town the roads were a little wider and traffic seemed to be a little less but the occasional diesel bomb would come by and gas us! After an hour went by we were starting to wonder if the crew had actually gone to South America to pick the coffee beans for our morning coffee and made jokes how they must be sitting around enjoying breakfast somewhere while were out getting diesel bombed! haha.. but then they appeared and as we all stopped to enjoy our eggs, toast, and coffee it was a crew heaven! We were all happy and spirits seemed to really be lifted, Molly was feeling good, we had some rest and now food.
After a quick eat, Bailey and I switched out pacing as I had now been out for about 11 miles and this was a nice road to run on and enjoy. As we pulled ahead and waited to crew them, I started unpacking the back of the mothership and house cleaning, it was a mess and lots of things were disorganized and with another day on scheduled we needed it back to original status. I basically took everything out of the back and re-stacked/organized and threw all the trash away. It was much needed and later Bailey would come by for another round of reorganizing and all would be set for the day/night leading up to Rupmtse but first we had to get to Karu.
Karu was 117km/72.7miles, 10,977ft and still about 15 miles away. The Sun was out and Molly was actually starting to make up some ground during the day, she fit well with the temperatures of the day, now mid-upper 80's and still her stomach was finally on the plan. Sitting in the mothership out of the sun only made me realize how much heat there was out there and now that the driver was actually parking in the shaded areas as we waited made things nice for us. As we made our way to Karu I was out running another time with Molly and we took some great pictures and talked to a nice man on the side of the road who just couldn't believe she was running 222km and where she had started from! He knew the Khardung Village where the start was and he knew where she was at now and was really beside himself to understand WHY? Finally, we got to Karu and although there was to be a medical check here they had once again pushed on not waiting as they did at South Pullu but Molly was fine and no reason to take us out of the groove we were now in. Before we got to Karu there was this awesome drainage area from the river and as we parked next to it I thought I would run across the road and check it out. This overflow area back into the river was pretty awesome and as I stood next to it you could feel the splash of the water and the roaring was pretty loud. It was a nice few minutes to slightly cool off and explore while waiting. As we went back to the car and Molly was approaching and we decided to provide a little entertainment and the official Isagenix Dream Team Wave would do just the trick! After a great laugh and picture, the next city was Upshi.
During the day we all continued to eat Isagenix shakes and bars. Over the course of the last 2 days I had even been drinking Want More Energy to change up the pace of plain water. Today, I was feeling hungry so it seemed like I was eating every 15 mins and maybe I was as shakes, bars and IsaDelights were all going down nicely! The only thing I couldn't do while running was take IsaGreens as it just seemed to take longer to digest and I felt it running so I had to stay away from my greens for now.
The road to Upshi goes through a couple of military areas and there are road blockades which just have be driven around and of course military personnel are on the various gates standing with machine guns and full uniform, I wanted to take a pictures but thought otherwise. Upshi is 131km/81.3 miles and 11,184ft so we have started to slowly go back up in elevation. It was late afternoon at I remember at one point Molly has a stomach issue purge but seemed to be okay. Bailey was out pacing her now and I was trying to catch up on some sleep as I knew the night and getting up to Rumptse was gonna be a huge push. We were still behind on estimated time of arrival by 10pm and looking more like 11:30pm but our overall goal of under 60 hours was still very clear. I don't recall how many times I calculated out pace, distance to next town, what our avg. pace needed to be but I do know I got pretty good at calculating quickly! One time when Bailey and Molly passed and all was okay for crewing the driver and Jigme were sound asleep and very tried, again it was early afternoon and since the road was now starting to go uphill more I decided we would wait here and take a 20 minute nap, I set my alarm and went went to sleep. 20 mins later it went off but I didn't really wake up, it took another 10 mins and then I woke up in a panic as we had been gone now from them for at least 30 mins. I quickly woke up the other two and off we went to catch up, when we got there I told them I had fallen asleep, haha! During the day Molly had been drinking Sprite to keep her stomach calm, something she had not really been used to using before but it had been working so why change it, at this time she needed more but we only had coke until the next town so good thing Coke worked too. The arrival in Upshi was much needed and after a few bites for Molly she was quickly out pushing out to Rumptse.
I am thinking before we got to Upshi the medical crew back tracked and found us and actually performed a medical check on Molly and all was good. She was still dealing with some swollen hands which turns out to not be any electrolyte malfunction but a cause of the altitude as the medical crew informs us. This instills relief in Molly worries that its not something else and after she is checked we continued on. Outside of Upshi I started pacing again and now we were down into a nice power walk as Rumptse was over 20 miles away and it was going to take some time to get there but getting there was Key as this was the start of the 2nd mountain, Tanglang La. The sun was starting to set and the presence of clouds were visible and it seemed rain would be coming shortly. Somewhere along this time it started raining and I remember I was not longer pacing but the driver was at this time, so we gave him a pancho to stay dry. The night had come and we had broke out the night gear, lights and again decorated the Mothership in glow sticks. Overall, the driver, myself and Bailey all paced in this section as the night and rain seemed to drag on and not bring Rumptse any closer. At one point I remember seeing the driver sleep walking as he was pacing and I knew he was fried so I jumped out and took over.
The night was actually not too bad despite the rain and it being dark. After a few minutes you were used to it and although it seemed like it was cold from the mothership, it was actually quite nice being out there. Molly was definitely feeling tried by this time and keeping her mind occupied with easy talk and keeping her moving was the primary goal, at times she would just get behind me and follow my feet, other times she would be next to met and talking about this or that and then others there was simply no talking at all and nothing but work being done. I will say again that the road to Rumptse seemed to take freakn' forever, maybe it was the night, maybe it was because we wanted to be there so bad, and maybe because it was just far! As 10pm came and went, the recommended time to leave Rumptse for the 2nd mountain and we were still 90 mins away but having spoke to other race officials and them letting us know that as long as Molly was doing good physically she would not have a problem moving to the finish, famous last words as the drama at Rumptse would prove otherwise!
The town before Rumptse, Lato, 154km/95.6miles, 13,300ft. was a great little village and with the rain coming down consistently there happened to be a little tent place that was still open and serving tea. It was such a blessing to be able to go in the tent out of the rain and drink some tea. Jigme had informed the owners what was happening and now that we were all there they were very interested in what we were doing and watched with amazement. The tea really hit the spot and the 5-10mins rest we took there was super nice as I had been out in the rain for a while and was committed to staying out as long as it took to get to Rumptse, in the back of my mind that was my goal and then I would get some rest for Tanglang La. Molly changed out of some wet clothes here in Lato and we were off pushing to Rumptse, another 5 miles away and about 2-2 1/2 hours away.
Finally, those last miles rolled by quickly and as we approached Rumptse we sent the mothership ahead to find the rooms/check in and get some food/tea situated for us, they went ahead about a mile. Molly and I approached the town of Rumptse and we could see many houses and business that were closed and keeping an eye out for our Mothership and signs. We basically walked through the whole town and out the other side and still nothing that designated our race area. We continued to walk past the town as it looked like another house in the far distance but as we got closer it was even farther then it appeared and after walking at least 1/2 mile outside of town I concluded that we missed it, so we turned back around walked the 1/2 mile back to town and through town again, this time with me shining my lights on every house, nook and cranny I could see to find our area, I was somewhat pissed at the lack of sign designation, glow sticks or fire they could have used to mark it but as we approached the start of town, again, a car was coming and it was our Mothership, they said it was way past the town. We jumped back in the car and drove to out the 1/2 mile we had just turned around from and then just past that there was the cottage, the place we saw in the distance but said it was too far away. Rumptse had officially arrived. 161km/100mile, 13,675ft.
Rumptse, drama... Stay tuned!! the defining moment for Molly.