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Walking In the Clouds – A Mid Race Pinnacle

You have to love the stage names in this race. Yesterday we were heading into “Night with the Wolves” and thankfully it appears the bulk of the field has navigated this area without being bitten. They then headed into more a more motional stage of  ” I will survive” trek. This stage may be a moment that they will remember long after this race. A beautiful abseil down a waterfall lined rock descent. Like all abseils once you get vertical the fear of going over the edge dissipates into the fun are scaling down a rock face. For most anyway except those holding the “death grip”. Some truly spectacular pics were taken and the teams must have surely loved this. Whilst the treks are usually where time can be lost or won and teams battle on or disintegrate this area must have surely spurred them on. They have had some swims though and with 15 C water temperatures that is very chilly. Wetsuit or perish.  A most beautiful landscape to suffer and push hard in though.

This race has several time cut-offs with stage end times being met. These are :
ORTIGUEIRA: Stage 4 MTB later than Tuesday 9th at 22:00 hours
CARIÑO: Stage 6 MTB later than Thursday 11th May at 1:00 hours,
NARÓN (CC ODEÓN): Stage 10 MTB later than Friday 12th May at 12:00 hours
“FRAGAS DO EUME”: Stage 12 Kayak later than 19:00 hours on day 12th May
Whilst this sounds ominous the good thing is they will simply fast track a stage ahead. Whilst this puts them out of the race for a complete finish it does let them enjoy as much of the course as much as possible. A great arrangement for racers and only two teams so far have needed the cut offs.
Thankfully the race then heads to “Enjoy the landscapes ” and “Walking In the Clouds” where teams reach the highest point of the race in a trek leg. Yes there is some elevation but nothing that will hurt them too badly. This is the point where the race leaders passed through several hours ago whilst the remainder of the field enjoy the landscapes and clouds. There should be some good scenic views in this section heading out into an elevated peninsular.
Right now the top three are closely becoming a top two between the French teams of Naturex and Team FMR. Are they trying to make a statement in Spain? Not to be outdone the locals have a large group in the multinational field with Tracktherace.com heading up the local contingent having a superb race sitting in fourth position. There have been reports they are breathing down the back of the Estonians in 3rd but Timmo and the team won’t be an easy pass. Another Spanish team VK Bikes is sitting in 8th . They have visited some amazing rocky coastline which the middle of the field will hopefully see during the day.
The three lead teams are within 11 miles from front to back and starting to stretch the elastic band a bit. Naturex taking the lead over FMR and then Estonian Ace Adventure. A further 7 miles behind is a caterpillar of 13 teams all within a 10 mile distance. Quite amazing to have so much of the field within a tight group 2 days in. There will surely be some exciting competition in the mid field. Be assured they fight just as hard in the middle and end as they do in the front. That’s why adventure racing is so good. Competition remains all over the course.
Weather remains a bit drizzly with temps between 10 to 18 C. Not cozy but comfy enough for this type of adventurer. Temperatures should remain similar with the course set around a beautiful coastline area. Some decent lumps and hills but enough change in stages to not run you into the ground. Although that’s probably what I think in my armchair. Obviously much different on the ground with 8 teams needing to abandon – always a last choice. Some sickness and others simply exhausted.
Cyanosis, one of the super tough South African teams is sitting in 9th. I’m thinking that they will push closer towards the front of the field the longer this race goes along with map reader Urtzi Iglesias and 24 Hour Meals Adventure. In saying that it’s hard to say who would drop off to make way for them with the field so strong.
There are some spectacular legs to come including old growth forest, waterfalls and rainforest areas. An amazing diversity is a reasonable small section of the world.
Keep your eyes on the LIVE site as there is going to be some battles ahead. With the field so tight the teams are going to have to lay it on the line to jump ahead and this may lead to mistakes and time pain. You can keep up with who is leading , where your favourite team is and send messages to those in the race. But that’s why we all like watching such great teams go hard – day and night – sleep optional.

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