Day 36 – 21 February 2020
Woke at 0530 today and set off running while the rest of the team did some jobs – shopping and refuelling the car. It was 5 miles to the first checkpoint, the first 14 of which were fairly uneventful, but during the final mile I started to hear what I thought was children screaming. I then heard women screaming and shouting, running behind me. We’ve occasionally had groups of children running behind us so at first I didn’t think too much of this, plus I had my headphones in so the noise was a bit distorted. However, it soon became clear this wasn’t the usual small group. When I looked behind me, there was a group of around 50 men, women and children, screaming and shouting at me to stop. Some of them ran ahead of me and I was forced to stop, and as I was on my own it was incredibly frightening. Some of the men in the group questioned me, wanting to know what I was doing and why I was running on my own. I managed to show them some of the photos I’ve taken of the challenge so far and thankfully they seemed happy with this and let me go. Needless to say I reached the first checkpoint feeling both shaken and relieved. When the team met me at the checkpoint I told them all about this angry mob. It turns out there’s a lot of unrest her currently, and anything out of the ordinary is viewed with fear and suspicion, and it left me feeling both drained and on high alert for the rest of today’s running. The remaining legs were completed in high temperatures which only added to the stress of the day. We called it a day at 32 miles today at which point I’d really had enough. Finishing early (at 1600) today we were hoping for a bit of more time to rest, but we managed to get lost looking for our campsite in the car, which lost us a lot of time. However, the campsite, now we’ve found it, is really nice and a log burner under the stars with a good meal was a good end to a very trying day.