In LAX waiting for the long flight to Dubai
Outskirts of Dubai
Condo Complex ion Dubai
This is the oustide of Terminal in Dubai. It is another world in there with high end shops throughout the complex.
Downtown Amman at dawn
Apartment across fro the Hotel.. they are well connected.
Sports Center where the locals were playing soccer
Cool Mosaic near the sports complex
Queen Jenn holding court at Trader Vic's in Amman
Way too serious...
Men's bathroom art.
Courtyard at the Palace Hotel
Resort at the Dead Sea at Amman Beach
Road trip to the Dead Sea
We found these street vendors along the way selling freshly picked chic peas and bags of nuts.
We found this mud while at the Dead Sea.
Jordanian essprsso. Very stong...
Not sure what they are growing here.
This is the middle East's version of the 7-11 or Ciricle K
That's where we are heading.
We are at Sea Level and still have a long descent to the valley floor.
390 meters belwo sea level.. We were less than an hour's drive to Jerusalem.
The town of Jericho in the distance.
Yep that's where we are...
First view of the Dead Sea.
One of many checkpoints
High end resort on the Dead Sea.
Amman Beach is where we stopped.
After the Dead Sea we stopped to shop..
Then off to eat some fine Jordanian Cuisine.
Yum... Hummus and fresh nann bread.
Passed on the post lunch smoke.
We survived the race check in and now waiting for the bus to take us to Wadi Rum
Jack's just chilling... Jenn is trying not to look nervous..
This is my race pack.. Old school on the ground pad but it only weighs 4 ounces.
Team Not Dead Yet with our latest inductee..
Industrial looking town we passed through on the trip down to Wadi Rum.
Bus ride was a chance to meet new friends..
Most of the towns we passed through looked like this. Must be the same architect.
Along this route they were installing a new pipeline...
Pit Stop.... The line to the mens room was longer than the line to the ladies room... When have you see that happen???
General and his best friend...
Some local art..
I liked this one.
Reminds me of a Beirstadt painting
This was an oil painting.. Well done..
More from the same artist
Starting to get close to Wadi Rum... Many domes in this region between vast expanses of sand.
Jenn and James.... Are we there yet???
We are headin to these mountains...
Entering the Wadi Rum Protected Area
The busses only took us within 2 miles of the camp. We had to shuttle in on 4x4s across the sand to get to the camp.
No parking meters here.
Impressive domes in the background.
We have arrived in Camp 1
These are Bedouwin tents.
We had a conventional tent for the first night only. H
Nice pattens for our walls
Dinner time at Camp 1 in Wadi Rum
This gives you an idea how much sand running we are in for.
Final gear check and packing. Jack looking very focused.
Rita training other RTP staffers on how to use the SAT phone
Great backdrop for a camp.
My tent is the one on the far right. They call our tent "The Mint"
Rita with a race briefing.
Race Ready...Here we go..
Jack ready to rock the desert.
Some local music
Into the valley of sand. We will meander between the domes and cherish the fleeting shade.
Traditional tea display.
Start of Day 1. Let the sand running begin...Where is it soft? Where is it hard? How can you run on it with the least amount of effort possible. I will ask myself this question countless times over the next 6 days..
This sand was very soft. Running on the flats felt like running uphill.
The sun baked us early.. broiled me later, burnt me before I finished the day.
The strategy of running in other's foot depressions worked for a while as long as the stride length was similar. Later I felt like I was running on some of the runners mental depressions. Day one was a rough day for me.
Here we snaked through a canyon with a steep descent in the sand into the shade. Short relief but I relished the drop in temperature.
Looking back from where we came.
Some long sections of soft sand had me slowing down the pace.
In the distance is the passage we took below the big dome.
I found this cistern just a few feet off the track we were running. This just captured rain water. I stopped here to change my front pack to move it to the back of my pack to increase the airflow so I could run cooler.
An yes there was water in there. Not sure I would drink it unless I was in a really bad place...
Through where I would expect the camels and the goats would drink from..
Back on the track to finish this stage.
Peter in the red turban was a fantastic energizing force at these aid stations. Always asked the right questions and got me out of the aid station with a much better attitude that I arrived.
Dolphen, in the hat and glasses on top was another driving positive force at aid stations and the finish line.
This gal from Italy was about the same pace as me in during a few stages. She had to keep wrapping her hamstring. I think I met her at the Libyan Challenge in years back.
Back at camp after Stage 1. A tough day for many of us with the heat.
This gal was doing yoga for at least an hour across from our tent. She was so focused like nothing else in the world mattered..
Leah was one of the volunteers and was another positive force to keep us motivated. Great volunteers at this event.
Above Camp 2 for a little post stage stretch.. I highly recommend this to keep actively recovering after each stage.
Another sand corridor to navigate. I can see it would be easy to get lost in a place like this.
Many canyons to explore between the formations. Each has a unique biome with plans and animals.
Our Camp 2.
Sun setting at Camp 2. Time to get back and rest up for the next stage.
It is breafast time on Day 2... Hot water was ready by 5AM.. had my coffee every morning... some people even brought their french press..
Here is the entire course.
Cynthia was in our tent and was a big fan of Saltstick.
Day 2 had its share of sand.
Day 2 was a bit cooler because we got some cloud cover that lasted most of the day. This was a welcome change from the day before.
Notice the tracks from the vehicles. This course was very accessable by vehicle and we had race management checking on us throughout the day.
Looking behind me there were other runners closing in on me.. Felt some pressure to keep moving but the views demanded I stop to snap some shots.
When it got hot it felt like I was being chased by zombies.. not moving too fast but they would catch you if you stopped for any duration.
The sands started to change in color and textrure at this section of the course. Much softer under foot and had a red shade to it.
This guy chasing me had full leg tights. I think this would have been too warm but he was making good time.
Pink flag on the far left directs me to the course. With all the foot prints and the vehicle tracks it was an easy race to follow.
See the little shelter in the rocks. This was just before a little rock scramble and relatively close to camp.
I bet this was much cooler than being in the sun. I would have chekced it out but it was close to the end of the run and I just wanted to improve my ranking from the epic I had the day before.
This couple ran together for the entire race. The route goes through the slot on the left side of the pic.
Saw this cool lizard going after a beetle. Zoom in an you can see the beetle. He nailed it and then saw us and left it squirming on the rocks.. Hope he came back later and finished it.
This guy was quite a climber.
Starred Agama, Laudakia stellio
Camp 3 view from my tent.
The wind picked up a bit and brought on this haze. Still cooler thant the day before but for the runners finishing later in the day it was still hot.
This is the corridor of sand we followed for the last hour of the stage. I picked up some cool looking stones here for some of my friends at work. Carried an extra pound of rocks for the remaining hundred miles.
The sand had different colors depending how close to the cliff you ran. Still soft sand where flat felt like uphill.
Looking north from above the camp I thought the race would go this way but it actually followed a narrow slot canyon just northwest from camp. If you check out the GPS location associated with this picture you can see it.
A great location for camp 3.
One of our support vehicles making the trip to town.
Jenn enjoying her tea just before sunset.
Now this is my clean non-smelly shirt. Well worth the weight.
Jenn strking the wind blown hair pose..
Jenn looking great after a few days in the desert. and yes... she did "Run Pretty Far"
Cool Sunset that just got better.
Medical Staff joined us up there for the solar show. Great bunch of docs.
I can use a shave...
A sunset that keeps on giving
Wild looking rock plastered on another rock. Both were solid.
Lizard in the crack..
He knows all the good places to hide.
Interesting overhanging rock formations with many different kinds of rocks. Among the sandstone I found many pieces of quartz.
This would make for some very interesting bouldering.
Sunset show continues..
Final Sunset shot for the day.
Team Not Dead Yet sporting some fancy gaiters. Thanks DirtyGirl Chrissy..
Jenn and Cynthia comparing quads.
Five minutes before the start.
Heading up the slot canyon on very soft sand.
To use poles or not to use poles. It is personal.. I opted to NOT use poles but I could see the value in some sections.
The Canyon got narrow up ahead and had us in queue to wait our turn to get through the cataract.
A bit of rock scrambling and then it was off to the races.
Now out of the canyon the pace picked up and the sand got more firm.
Emerging from the canyon the runners picked up the pace.
Here the GPS in the camera picked up a signal and you can see where we popped out of the slot. A long section of soft sand followed.
Zombies on the prowl heading up the hill after me. Had to get moving....
A little down hill in the soft sand... there was not hard pack to be found.
Looking back only one person in sight. I was making good time here.
Another slot canyon awaits.
Note the beetle tracks.. I think it is the local drive thru for the insects.
Cool descent on very soft sand just past the runner ahead.
This is Wanda and I ran together for many miles throughout the week. Got Chicked by her on one stage in the last 1/4 mile. She ran more hills than I did but I think it caught up with her on the long day.
Big walls in the distance. This would be a climbing mecca if it was in the US.
More sand hills... Small hills but still took some effort in the heat. Much hotter than the day before.
This looked like a tourist encampment. Bathrooms, tables, tents but nobody was home when we passed by.
Wonder if they had showers in there??
Cool rock formations here.
As we approached a settlement we saw these guys grazing.
Wonder why the tied their feet?
Momma and baby.
Wanda took this shot.. Me and the one humper...
On our way to the salt flat and camel racetrack...
I think this homestead is where the camels hang out at night.
A couple of roosters in there.
Salt Flats were a welcome change from the sand running. Finally got to get some good strides and pacing going.
Thats where we cam from. Note the pink spray paint marking the route.
After crossing a highway we came to this small village.
Typical house in this village. Not much going on in this place other than camels grazing.
He did not look too happy but I suspect this is more people than he has ever seen making their way through his village.
This was a welcome checkpoint. It was very hot out and we were about to traverse some seriously hot sand with no shade for the next 10K.
Hot sand on this section. Many people later in the day were bringin back stories of epic heat. This was taken about 11:15 with one more hour of running.
Long expanses of soft sand here. Had to slow down the pace to keep from overheating.
This guy knows how to run in the sand and keep cool. Notice his feet are raised and not touching the sand. Also his light color and body lifted high above the ground promotes cooling. One smart adaptive lizard.
SOOOO good to get my socks off and let my feet breathe....
Cool campsite surrounded by domes.
This is deceptive.. only 82F in the shade at 1PM.. Others out on the course recorded temperatures in the sun at 120F
Had to break into my food bag for a late lunch. I was tired of eating cashews and other nuts during the day.
Jack and Jenn Chilling after a hot day in the sand. Putting your feet up after a day of running really helps.
Finish line for the day in the sand. Still a few runners on their way in..
Volunteers are most appreciated. These guys and gals were top shelf.
This was a picture of Morton's temperature guage that registered 120F. He came in about 3:30 PM.
Jack with the foot bucket.. soak to run another day.
I went for a hike looking for critters.. Did not find any but really enjoyed the different ways the sand flowed in and out betwen the rocks and plants.
Long shadows and rolling dunes.
One of the docs.
Home for the night. A very comfortable camp as we were sleeping on sand.
Carlos the course director joined me to take in the view.
Thumbs up for Carlos. He is a bundle of energy...and does a great job at marking the course.
In search of the desert Viper.
Desert Viper in the middle of the camp site. This was the last picture of this critter alive. They dug him out and chopped him with a shovel.
Decapitated Viper.. RIP.
Another fine sunset.
Dawn brings another day of running.. Up at 5:20... gearing up for a new day...
Ten minutes before the start of Day 4...
Charla rocked the course. Way to crank it out Charla..
Another Team Not Dead Yet shot.....
Jacko, Amped and ready to go....
Three mintes to start. We are ready for another Marathon. This day will be a measured effort as the following day will be a long day.
Off to the races.... sand and more sand...
Another happy runner..
Thumbs up for another stage.
Outpost in the middle of nowhere...
Lots of other runners in pursuit.
We a long way.. and still have a long way to go..
Other side of the Arch
And another arch just around the corner.
More running in the sand.
Shelter in the middle on nowhere..
Shrubs.... a welcome sight.. just a change in scenery.
Finish line for the day.
Finished for the day.. In a little after noon.
Boney toes... before the wind on Day 4.
Camel, Bedouwin and his dog just passing through.
The wind started to pick up in the late afternoon and really started ripping about sundown.
The tent across the way in a full gale. These tents are designed to have the wind blow through them as you can see on the right side of the tent. The tent flap just picks up and the wind passes through.
Sand storm is picking up.
This group had to vacate the tent because it was getting blown away. The tore it down and repositioned it.
Our tent is getting hammered here in the wind. Charla and Jenn in full Buff mode.
This was just too much fun.. Carlos in the background making sure our tent did not collapse.
My running shorts after the sand storm. These were toast and were dropped in the trash. On to the Euro Tights...
Everyone was buzzing for an earlier start (6AM)
Start of the long stage was through a long canyon..This was in the first 20 minutes but you will see the canyon changes into a slot canyon..
My Italian friend.
The canyon walls continued to get taller.
I followed this crew most of the day in this canyon..
It was nice to run in the shade for the first few hours of the stage.
Deep in the canyon..
Deeper into the canyon. Note the women on the left that ran the entire race in a full white running suit (by Salomon).
Jenn making the leap in the long canyon
Lone tree in the dry canyon
More vegitation. Water is just around the corner.
This was the first checkpoint. The checkpoint crew hiked in the night before and braved the evening sand storm in the canyon.
Transport into the canyon.
WATER!... did not expect to see this and the surprise made me stumble and almost did a face plant.
The last of the water and back to the dry canyon.
Here the canyon opened up and the heat really kicked in.. Shade was a precious commodity and seeking it out and reaping the cooler temperatures was the order of the day.
Hot canyon with many miles to go.
With the canyon opening up the heat began to have an effect on the runners.
Nice not to have sand but now the rocks were relentless. Another lesson in finding the best path to travel on.
Amazing colors in this section of the canyon.
Some front runners missed the turn and had to back track to meet us.
I followed this runner until the big hill...then the game changed.
Rocky pass ascent. My Italian friend just behind.
Cool rock formations near the top of the pass.
On the the road where the aid station my just ahead.
Happy to be at the aid station just ahead.
This was the start of the 3000 foot climb. It took me forever to get out of the aid station but by the time I reached the top I had made up the places I lost and then some.
Looking back on the aid station from the first part of the big climb. I took an extra bottle of water on this climb and that was more than most took to thier dismay.
Wanda was ahead at this point of the climb.... but it was early.
Near the top, some expansive vistas.. I would redefine the top a number to times becasue this is the hill that kept on giving.
On the road up and up..
Almost at the top.
View from the top.
Wanda in pursuit...
Olive orchard in this settlement.
This windmill was pumping water into the big green tank.
Another runner hangs out below the tank
Water was dripping from the pipe and I filled my hat with water for a refreshing moment.
This created an oasis in the desert.
I caught up with the two South Africans before we crested the next hill. Hung with them for a while.
Town across the way but not quite in Petra yet.
Feeling pretty good for being 9 hours into the run.
Nice place... who could possible be living there.
Looking to the outskirts of Petra. Still have a long way to go.
There were long expanses of road like this leading into the town of Petra. A good place to make up some time and get some running in.
Looking back from where I came.
The final Check Point. I was in good spirits here. Great bunch of volunteers at this CP including Caroline..
Night fall as I approached Petra. I finished the long day 19th for the day in 14 hours 19 minutes.
Most of the rest of our tent finished in the evening so we all had a rest day before heading the final 10K into the ancient city of Petra.
View from our rocky abode.
Not the best camp and I preferred sleeping on sand instead of rocks.
Results from my Hyponatremia experiment. I had to give blood on 3 separate occasions minutes after finishing the stages. Over the 5 stages I lost 1.4Kg. My sodium levels were low but within tolerance.
All resting up after a long day.
You can now see the last part of the long day course. It started to the right of the hotel at the top of the hill and came down the rocky rib in the center of the picture. Very technical that tested my knees.
Cyber tent.. Crowded with people catching up.
I took a little hike to check out the local artifacts and critters.
Rugged canyons with steeply pocketed rocks.
I found this in one of the rocks. After closer inspection this was clearly hand made with rocks and a mixtrue of mud and straw. Not sure what it was.. Maybe an oven or a storage place.
Inside the hole it was barely big enough for a person.
More pocketed rocks.
Severly eroded pocked with holes.
On the shady side of the rock formation a few old rock walls where locals camped out.
This plant is barely hanging on for life.,, but still alive
This was a canopy for an area in the shade.
More rock wall with lots of camel turds.
Afternoon shade is a good find when it is really hot out here.
The camp in the distance.
Here is our tent.. Tan, Karen, Morton, Cynthia, Jack, Jenn, Carlos and me.
Cynthia enjoys a treat from Bob and Leah... FRESH VEGGIES...
Another great sunset
The final morning and sprits are high...Kaen, Tan, Carlos Morton and Cynthia ready to get moving.
Charla... her hair looks great!
Jenn is all smiles...
A bit dirty but looking forward to a great day in the ancient city of Petra.
The last day was untimed so will all took in the sights and cracked big smiles on the way.
The processional...on the church of the holy trail.
Kicking back and taking in the sites.
Jack and Jenn with a hop in their step
Just over the next set of rocks we will drop into the canyon that leads to the city.
Jack, amped and moving well.
Me and the fastest over 50 runner who is also the fastest overall.. This guy Paolo Barghini is in great shape.
Jack hanging out is what was someones house back in the day.
Another house looking on the inside.
Stairs to more dwellings
Triumph... or just Staying Alive
The sign points to where we just come from.
The entrance to Petra.
We have arrived...
Just follow the canyon..
Jack, Jenn and Andres take in the sites.
Andres was in our tent too. He is a good runner with a very steady pace.
You guessed it...
Wall carvings over 2000 years old.
No running allowed here.. too much to see,
Along the sides of the canyon carved out if the rock were channels for an aqueduct.
Coming close to the end....
The Treasury at the finish line.
Carved right out of the rock wall....
Finishers Medal...and my friend the camel..
Jenn has a way with camels...
Treasury up close.
Much more impressive in person..
There is a bottom floor to this too underneath the fencing.
The real ground floor of this temple.
We were all happy to be here.
Mickey Mouse Camel blanket. Think I can find that in the Disney catalogue?
Local just hangin out watching the tourists.
More structures further down the canyon.
Carved right out of the rocks.
One of the many interpretive signs.
People lived in this for hundreds of years.
Stunning formations and archeology
We opted NOT to take the donkey ride although it was part of fee..
Works in process..
Some runners opted to the Donkey ride
Jacko posing in front of what I called Bedrock ala Flintstones..
I can only imagine what this looked like in its heyday..
My General smokes too...
On the Collanade
Final walk up the hill to pick up the bus that takes us back to the hotel..
First Post-race Beverage....Rehydrate my friend... great job out there..
Before the shower....
Our hotel was a comfortable place with some nice grounds
Drinks at the Movenpick hotel in town with Caroline, James, Jenn and Jack.
This is on the roof of the place we had drinks. Nice place for dinner.
4th in my age group