Himalayan 100 Miles: Day4 (along the road)

I woke up feeling like i could actually face breakfast for the first time in three days, i’d slept well and was raring to go. Today was to be a relatively easy day, having come down from the higher altitude of the mountains breathing was now less laboured and the rest of the running would be on the roads, so i could swap my fellshoes for asics.

At 13 miles, today was the shortest run of the week, and what was better was that it started with a downhill. Assisted by gravity, I begin the run at a blistering pace, flying down the tight hairpin bends, slowly overtaking on the insides with my arms windmilling in the air, until at one point i could actually see the lead runners. But then as the hills started to level out, i started to slow down and enjoy the scenery, the better runners catching me up one by one, until i am in my usual position towards the middle of the group.

At the next checkpoint, lrnya – a triathlete and wild swimmer, originally from the Ukraine, now living in Northern Ireland caught me up. After refilling my water pack, we left together running at about the same pace and idly chatting as we went. I hadn’t really spoken to Irnya much up until this point, but found that she made very good company and we stayed together for the rest of the stage.

The seven miles to the finish passed easily, as we splashed across the occasional stream and gave out bags of jelly babies and wine gums to passing school children. As we ran, Iryna collected discarded crisp packets, storing them in the pockets of the jacket tied around her waist. This of course was billed as an eco run and we’d been encouraged to collect any rubbish we saw along the way right from the start, but i hadn’t seen anyone actually doing it until now.

We hadn’t put in the fastest run of the week, but i found i’d actually enjoyed today’s stage enormously, with time to take in the scenery and say the odd ‘Namaste’ to people along the road. Iryna and i agreed that we’d start off together again tomorrow, but for now it was time to relax in the sunshine as we wait for the final runners to come in, before taking the bus back to our accommodation in Rimbik.

The bus tooks over an hour to fight its way along the winding ribbons of road high above the valley below, and i looked on in amazement to think that I traversed this treacherous path just hours earlier. In preparation for the evening cultural event, our guides treated us to some traditional Indian songs and exhausted from the trip one half of team Argentina slept soundly on the back seat of the bus.

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