For Rangers Ultra 2019 Race Report – Stage Four

Most of the runners had a night of broken sleep on account of the lion outside the perimeter who roared every half hour or so…

21st September, 2019

Most of the runners had a night of broken sleep on account of the lion outside the perimeter who roared every half hour or so throughout the night.  None of us were brave enough to go and ask him to be quiet.

Camp woke in darkness ahead of a mass 7am start and it took a number of the runners a good while to get their stiff legs moving this morning and the amazing Exile Medics had had their work cut out for them patching up a collection of very impressive blisters.

Still, at 7am , all runners bar one took to the line .  Clive Midlane didn’t go out today but has instead been behind the scenes with the race team making himself useful and enjoying a different kind of adventure.

Stage Four starts with a short stretch of 4×4 trail before taking a hard turn off to the left and into a deep gulley, carved by the rains into the ground.   At it’s deepest it’s a good 30ft deep with columns of red earth all topped with rocks.  The pictures don’t quite do it justice so keep your eye out in the coming weeks for the footage our helicopter based video team managed to gather.

By 8am the temperature starts to rise around here and by 10am it was sweltering again as the runners tackled the long, long climb up to CP2.  What they’re rewarded with at the top is one of the most spectacular view on any of our races.  A never-ending savannah head out as far as the eye can see dotted with watering holes and rock koppies.  Thankfully there was a good breeze up there too to cool the runners a little and by midday cloud cover kept the worst of the heat at bay.

The fight for first place took a big turn today as American Abe Nelson found another gear.  He and second placed Skirmantas Sukackas of Lithuania (not Slovenia as this sleep-deprived blogger typed yesterday) were separated by only four minutes this morning.  By CP2, Abe had opened up a lead on the hilly section and this time, he could not be reeled in.  Abe crossed the line a full 52 minutes ahead today giving himself a cushion of almost an hour going into the final day.  In third, Marcus Smith pushed on today too and, though he wasn’t able to overtake Skirmantas, he came within 10 minutes and opened up the gap between himself and fourth placed Brian Markussen.

The women’s podium is unchanged for the fourth day in a row.  Sarah Watson once again held the lead and has tightened her grip on a top ten position overall.  She currently sits 6th with a comfortable distance between herself and second placed Liis Pagil who currently sits in 8th.  In third once again was Japanese runner Reiko Kato who has slowed a little and currently sits in 15th.

Team Ranger One are fighting through some boot related foot trauma to reach the finish line.  One of their number has entirely the wrong ratio of blister to foot and has been forced to retire.  We weren’t sure anything could stop Pete Newland but the blisters he has developed have made progress impossibly slow and he has stepped out of the race to allow his team-mates to push on.

Karl Midlane made a bright start this morning and comfortably made it to CP2 today.  However, his stomach problems struck again not long after and he was brought home by the race team.  Similarly, Jacqui Palmer, Tony Sheridan, Craig Williams, Sharon Firmin, and Manabu Yamayoshi all travelled home by 4×4 or helicopter today too.  All of them are fine, if a little battered, and some may attempt the stage tomorrow.

For some of the slower runners, it is taking an immense amount of mental fortitude to keep moving on their ragged feet and aching legs.  There were a few tears at the finish line today.  A mix of relief and pride and fatigue.  Cheers went up all around camp as the last runners crossed the line today.

Tomorrow’s final stage is 45km long and crosses Ol Pejeta.  It is also World Rhino Day.  It’s almost as if we planned it that way. 

There is little doubt they will see a lot of wildlife there as they approach the finish line and their medal tomorrow.  The finish line itself sits exactly on the equator and we’ll have a cold drink waiting for them there before they head to Sweetwaters Lodge for a night of celebration and excessive over-eating.

Wish them luck for the final push.

Stage Four results are below as well as the current, full overall standings.

NameRunnerS4 Duration
Abram Nelson4403:58:00
Skirmantas Sukackas6404:50:00
Marcus Smith6004:56:00
Brian Markussen3805:06:00
Benjamin Rodgers5305:10:00
Derrick Khan3105:17:00
Frode Lein05:23:00
Sarah Watson7205:27:00
Barry Cork905:27:00
Marcus Savage5705:30:00
Sam Pearson5005:32:00
Liis Pagil4705:47:00
Simon Wilson7405:52:00
Simon Davies1105:55:00
Stephen Parker4905:57:00
Yosuke Ikuta2605:58:00
Thijs Leroy3606:20:00
Dietmar Rosenau5506:29:00
Reiko Kato2906:39:00
Mel Kinder3306:45:00
Neil Kinder3206:45:00
Charlotte Riley5206:45:00
Sam Rodwell5406:59:00
Christine Horner2407:11:00
Mark Entwistle1207:18:00
Yutaka Fujioka1907:22:00
Edward (James) Savage5807:25:00
AJ Millward4207:25:00
David Hill2207:29:00
Karl Hinett707:34:00
Henry Chaplin607:34:00
Douglas Ruddock5607:39:00
Flossie Carpenter407:39:00
Sarah Vaughton6907:46:00
Charlotte Fox1607:53:00
Mike Fox1707:53:00
Giles Hindle2307:55:00
Kamei Tomotaka6708:02:00
Richard French1808:16:00
Nigel Fishburn1508:22:00
Max Labouchere3508:25:00
Alexander Stephenson6108:25:00
Tarquin Stephenson6208:25:00
Charles Wallis7008:30:00
Richard Van Aardt6808:30:00
Betina Karlsen2808:50:00
Robert Hutchinson2508:55:00
Jacqui Burke309:05:00
Zoe Carr509:05:00
Nakata Keiko3009:10:00
Naoi Tanaka6609:17:00
Yoshiaki Ishihara2709:17:00
Takashi Okada4509:17:00
Ranger One09:22:00
Isabelle Kurzava3409:28:00
Timothy Wright7510:15:00
Keiko Matsuo3910:20:00
Amy Strode6310:25:00
Anna Rhodes5110:26:00
NameRunner #Overall DurationDifferenceOverall Position
Abram Nelson4420:45:001
Skirmantas Sukackas6421:41:0000:56:002
Marcus Smith6022:35:0000:54:003
Brian Markussen3823:47:0001:12:004
Benjamin Rodgers5324:13:0000:26:005
Sarah Watson7224:27:0000:14:006
Frode Lein7124:39:0000:12:007
Liis Pagil4725:12:0000:33:008
Derrick Khan3125:28:0000:16:009
Simon Wilson7425:58:0000:30:0010
Barry Cork926:18:0000:20:0011
Simon Davies1127:00:0000:42:0012
Marcus Savage5727:34:0000:34:0013
Reiko Kato2927:40:0000:06:0014
Stephen Parker4927:43:0000:03:0015
Sam Pearson5028:12:0000:29:0016
Thijs Leroy3628:20:0000:08:0017
Yosuke Ikuta2628:39:0000:19:0018
Sam Rodwell5429:40:0001:01:0019
Dietmar Rosenau5529:41:0000:01:0020
Mel Kinder3329:42:0000:01:0021
Neil Kinder3229:42:0000:00:0021
Charlotte Riley5229:50:0000:08:0023
Douglas Ruddock5630:09:0000:19:0024
Edward (James) Savage5831:00:0000:51:0025
Charles Wallis7031:11:0000:11:0026
Christine Horner2431:17:0000:06:0027
Sarah Vaughton6931:39:0000:22:0028
Giles Hindle2331:45:0000:06:0029
AJ Millward4232:34:0000:49:0030
Mark Entwistle1232:42:0000:08:0031
David Hill2232:49:0000:07:0032
Richard French1832:51:0000:02:0033
Charlotte Fox1632:56:0000:05:0034
Mike Fox1732:56:0000:00:0034
Max Labouchere3533:13:0000:17:0036
Kamei Tomotaka6733:17:0000:04:0037
Nigel Fishburn1533:19:0000:02:0038
Yutaka Fujioka1933:35:0000:16:0039
Alexander Stephenson6133:39:0000:04:0040
Tarquin Stephenson6233:41:0000:02:0041
Karl Hinett733:59:0000:18:0042
Henry Chaplin633:59:0000:00:0042
Ranger One34:29:0000:30:0044
Betina Karlsen2834:35:0000:06:0045
Robert Hutchinson2534:50:0000:15:0046
Flossie Carpenter435:12:0000:22:0047
Nakata Keiko3035:50:0000:38:0048
Richard Van Aardt6835:53:0000:03:0049
Jacqui Burke336:56:0001:03:0050
Zoe Carr536:56:0000:00:0050
Timothy Wright7537:03:0000:07:0052
Naoi Tanaka6637:07:0000:04:0053
Isabelle Kurzava3437:53:0000:46:0054
Yoshiaki Ishihara2739:11:0001:18:0055
Takashi Okada4539:54:0000:43:0056
Anna Rhodes5140:03:0000:09:0057
Keiko Matsuo3940:40:0000:37:0058
Amy Strode6340:50:0000:10:0059
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