For Rangers Ultra 2019 Race Report – Stage Three

Once again we used a helicopter as a starting gun. Our pilot gave the runners a haircut as he roared overhead and sent the runners out onto the course.

20th September, 2019

The camp awoke this morning and quickly the runners were trading stories about the animals they’d heard in the night around our tents. Our camp on Borana sits in the middle of a wide-open grass plain, so the plains game were circling throughout the night.

The race started in two waves this morning, with the slower runners and those who had stopped short on the previous stages all setting out with an extra hour of daylight to reach the finish line in time.

An hour later, the main pack started the stage and once again we used a helicopter as a starting gun. Our pilot gave the runners a haircut as he roared overhead and sent the runners out onto the course.

Today they had 48 hard kilometres to cover and the temperature was scorchingly hot again. The combination of heat and hard trail led to a number of DNF’s today. Clive Midlane, Manabu Yamayoshi, Hiro Takayama, Jacqui Parker, Sharon Firmin, Craig Williams, Gary Mandy and Tony Sheridan all traveled to camp by 4×4 or helicopter. Karl Midlane, however, recovered enough to complete today’s stage and is looking much stronger. All are now at camp here at Ol Jogi, safe and well, listening to the lions roaring in the distance with the rest of us.

There is a serious battle for the overall race win taking place out here with Slovenian runner Skirmantas Sukackas and American Abram Nelson trading places at the top. They finished today’s stage with minutes of each other again. Abram looked to be on course for a second win in arrow as he opened up a lead on the long hilly section leading to CP1, but Skirmantas has very strong road running pedigree and reeled the American in over the flatter sections, eventually crossing the line four minutes ahead. This leaves Abram as the overall leader but he now only has a lead of 4 minutes. We have a fight on our hands.

Third again was Marcus Smith who seems to be happily enjoying every stride of this race. He’s feeling positive and looking strong throughout and now has over an hour on the fourth-placed runner in the overall standings.

The top three women remain unchanged in every sense. For the third day in a row, Sarah Watson came in ahead of Liis Pagil, and Reiko Kato took third. Sarah currently has a twenty five minute lead over Liis with Reiko Kato another hour and a half behind.

It’s been a good day for wildlife spotting. The area the runners crossed early in the day was full of elephants and zebras. We had a particularly close encounter with a couple of elephants at camp on Ol Jogi. The duo were orphaned when they were young and have been raised by the rangers on Ol Jogi. Though still obviously wild animals which must be treated with respect, they calmly strolled into camp and even let a number of runners feed them carrots.

The stars are out now and the sound of lions roaring is echoing around the rocky hills surrounding our camp.

Tomorrow is a shorter stage but there are no fresh legs left here in Kenya. Wish them luck and be sure to keep following them on the live GPS tracker.

PositionNameRunnerS3 Duration
1Skirmantas Sukackas6405:30:00
2Abram Nelson4405:34:00
3Marcus Smith6006:02:00
4Brian Markussen3806:13:00
5Benjamin Rodgers5306:22:00
6Liis Pagil4706:24:00
7Sarah Watson7206:25:00
8Barry Cork906:25:00
9Simon Wilson7406:38:00
10Frode Lein06:40:00
11Derrick Khan3106:43:00
12Marcus Savage5706:54:00
13Reiko Kato2907:01:00
14Stephen Parker4907:04:00
15Thijs Leroy3607:21:00
16Simon Davies1107:27:00
17Yutaka Fujioka1907:30:00
18Dietmar Rosenau5507:40:00
19Yosuke Ikuta2607:45:00
20Douglas Ruddock5607:46:00
21Sam Pearson5008:01:00
22Charles Wallis7008:01:00
23Sam Rodwell5408:01:00
24Mel Kinder3308:04:00
25Neil Kinder3208:04:00
26Charlotte Riley5208:04:00
27Christine Horner2408:06:00
28Richard French1808:24:00
29David Hill2208:36:00
30Nigel Fishburn1508:40:00
31Edward (James) Savage5808:41:00
32AJ Millward4208:41:00
33Max Labouchere3508:47:00
34Kamei Tomotaka6708:52:00
35Giles Hindle2308:54:00
36Betina Karlsen2808:54:00
37Timothy Wright7508:56:00
38Nakata Keiko3009:04:00
39Sarah Vaughton6909:06:00
40Charlotte Fox1609:06:00
41Mike Fox1709:06:00
42Naoi Tanaka6609:07:00
43Ranger One09:12:00
44Alexander Stephenson6109:13:00
45Tarquin Stephenson6209:13:00
46Karl Hinett709:13:00
47Henry Chaplin609:13:00
48Richard Van Aardt6809:26:00
49Mark Entwistle1209:44:00
50Robert Hutchinson2509:44:00
51Flossie Carpenter409:46:00
52Jacqui Burke309:50:00
53Zoe Carr509:50:00
54Yoshiaki Ishihara2710:00:00
55Takashi Okada4510:00:00
56Isabelle Kurzava3410:01:00
57Keiko Matsuo3910:29:00
58Amy Strode6310:58:00
59Anna Rhodes5111:01:00
NameRunnerOverall DurationOverall Position
Abram Nelson4418:47:001
Skirmantas Sukackas6418:51:002
Marcus Smith6019:39:003
Brian Markussen3820:41:004
Sarah Watson7221:00:005
Benjamin Rodgers5321:03:006
Frode Lein21:16:007
Liis Pagil4721:25:008
Simon Wilson7422:06:009
Derrick Khan3122:11:0010
Barry Cork922:51:0011
Reiko Kato2923:01:0012
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