Jesus was in the desert for 40 days without food
Following Jakob & Jakob’s conventional method of preparation, the mishaps and adventures have already started.
If there is one single rule an aspiring marathoner should adhere to, it would be this. Under no circumstances should you try to run a race wearing completely new shoes and a crisp, priorly untouched running outfit. The risk for pain, misery and slow death by chafing is simply to great. To contemplate to run an ultramarathon in unused jerseys, shorts and – God forbid – brand-new shoes, would by association be complete and utter madness.
And lunacy is the name of the game, should any of our dear readers be in any doubt.
AirBerlin’s partner here in Spain, Iberia, have been very helpful, but unfortunately sorely lacking in the efficiency department. Apparently, losing luggage somewhere in the Bermuda triangle that is Oslo – Berlin – Madrid is something of a common occurrence. Lousy timing for us. We’ve spent most of the afternoon on the phone with Iberia and with our coach cum traveloperator Christian trying to solve matters. Iberia has assured us that the bag with all of our equipment will arrive in Madrid tomorrow at noon with the next flight in from Berlin. Unfortunately, at about this time, Jakob, I and the rest of the Scandinavian and Spanish delegation will be glancing down on the Mediaterranean from our specially chartered plane taking us to the tiny hamlet of Eracchidia in Morocco, not far from our desert base camp.
So if the luggage doesn’t arrive on time or we are miraculously delayed tomorrow (we’re still working on a plan involving bellydancers, camels and Real Madrid in a distractive maneuver), we will be left with two options. Asking Iberia to send the luggage to Eracchidia after us is not a very tempting option since very few flights leave for this obscure little desert town from Spain. Option number two entails asking Iberia to send the bag to Ourzazate, where we’ll be crossing the finish line in a week’s time, and asking the French delegation – via our Spanish friends – to bring my bag with them when they arrive at the start. We might as well text Zlatan and ask him to sign for Swansea or Stoke. Bye-bye bag, then.
Fortunately, the biggest department store group in Europe, El Corte Ingles, has a wonderful little boutique in town. Arriving in the store at 9.30 p.m., well ahead of closing time at 10 p.m., Jakob and I managed to irritate the Spanish ladies no end, but still getting hold of almost every single item we needed for our desert marathon, bar a few, most notably our food. So now, if our great, big Orange Bag never shows up – and the chances for that are looking slimmer by the minute – we have a reserve plan. One that entails us breaking rule number one. We have never used a single piece of the equipment we have bought today. The only thing more crazy than trying to run in completely virgin shoes in the Sahara would be trying to run the race in loafers and jeans. And even this option was seriously discussed for at least 90 minutes this afternoon. Pray for us, friends and family. We sorely need it.