The day was almost here. Sarah arrived at my house on the 30th January and we spent most of the evening packing and re packing our kit bags and checking the food we were taking, adding and removing items and generally faffing.
We finally went to bed at about 1am and after a restless sleep headed off to the airport. It was here that we met up with Mathew Neal who was to become a life saver later on in the week and Kenwynne Barber a wonderdul and inspiring lady.
Our flight was delayed so we passed the time chatting about previous races and getting to know each other - it was nice to be around such like minded people and all of us so excited and nervous about the prospect running 160 miles.
Eventually it was time to board - it was finally beginning to hit me what we were about to do
|Drop Bags OTT Style|
|The troups on the bus|
|Me and Sarah|
|Me and Jamie|
|Chatting on the way to the desert|
I would love to say that the Journey to the airport went without a hitch .............. but about 30 minutes in to the Journey we realised that our van was having a few issues in that whenever the driver took his foot off the accelerator the van stalled. So of we went to make a quick pitstop and to change buses. It was here that my last photos would be taken - I stupidly managed to leave my phone on the old bus when we transferred over to the new one. I was absoloutly gutted I had planned to do little video diaries and to take hundreds of pictures. Luckily we still had Sarahs phone so all was not lost.
On the plus side our little pitstop gave Tom the time to discover an exciting new aspect to his MDS bag - it has a strap to help releive the pressure from your back to your head - simply wonderful
|Tom demonstrating his new toy|
About an hour and a half later and we were on our way again. It was a long journey, we stopped for lunch on the way and once we arrived at the meeting point it was very dark. We met with some jeeps and drove for about 15-20 mintes in to the white desert. This was the first time we met Dhiaa who was to be our host for the week he was fascinating to listen too (the official tour guide for the National Geographic). On arrival in to camp we were more than pleasantly surprised to find that rather than one tent with everyone sleeping on the floor (which for some reason is just what I had expected) there were tents that slept up to three and we had real actual beds with matresses and quilts. I couldn't believe it. There was even a toilet and a shower tent, a tent for eating and sitting in and a kitchen tent. It was marvellous and such a luxury which we hadn't expected.
Of course the first order of the evening was to have our race briefing - Keith explained the race plans to us and we decided to start the run slightly earlier the next day given that most people were eager to get going. After this we moved on to the most important part of the evening - the Onesie party :) prior to arriving in Cairo several of us had met on facebook and myself and Sarah had decided it would be a great idea if we all bought a onesie and wore it in the camp - little did we know that poeple would actually agree with us but they did and this was the outcome :)
|Dhiaa drawing the map for the run in the sand|
This is where I am going to leave the blog for now - I haven't even started the run yet but I didn't want to miss anything out :) I will return soon with part two and a lot more photos of this incredible and life changing event.