Well, when I went to bed last night Team Nike was in 10th place after the 50-mile paddling leg. When I woke up this morning, they were 5th in the overall standings. Who knows!? Emily Kloser and I wonder if our crew continued to have trouble with one of the kayaks?
I just got an update that the teams are now in the midst of their 60-mile desert trek. Team Nike is once again racing strong, in a pack with the two race leaders, Team NZ and Desert Islands. Last year, it was incredibly difficult to make up time in the desert as the teams tend to fall into a single file line where there’s no advantage for accurate navigation. But, this year it looks like the pace is that much faster and some teams are suffering in the desert heat.
Right now, it’s the middle of the night in the Arabian desert and the teams are about halfway through the trek. It’s incredibly difficult to navigate in the dark, in a featureless desert, but now that temperatures have fallen the pace will likely only get faster. There’s also a mandatory 6-hour rest for all the teams on the trek, but each team gets to decide when and where they stop. It’s not clear if Team Nike or the Kiwi teams have used any of their rest period yet.
Anyway, it’s a huge relief to see Nike racing fast again. It sounds like they’re making a monumental effort to break back into podium contention. After the trek ends tomorrow morning, the teams have one final day of climbing and rope work, followed by a mtn bike sprint into the city. Nike made up a bunch of time here last year so there’s still a chance for them.
Keep sending your support their way!