Location: Machame Gate

Altitude: from 771m-1802m

Distance: 51km

Time: 6hrs 45min, Pace: 7min 58sec/km

Calories: 4200

Thought of the day:
Pure elation! You cannot buy the feeling I had when I reached the gate.

What I learnt:
When you think you’re empty, there is always a reserve tank. Keep focusing on the reasons why you are doing this and the people you care about and your feet will keep moving. This was the hardest day of running I have ever had.

Song of the day: Pearl Jam- corduroy, just breathe, and comatose

– my family
– my friends
– Ryan and Sarah
– Lisa T
– Wendy and Mike
– bivouac outdoors and Chris
– movember foundation and Robert
– everyone who has left a comment or a like on a post or photo or shared a post
– Ally who made this possible
– god for always having my back

Well guys! We did it! It was the longest day of my life but we did it! I am currently lying in bed trying to take in everything that has just happened but i cannot get comfortable because my whole body is sore. Firstly I will briefly outline the events of today before getting too deep.
Up at 5, running at 6am. The first 5km were nice and I had plenty or room on the shoulder, then we started getting close to Moshi. The roads turned into absolute carnage. Cars, trucks, motorbikes, people and buses were scattered all over the road with no order. I couldn’t relax and pick a line to run as I was dancing for my life every minute and the noise was intolerable. I had just spent the past 8 days running through rural settlements and the plains so this was a shock to the system to say the least. 25km later I was finally out of the city and heading up the road to Machame Gate. This was fine for the first 5km and then the hills started! I eventually reached the 42km mark after 5hrs 30 and 5km of steep uphill. At this point I was exhausted both physically and mentally. I had achieved my goal and had run my 9 marathons, but because we had changed from the Umbwe to the Machame route I still had an extra 9km to get to the park entrance gate. Rather than have to come back on my rest day to complete the run, I decided to try and smash it out. The problem was that I was already spent and the next 9km also had a 600m altitude gain. I dug deep and shuffle shuffle up I went. After what seemed like an eternity I rounded the last corner to see a girl i recognised in the distance holding a camera and I knew that this was it. I would like to say that I jogged upright to that gate and gave a stern handshake to all the blokes up there, but the truth is i broke down and started crying from a mixture of jubilance and pain.
Sadly its all on video which I just watched for the first time to help me write this. Right now I am not afraid to say that I am really proud of this achievement as it has been the most difficult challenge of my life to date.
I have dreamed about this moment for the past 3 months, all the training, diet, boredom and pain is totally worth it as no money can ever buy that feeling of pride and self worth after completing a challenge like this. I feel like the monkey has moved from my back to my shoulder, and turned from a burden to my buddy. I know the challenge is not over yet and I will need everyone’s continued support. So please I urge you to share this story with others and raise awareness of this cause. When I call for donations please give with your heart.
My final special mention must go to Ally. Along with the big guy upstairs she has had my back this whole trip. She has spent countless hours waiting in the car, putting up with me at my worst, organising al the logistics and being a true friend. I could not have done this without her and she is a legend.

We are now enjoying 2 rest days in the middle of nowhere before we start phase 2. So keep tuned, throw me some comments, feedback and questions and I look forward to sharing this next part with you.

Enjoying our first beer in a long time. Aptly named Kilimanjaro 🙂


2 thoughts on “Day 9: We did it! part 1 complete

  1. Dave and Ally, well done! Words seem so shallow in response to such a magnificent achievement. We are so proud of you and Sam called you ‘super running man today’. Super running man indeed! Thanks to Ally for looking after a very loved brother. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou! Lots of love and respect xxx

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