The race hasn’t yet started, but as usual, I’ve already had my first adventure.
Yesterday, like many of the other runners, I was meant to catch a local flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Due to fog and rain, the Pokhara airport closed for the second day in a row and alas, a bunch of us were forced to go by car.
Luck was on my side though – at least at the start. When the car came by my hotel to pick me up, I hopped inside to find myself sitting next to two Nepalese doctors who will be joining the international medical team for the race. Score!! Prajwa and Prashant. Making friends with the doctors ahead of time is ALWAYS a good idea. I learned a bit of Nepalese (chi-to means faster! whereas ti-to means sour… they sound exactly the same to me…). Things weren’t looking too bad.
After about 5 hours of driving, nightfall had come and we were weaving chaotically through mountainside traffic, clinging on to the handles on the side of the car for dear life. Actually, this is what Dan and I were doing, the two Westerners, whereas the Nepalese doctors were cooly napping beside me. Anyway, at some point, I asked if we could pull over so I could take a bathroom break. I ran about 30 metres from the car, squatted out of view of passing cars, and finished up in under 10 seconds. Great. Good practice for the race too. I’ve always said fast pees are the key to fast racing!!
When I got back to car, however, I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. It felt like I had sat in poison ivy and my bottom started to burn. It wasn’t getting worse though, so I stopped worrying about it and decided to deal with it when I got to the hotel.
About an hour and a half or two hours later, we arrived at the hotel and I met up with Matt Nelson, and old friend from RacingThePlanet Namibia and Australia. We were chatting away as he helped me with my bags to my room and all seemed to be going according to plan. Until I went into the bathroom.
[Kim, stop reading here!]
When I pulled down my pants to check out my potential rash, there was a THREE INCH LEECH stuck to my bottom. Yes, I had been sitting on a leech for 2 hours while it was gorging away on my bum. I yanked it off immediately, threw it at the wall, and ran out of the bathroom laughing and screaming (with my pants pulled up). After about 5 minutes of pseudo-hyperventilation, Matt and I forged back into the room and videotaped the critter for posterity. My god, the thing was huge. He flushed it for me down the toilet (definition of a good friend) and went down to the restaurant to share my ordeal with a few dozen runners.
Yes, I now have a giant gaping hole in my backside before the race has started.
On the plus side, the medical and equipment check is done and I’m just waiting to hop on a bus to head to the first campsite. Someone remind me not to squat down next time I pee!