Aquarius 20, 2077, m249
This afternoon, Gunvir Pachehra was the first cross the Stage 1 finish line.
From 5th position this morning, more than 3 km behind HDX’s Marshall Shannon, Pachehra was able to make his move over the ascension leg of the course. His strength in climbing helped him closed the gap, passing Jarmal Carter (Columbia Hills), Marshall Shannon (HDX), and Owen Dubad (Marineris). When he emerged from the valley, he was 6 minutes behind the leader, Raihaan El-Morad (Al’amal).
El-Morad’s fate, however was sealed in the early morning hours when he decided to forego his running blades and leave them behind in his support vehicle.
Once Pachehra strapped on his blades, he was easily able to overtake El-Morad, beating him to the finish line by 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
This was a tremendous feat by the 40 year old Europa resident. For the first half day, Pachehra was in the top 20 group, but by the end of yesterday he had edged up to 5th position.
Pachehra’s actual path measured 185 km against the optimal computer model of 150 km. His total elapse time was 18 hours, 45 minutes, and 45 seconds with an average speed was 9.9 kph.
Once Pachehra cross the line, the race automatically switched to the Countdown mode. This means all remaining runners have 10 hours to cross the finish line or face disqualification. In this mode, the mandatory down-period is lifted, racers are expected to race through the night and do whatever it takes complete the stage.
At the time of this report, 18 racers remained on the course. More than half a dozen with 70 km or more to reach the checkpoint.