Melas Chasma is wide open terrain with little shelter from the harsh wind storms that can blow up at any minute. But today is a beautiful day on Mars—with low winds and great visibility.
Geneva Liu took advantage of that and powered through the Melas Chasma to dominate Stage 4.
The 35 year old had done moderately well thus far and run consistently in the middle of the pack. But today she blazed past all other racers to finish the stage with a 90 minute lead! This has got to be a new record for the Pathfinder Marathon.
“This marathon is about strategy as well as physical strength,” said Liu, “You can’t forget that it’s about the long game. it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a single stage and overlook the big picture.”
Gardner and Naghiyeva clocked in after Liu at 11h 56m and 12h 23m respectively.
No stage is without its casualties. And today, marathon front-runner Luisa Murilla took a huge hit.
Murilla underestimated the height of a deceptively small drop-off and a bad landing left her with scrapes and bruises along her left leg and elbows. “The injuries are mostly surface cuts and don’t affect my running. But I lost a lot of time. And you get rattled after a fall like that.” the 24 year old said after a quick checkover by the medic-drones.
She continued on doggedly, but at a more cautious pace.
Murilla was able to make her back up the ranks with some well-timed attacks, but was unable to regain top 5.
Meanwhile Sadhana Adwani of Marineris and Helia Aluwalli of San Olympus both took DNF’s early into Stage 4. Both racers suffered from severe cramps and had to tap out after just 30 km into the course.
Things looked a little touch-and-go for Myriam Snyder of KMH for a while when her running blades cracked. The resourceful 23 year-old was able to repair the blade with supplies she had on hand. “Growing up in a small settlement means you have to be make do with whatever you get,” said Snyder.
The end of Stage 4 leaves us with 14 racers to continue in the fifth and final stage of the 2077 Pathfinder Marathon.