Howdy folks,

Stage 5: 46.5 miles

Position: 1st female, 8th overall

High Point: Valley Of The Moon

Low Point: Really dragging midway feeling low on energy

Just like that the rest day is here. Our camp is tucked away by the Valley Of The Moon and has epic views from every angle.

I am beyond stoked for how the week has panned out as I am sitting in 4thposition by 19 minutes and 1st female by almost 4 hours. With only 8k left to go, the standings should settle in a similar position tomorrow. The 13 weeks of nonstop hard work paid off.

The long march was a long day. I told myself that if I woke up feeling 110%, I would really push for a top 3 position. If I felt less than that, I would settle in on cruise control and save my energy for Antarctica for the final phase of the Grand Slam Plus journey. The night felt like the coldest one yet and our entire tent struggled to get going. I even missed the announcement that at that point Neil and I were tied for 2nd place. I literally made it with 1 minute to go. I felt groggy and tired as unfortunately my lady time of the month arrived over night. It is just one of the things we must power through as a female. I decided to keep my heart rate humming at a low zone 1 all day to make the running as effortless as possible. Now I say that with us going 47 miles and on very challenging terrain and with hot temps upon us all day. At checkpoint 4 I was really struggling to not feel exhausted. I have a tendency to fall quick into borderline anemia if I do not have red meat or iron, especially at altitude and when that time of the month comes. Luckily the docs gave me some iron, and we enjoyed a small coca cola as a present at that stage and I put my ipod on for the first time all week. From there I reversed my mindset and successfully pushed to the finish getting stronger and stronger with each check point. The last 6 miles are really fun because you run through the Valley Of The Moon and tourists are taking your photos and cheering you on.

Upon arriving to the finish line at camp, I was really emotional in excitement knowing the hard work was complete and I had really pushed hard this week. I was hollering in joy.

I cannot wait to reach the finish line tomorrow as the female champion. It has been my dream for a year for this race. For many reasons, it is the most emotional win for me.

Persistence, dedication, stamina, belief, and focus really do pay off.

More to come after the finish line.

Thanks for following my journey, and a huge thanks to Lance for keeping updates flowing on social media while I am off the grid.

Jax

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