The Red Bulletin June 2019

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In an attempt to stave off swelling, blisters, infection, trench foot and the loss of toenails, many competitors stashed

fresh socks and medical supplies in drop boxes, which were delivered to checkpoints. “What the Gobi Desert lacks in

endless dusty dunes, it makes up for with perpetually uneven rocks that threaten to macerate feet and eat through trail

shoes," says Poole. "The luxury of a clean pair of socks and some adeptly applied tape can be the difference between

just stepping out the door or climbing onto the bus to the finish.”

With an army of Chinese and international volunteers

manning each of the checkpoints, runners are able to

receive physio and medical treatment to sufficiently

repair injury and any other wear to their bodies. However,

staff are encouraged to turn runners around as quickly

as possible – they have to continue on or succumb to

the threat of DNF (Did Not Finish).

Mandatory survival equipment includes a sleeping bag,

GPS, head torch and medical kit. Runners must carry

sufficient hydration, nutrition and clothing between

checkpoints to endure successive nights in sub-zero

temperatures. “Each night I was wearing everything I had

and until the sun rose I was still freezing,” says Poole.

THE RED BULLETIN 79

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