Grand to Grand Ultra 2016 – Stages 1 & 2

26 September 2016

Greetings from Camp 3 at the end of Stage 2 of the Grand to Grand Ultra.

We had no cybertent facilities after Stage 1, so apologies for the lack of updates so far.

Stage 1 was great – finished the 50km in 18th position overall in 6h45. Unfortunately, I got lost at the 35km mark, and then had to run an extra 3km to get back on the course. On top of that, I started vomiting with 2km to go to the end and it took a few hours to recover. The scenery on the first two stages has been amazing. From starting at the Grand Canyon, we have experienced much variety in the terrain. Most parts in the desert looks much like the Karoo in South Africa.

Today was a monster of a day. Only 42km in total, but it was very hot with lots of elevation gain and loss, especially in the first 20km. Running with a heavy backpack in these conditions is not easy. I really struggled for the first few hours, most probably because of yesterday’s extra kms and my health issues. Fortunately, I had a very good last 18km and finished in 26th position in just under 7 hours.

Now for the big one tomorrow – 84km over mountains and through the desert. I trust everything will go according to plan and feel great that the first two stages are done.

This is really a tough race in very unique conditions. But the organizers and competitors are great, and despite a few struggles on stage 1, I’m enjoying the experience.

Thank you for all the messages of support, and please keep them coming – just send them to – with David Barnard #500 in the subject line.

Please remember to support my fundraising campaign in support of the END Fund and the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Africa. Refer to to learn more and make a donation.

Together, we can END NTDs in Africa!

Until tomorrow.

Best wishes


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: