Day 2: School Spirit
Poovar to Varkala
Pat called today one of the most difficult days of his life. The humidity reached up to 88 per cent and the temperature remained at a steady 36 degrees. Both the doctor and the crew were on standby, and it became particularly concerning once Pat stopped sweating. A lack of perspiration is indicative of severe dehydration. Yet, Pat pushed on; we had a school to go to by 3pm and thousands of school children were waiting to greet us.
We finally made it to Attingal and the school representatives and teachers took Pat to the main stage where he shared the story of being a widower during the early years of his children’s life. As a minister with education in his portfolio, he empathises with how difficult it was for a woman to support their children in school. This school is one of the many who will be benefitting from our run and the Nanhi Kali Foundation. He then challenged the young girls to find something in their life they want to achieve and make steps towards it by the time he returned. After spending an hour or so taking a tour of the classrooms, many of which were still under construction, a hundred or so girls ran with Pat for about 500m before returning back class.
The crew joked about how Pat was probably just as disruptive now for classrooms as he was when he was back in high school.
We went a little further down the road and then we stopped. The adrenaline had worn off and Pat’s body was at its limit; it was being cooked from the inside and the Kerala sun had practically taken every drop of water from his body. Despite his stubborn attempts to continue, we ensured he rested as long as he could and kept him hydrated. We marked the area via a Google pin where we stopped and if need be, we would continue from there tomorrow. We were committed to a reception at Varkala beach later that evening. When the doctor gave the green light, he covered about another 10km and we marked the map for us to continue tomorrow.
The next day, the start was moved back from 6am to 5am. Running earlier meant Pat could cover more ground before the sun rose and the traffic became overbearing, and at the peak of the day when the sun was beating down on him hardest he would find shade before continuing on into the evening.