Thanks for the condolences everyone, I had 21 mails last night! I clearly need to get sick more often! I only got two when I was well on day 1. I felt right as rain this morning, and the infection looked to have receeded down my ankle. I ate my breakfast, no stomach problems and felt as strong as I should have done on day 1. I went and asked the organiser if they would let me run 'unranked' and getting no medal. They said it was ok, but the decision was the doctors. The doc said no, they couldn't risk the blood blister opening up and getting worse and me needing a emergency medivac. They gave me a shot in the ass at 7:30, just what you need to wake you up and a 10 day course of 4 a day antibiotic pills to take. I helped pack up the camp and began to feel a bit ropey, and had leg pain, so it was probably a good call on they behalf saying no to me. An hour or two later I felt alright again, so maybe it was the 2 more doses of antibios that morning. I travelled with the organisation and helped pitch camp for today by the salt plain lagoons. Amazing views. Ive still not given up hope of begging or bribing the doctors to let me run the 75km stage tomorrow, which starts with 15km(!) of razor sharp salt flats and goes through the valley of the moon during the night. To be honest there is practically zero chance of them letting me, but I will put on my happiest most lively looking face when I beg. This afternoon the infection has crept back up very slightly but Im hopeful it will receed again. Even if they do let me carry on I'll still have to come back to complete the event properly to cliam my tshirt and medal! I havent been able to run all week because of the initial sickness, so this whole event has been a washout, but I would have settled for a walking finish until I got sick with infection and they pulled me out. There isn't really much I would do differently except maybe only eat my own food before the event, and be very careful how I treat wounds knowing how many water crossings are involved with the potential for infection. Gutted as I am about it all, its beyond my control so I'm not too upset about it. Im fairly accepting of what has happened and I'll be back to run another race. My knee operation is 2 weeks after I get back, so no more desert races until next year, most likely the Atacama again. Ill be doing some LDWAs and the OMM later in the year hopefully, so I should be fit for nexyt tear. I won't get to read any more mail until the afternoon of April 2nd, or maybe April 3rd if they let me run the long stage. I heard that some MDS has been cancelled this year due to rain and the remaining stages just loops, is that true??? On another subject my trainers the UKGear PT-03 desert shoes are frankly appauling. The first 3 stages terrain was tough, but no tougher than any other desert. the soles of BOTH shoes; half of the sole have fallen off, and I mean utterly gone, peeled off. These shoes are alledgedly designed for the desert and they haven't last 3 days! My friend is also wearing them and the same has happened, both soles fell off. The rubber on the toes are also peeling away on our shoes too. My friend has the UKGear gaiters and they are shockingly bad. The zips on both shoes failed him on day 1, and the drawstring has cut into his ankles. He also has tendonissis on both ankles from the tongue in the shoes. Lucky for me I am out, but my friend still has 75 miles to go, and he is going to have to gaffer tape what is left of the sole on or his race is over. Ive never had blister like this either, so these shoes are just no good. What a crushing dissapointment and a waste of money these shoes are given all their marketing hype. You can bet that I'll be sending these back to UKGear when I get home. My Aarn backpack zip also failed on day 1, another disappointment, I should have stuck with my tried and trusted Raidlight pack. The pack I found is too restrictive across the chest, and has also cut into my shoulder and back. I did train with the pack at home, but the full race weight has caused problems. These were not show stopping problems, but Ive never had chaffing from a Raidlight pack in 3 years of use. Equipment failure should be the last of your worries on these events! Oh, I just this second asked the doctor if I could run tomorrow and he said No again. Ive done my best but theres nothing else I can do now but help out at a checkpoint and give support to the other runners as they pass through. I know the doctor is right and the risk is too high, but I still want to run. I'll take some good photos and hopefully get to see some parts of the course tomorrow at least. Thank you everyone again.