Jaisalmer is sweatier than a crab in Satan's Y-fronts right now and many of the Runners are trying to cool themselves with the pool, the beer or a combination thereof. There is an odd feeling of anticipation in the air; like the beginning of a school disco before the kids have had enough white lightening to start dancing.
Some of the wiser teams are taking advantage of mechanical Idiot Savant Mr Rich's Rickshaw Masterclass. Mr Rich is a mechanic so wise he can sweet talk a rickshaw back to life just by talking dirty to her. Which is lucky because talking dirty is Rich's only other skill. We tried to teach him a slightly more family friendly vocabulary, but he inexplicably forgot how to fix engines, to the extent that he couldn't tell a spark plug from a shoe-horn, so we had to let him swear again.
Elsewhere around the palace Mr Matt's team of Event ninjas - led by the indefatigable Mr Ricky - are doing their magic to ready everything for the imminent test driving, party and launch. Teams are being registered, a dance-floor prepared and nervous runners are offered words of encouragement and despair in equal measure.
The sandstorm is doing its best to cover up the rickshaws like a seedy politician trying to cover up an expenses claim for a years subscription to Granny Shaggers Monthly and 2 kilos of Viagra.
Don't worry. There's no hiding these brightly coloured little bastards. To ensure they stick out like a virgin in a convent school our crack team of pimpers are performing the finishing flourishes to their handywork of the last couple of months. Other teams not wanting to give up the chance to paint a rickshaw are getting stuck in themselves.
Some teams are even spending the test driving day actually test driving. Why start now? fter all you've got 3000 km to realise how shit the rickshaws are, better to spend this time drinking cold beer while its still on offer.
Any declarations of love for the rickshaws are quickly rescinded and replaced by some colourful language; the best of which was learnt from Mr Rich.
You can follow all the teams here on The Jibber, on our Live Tracking Map and our Facebook/ Twitter pages. You can find out more about future Runs as well as links to sign up over on the Rickshaw Run pages of the website
Words by Mr Joolz, pictures by Mila & Daria