This Sunday will be a Sunday unlike any other that I've had ... because it will mark the start of a 160km journey that will take me through to the following Sunday.
Just shy of a year ago I decided that I would attempt an event that I'd heard about through a couple of friends called the ENDURrun: a series of seven races taking place over the course of eight days. I recall that when I first heard of it being mentioned I thought that it was a positively outrageous concept, and I had mad respect for the person who was mentioned as having completed all of the stages. That being said, I had no intentions, aspirations or even expectations that I could even attempt a feat like that.
Fast forward to three years later.
As an entrant in the 'ultimate' category (as there are options to compete in the 'sport' category tackling the final three stages only, or as part of a 2-7 person relay team) I'll be definitely testing my limits - although I've put in a similar amount of mileage within a week's span I've never attempted to run as hard as I will each day. Thankfully my friend Dave (who was the first person I'd heard about who had completed the ultimate version of the race) has provided me with some tips that I will be sure to incorporate into my strategy ... and this kind of event certainly demands a strategic approach. Structured much like the Tour de France, the ENDURrun includes time trials, alpine climbs and a yellow-jerseyed overall time leader. The gains made by blasting out a 10k PB on one day would be far outweighed by saving your guns for a strong marathon where more time could be put against the field - and so a successful ENDURrunner needs to be not only fast and fit but wily as well.
I can't say what I really expect out of this race - except that I want to just cross the finish line of each stage so as to fulfill my obligation to the Transcend Running Academy for whom I've been fundraising through my participation in this event. My hope has been to raise support and awareness of this great work with the student-athletes in Kenya who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend high school and rise above the subsistence-living conditions of their families and villages - and just maybe in helping to subsidize their education, run training and leadership coaching I might be facilitating the emergence of the next great Kenyan difference-maker.
There's still time and opportunity to support the Academy - please visit the pledge page here! https://raceroster.com/events/2016/6288/the-endurrun-2016/pledge?id=34&type=participant
So that's it - I hope to complete a taxing seven-stage race so that a young man or woman on the other side of the planet can pursue their dreams and go beyond surviving to thriving. For me that will be the measure of success
not finishing top 10
Not for me.
But for another.
Let's get it on.