Well after I couldn’t sign up for the Marathon des Sables, I did a little Google surfing… and it was amazing to find just how many runs, races, countries and continents these are run on… I think every country and definitely every continent. Yes you read right, every continent including Antarctica! And no, I’m not going there… I’m not a fan of feeling even a little bit cold… I blame being a summer baby for that!
But I happened to find myself at a website with THE most stunning trailer… in a different country on a different continent and while listening to the soundtrack and watching the most amazing scenery… I got the goosebumps. You know the ones, not just any old I’m feeling cold or something a little freaky has happened and raises the hairs on your arms… this was OMG I have to do this, I have to be there… it doesn’t matter how hard it is (I may regret ever thinking this shortly!)… how expensive… this is a once in a lifetime experience…
170 miles / 273 kilometres from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon up to the Grand Staircase
over 7 days
You get a tent for the night… and water to drink…
self-supported – you have to carry everything else you need in a backpack while you run/hike/climb
a marathon or more every day
(one day is a double marathon)
and longer than the Marathon des Sables.
But a triple continent challenge needs 3 continents… so add the continent of Europe… specifically the London Marathon… 26.2 miles, completed earlier this year, although I haven’t had time to blog about it until now… more on this in the next post!
And for the third continent… it’s back to Africa… for the 3rd time in 18 months… oh yes, I paid a little visit to another African country at the beginning of this year which I figured might help as challenging “training” albeit of a different nature… which I will write about if I ever get the time!… So yes, Africa again … specifically Madagascar… no, not like the film… though if I end up hallucinating I may very well see talking lions and giraffes… hopefully not the zebra though!
And this is part of the 4deserts series via Racing the Planet. Each year they put on a stage race, like the Marathon des Sables and Grand2Grand (or g2g as it’s more commonly known) in the 4 driest deserts: the Atacama Crossing (Chile), the Gobi March (Mongolia/China), the Sahara Race (Jordan/Egypt) and the Last Desert aka Antarctica! They also put on one extra and this is known as a roving race, held in a different country each year with 2014 being held in Madagascar… quite a good job as 2013 was in Iceland and it looked cold.
Again, you get a tent for the night… and water to drink…
and you have to carry everything you need in a backpack while you run/wade (there are river crossings above knee height *eek*) and no doubt walk (lots of walking, I plan on lots of walking).
And just to make it harder… because surely that doesn’t sound hard enough?
The two stage runs (as these type of multi-day events/races are known as) are only a few weeks apart!
Actually they are 15 days apart, from the finish line in Africa to the start line in America… and in that time I have to fly home from Africa, get back to work, college and daily life, recover (heaven help me)… and then fly out to America to get on that starting line.
15 days between the two events… running a total of 324 miles.
Yes, you read that right too… 324 miles, across remote and difficult terrain, carrying everything I need and giving an overall total of, I believe just over 350 miles for the 3 events.
I am of course fundraising for such a challenge… and it’s for a fantastic charity that deals with challenges, survival, motivation, courage, fears (amongst other aspects)… details will be given with the London Marathon post 🙂 so please do take time to visit their website and share information once that post has been blogged.
From new runner in February 2013
to double stage runner in September 2014
Is it do-able?
I’m about to find out.
“You only get one life: aim high and be all that you can be”
~ Michelle Payne ~
If this were your last day
what would you stop and notice?
Would you see the sun as it
peeked through a blanket of darkness
Would you watch as it turned into
a glowing orb of shimmering molten orange?
Or would you lay there
and ingest the peace of a silent moment
second by second?
If this were your last day
what would you marvel at that’s around you?
The sound of birdsong, the beat of a butterfly’s wings
the hum of a city’s traffic?
Would you be active or sedentary?
Engaging or detaching?
If this were your last day
what would be the things that matter to you?
The house, the car, the latest tech and games?
Or would it be the people, the hugs
the laughter and smiles
the pain and the tears that have accumulated over time?
Would there be happiness, hand held walks
or would there be anger, blame or fights?
If this were your last day on earth
would you Give or Take
be Love or Hate?
It is a glorious privilege to live,
to know, to act, to listen, to behold, to love.
To look up at the blue summer sky;
to see the sun sink slowly beyond the line of the horizon;
to watch the worlds come twinkling into view,
first one by one, and the myriads that no person can count,
and lo! the universe is white with them;
and you and I are here.
Photograph: Sasha Willmott, taken in India, August 2012
“I APPRECIATE WHAT I ALREADY HAVE”
They are wise people who do not grieve
for the things which they have not,
but rejoice for those which they have.
~~ Epictetus ~~
This week’s affirmation isn’t just about material things… the new shiny car, the bigger house, the latest must-have fashions, designer accessories etc even if we could afford them on a regular basis (I’m betting nearly all of us can’t :D)… how many of us think or have thought, we will be happy when we’ve pleased our partners, our parents, our families… when we’ve finished updating or renovating our homes (note, this is coming from someone who lives in a kind of semi-permanent renovation zone!)… when we can afford to do, or to be,or to have… when we have time? On a financial level, on a material level, on a physical level? This can be related to time… looking forward to that one holiday per year, a two week break out of 365 days a year when everything else seems like a hard slog. Yes, it’s wonderful to have a holiday, and yes it is great that it provides motivation and a light at the end of a tunnel so to speak, but to put all that hope into just 14 days out of 365?
The media obviously plays heavily into this with advertising… especially where kids are concerned (and with Christmas coming up soon (yeah yeah I know, but it’s September in less than a week and you know the shops are going to be stocking up, if they haven’t already – watch out for the Christmas ads too) that pester power will come no doubt be coming into its own!!). Giving examples of so-called perfect idylls… yet all it seems to do is reinforce the idea that what we already have isn’t enough, doesn’t come up to scratch… we need more of… well… everything I guess.
For me, this affirmation is a reminder… to stop. Come to a halt. To look around… like I’m sure I’ve said before with these affirmations (and if not, definitely on the Facebook page or Twitter feed), perception is in the eye of the beholder. To change my perception, to look at what already surrounds me, what I have… with new eyes, fresh eyes… and to really appreciate what I see… from the loud and yelling kids (how much better they be loud, laugh and yell than be quiet and withdrawn and unhappy)… to peace and quiet alone time, for the food that we eat, for the roof over our heads, for the fact that we have someone to talk to, even if it’s only via email… for friends to spend time with, for partners who cuddle us… for someone being there… for our health, for the chance to live on this plane, on this planet, to learn… for our senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing, our bodies… for being our own person… for the choices that we can and do make… and everything else that you can think of!
To live, to laugh… to LOVE… what wonderful gifts we already have… if we but choose to see them 🙂