At 6:58am on Saturday the 18th may I will be heading off into the sunrise for a 100km run, The North Face 100. http://www.thenorthface100.com.au/
My aim is to get the silver belt buckle. To gain this I will need to run 100km in the Blue Mountains, into and out of valleys, up giant stairs, down old metal ladders, and over kilometres of bush tracks. This is a solo event but I will be running with just over 1000 competitors.
People ask why I do it. I ask myself the same question about 50km in.
I mainly do it for the achievement, to say that I can do it, and I enjoy the mental hardship. I love the mental game, the highs and lows of running for 14-15 hrs by yourself or with a team. The pain is always there like an old friend. It comes and it goes but usually just to another spot on the body.
This is not the first event. I’ve completed two 96km events, a 74km in Oman, a 100km (Oxfam), and 2 XPD races, which are the pinnacle for me (12 day adventure races). I’ve also competed in many shorter events ranging between 2 and 48hrs.
Even though I’ve raced before, I always get a little scared. Scared of failure. Scared that I will not complete race. Scared that I will not make it. Scared that I’ll have to come home and tell my friends, family and Jungle Brothers, that I didn’t make it. I think this is one of the strongest motivators that keeps me going.
I find that exposing myself to a hardship and using mental strategies to punch through to the other side victorious, helps in making me stronger as a person. I believe we have a very safe and easy life in our modern day world and we need to expose ourselves to a little hardship in order to steel ourselves, to make us stronger, to grow, to develop into a more resilient person.
After the event I hope to write all about finishing the North Face 100.
In June I’ll also be competing at Geoquest, a 48hr Adventure race.http://www.geoquest.com.au/what.htm
To gain an idea into what Adventure racing is all about check out the video from Cairns 2010 XPD.