Well, I thought that when I ran my first Marathon I would be content to leave it at that. Or that running 100km's or a 50k 'UltraMarathon' would suffice. Those races definitely pushed me beyond my perceived limits, but at what stage do you say "Stop, that's enough, you can't possibly go on.." Oh...... but you can go on my friends and I am along way from stopping, to quote Johnny Cash "You can run on, for a long time."
As my Achilles tendon recovered recently so too did my thirst for something new, I am kind of glad I had those two weeks to just mellow out and do other things. Of course the "other things" really meant planning a new physical battle in the adventures of Running for Pearl. So after wracking my brain I came across the ultimate mental challenge for me. 24 Hour racing. And before I tell you more about my goal allow me to tell you about the 24hr concept.
24 hour running events are held all over the world and are usually either on a 400 metre track or a one km loop. The size of the loop varies depending on who is organising the event. The aim is simple, the gun is fired and the participants take off, 24 hours later it is fired again to signal the end. A team of time keepers take shifts to monitor the runners laps and whoever covers the most distance is the winner. Now I know to some of you this all sounds like madness but wait until you hear the achievements of the greats. The world record stands at 303.5 km's (188 miles) and is held by Yiannis Kouros was set in Adelaide, October 1997. Even thinking about an event like this is scary but I know its something I can do and even more importantly is something I want to try to do. If it seems impossible then that's all the more reason to give it a shot. It is also for Autism awareness and the more I run the more it may help to shine a light on the subject.
The race I have chosen is in Arcueil which is southern Paris and takes place from 11.00 am Saturday Oct 2nd to 11.00 am the following day. Only 35 people may participate and as of today there are very few places left, the full list can be seen here along with the rest of the website. My aim is to go as far as I can but setting myself a realistic goal is difficult considering I have never done anything like this before. However, the goal is four marathons which is 104 miles. I am pretty confident that with the right nutrition, a lot of patience and a will of iron this is achievable. The physical aspect of running through the night will take its toll but my major concern is the mind games, running hundreds of laps around a track and trying to keep all my marbles in the one place. But when I have pushed myself to the limit there is always one step further that I can go. It will be a run that will rely on heart and soul being completely wrought of everything I thought I knew about myself.
Right now we will start a major drive for publicity, sponsorship and recognition. Its time to broaden the horizon for Autism and with the help of you, the readers, we can take this to a higher level. If you are aware of any companies who wish to get involved in a cause that can change lives please direct them our way. Friends have started posting "Running for Pearl" signs from all over the world on Pearl's Facebook wall, a few are below but please have a look at the wall for the rest of them. Alicia will be updating the news section of the site very soon and has definitely a lot to say about the battles we have fought to get Pearl help for school in September, lets just say it was an 11th hour type scenario.
I wish you all a great weekend, I will be heading up north tomorrow to meet my friends and check out Pearl Jam.
See you round the bend.