There’s something about completing something that has pushed you, that you’ve given everything too, that has challenged, has taken you to your physical boundaries, then pushed you beyond and proven that YOU CAN do anything you put your mind too … I call it Chasing Extraordinary.
Self-accomplishment builds Self-belief builds Self-confidence … it’s a beautiful upward spiral to follow for life.
Having run through the UK from the far north of John O’Groats in Scotland, to far south of Land’s End in England, the farthest west point of St David’s in Wales to the … well, I got as far east as Lincoln – not quite making it to the furthest east coastal point due to the rather untimely onslought of Storm Brian … sorry I digress.
Well it seemed like the most logical next step was to Run Around Ireland … so that’s what I did.
Starting in the northern suburbs of Belfast, I took off to reach the southern suburbs of Belfast … the long way round.
750 miles. 32 running days. 5 rest days (hey, this was my summer holidays).
20 primary schools joined me virtually. Money and awareness was raised for the 401 Foundation in the UK, and Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland in the Republic of Ireland. 3 pairs of trainers were destroyed and many pints of Guinness were consumed.
I had a dream that had been inside of my head for more than 7 years. I wanted to run 50 marathons in 50 days during the year I turned 50 … but as I started making plans I discovered that the Guinness world record for most consecutive marathon distances by a woman was 60.
Weeeeeelllllll 50 sounds practically like 60, and if I’m going to do 50 I may as well do 60, and if I’m going to do 60, then I may as well try and beat that number, and if I’m going to be on the road for any length of time, then it seems quite logical to make it for full weeks, so if I go out for a little run (26.2 miles) every day for 9 full weeks, that’ll give me a total of 63 marathons in 63 days, yep that all makes sense … Welcome to the way my mind thinks.
And just to add a little more twist to the mix, being an Aussie I wanted this 63in63 challenge to be an adventure. I wanted to see as many iconic locations throughout the UK as my little legs could take me too. I wanted to meet and run with as many people as I could and I wanted to have as much fun as I could.
Eating ice-creams, drinking beers, run-dancing, getting lost, laughing, loving, having an occasional cry, having a dodgy van (poor Stan the Van) and a dodgy belly, visiting primary schools, attempting to summit mountains (not one of my smartest ideas), friends flying in from all over the world, giving everything I had to make this dream a reality … this was one doozy of an adventure.
Let’s go on holiday I said. With a backpack I said. And our trainers I said. And let’s run everywhere …
Thankfully Sharif said “sounds great”. So off we popped to Malta with a little plan – get off the plane and then start running.
We had a rough idea of where we wanted to go, but mainly we left the decisions to Social Media.
We ran along the east coast of Malta to the the tippy top and then ferried it over to the island of Gozo. Running around Gozo in gale-force winds was quite an experience. Back in Malta we ran down along the west coast and found a beach – thankfully the lovely folk of facebook agreed that sunbathing and beer drinking were in order.
What a great way to celebrate my 51st birthday.