Now that I’ve had a couple of months to reflect on my experience in Banff and get back to full fitness, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the rest of my 7 marathons project. I’m super excited to be flying to Patagonia for race number 3 in just one week, and can’t wait to be at the start line of such a wild race in beautiful, if unforgiving surroundings.
The planning side of this project has been a big task, with logistics all over the world, and some races far more complex than others. I’ve been working in the background with race entries and payment deadlines, and thankfully I’ve just about scraped in with most of them thanks to the fantastic support of some very generous sponsors. Raising money for charity has been an important aspect of this challenge since inception, and with that in mind I’ve decided to tweak one of my races.
It’s vital that all of the money that’s been donated on my fundraising page goes 100% to the charities, with none used to offset my travel costs. The race which has required the most funding all along has been in Antarctica, and this has been a sticking point for quite a while, as payment deadlines loomed ever closer. So I’ve sat back and thought about what’s important about this personal challenge. Is it that I run on every geographic continent? Or that I take part in 7 challenging races all around the world, in one year, having been a complete novice 1 year ago? For me, it’s about proving to myself that I can continue these races, and without compromising the money I’ve raised for charity.
I’ve decided that I’ll now run in the Arctic, instead of Antarctica. The cost is significantly lower, and the climate is of equal if not greater challenge, as the race I’ve entered is the Yukon Arctic Ultra, which takes place in Arctic winter. It’s a formidable route, running over the frozen Yukon River, with average daily temperatures of -20c, and never reaching above -16c. I’ll be completing Stage 1 (marathon distance), whilst some of the competitors continue for a staggering 430 miles in total. It does mean I won’t get to run in the Antarctic region, but the Yukon Arctic marathon will see me in true polar conditions, and best of all means I can keep to my 1 year schedule for the 7 races, and tick the “cold/polar race” box along the way!
So I’m super excited about the Yukon, and right back on track with my schedule. The only trip left to fund will be the Kilimanjaro marathon in March, which means I can focus on the charity fundraising and give it all of my energy.
A huge thank you to everyone who’s supported my challenge so far, it means so much to me when I’m out training in the rain or getting tired at the 20 miles mark.
Here’s to 7 marathons in one year!