In only 6 weeks I will be heading off on the adventure of a lifetime. I have been waiting for this for a very long time and 2020 seemed like the perfect time to make this dream reality.
2020 sees the start of a new decade and I believe a great opportunity to look at our lives with more clarity and focus.
So why would I want to go to the remotest part of the planet to run a marathon?? The Challenge!
I’ve always been fascinated by Antarctica. So few people ever experience this corner of the planet. I am drawn to the remoteness, the harshness, the wilderness and the fact that it is a barometer for the health of our planet.
The Antarctica Marathon is also a crucial part of another driving force for me to join the 7 on 7 Club by completing a marathon on every continent! I love big goals! I am drawn to things that others tell me are impossible. But I am here to tell you that I don’t accept impossible, dare to tell me I can’t do something and watch me prove you wrong!
When I first considered the Antarctica Marathon my family and friends just laughed and said: “you hate being cold, forget it!” Well yes, they had a point but I have been able to train my brain and body to love being in the cold. I went to the snowfields to train over winter and I’m currently training in a Climate Chamber at Victoria University, doing weekly training runs in negative temperatures. I’m ready!
Very few people would even visit all seven continents, let alone decide to run a marathon on all of them. This crazy concept became possible back in 1995 when the very first Antarctica Marathon was run. The rules are strict, the number of participants is limited and it’s probably the most difficult run to gain access to each year. It takes planning and commitment to the event sold out years in advance. That’s a big part of the attraction, joining the very small group of committed runners who achieve the elusive 7 on 7.
It’s a personal goal, there are no prizes. For me it’s about combining two passions, running and travel. This way I get to enjoy adventures around the globe and do a few memorable runs along the way. I love to run when I travel, it’s the best way to explore a new city and get a feel for the local cultures. Running has it’s own unique culture, it’s friendly and inclusive, no matter where you are in the world runners have a unique understanding.
I’ve always been a runner, it’s an integral part of who I am. I love the adventure, the opportunity to push past your limits or simply cruise along in your own headspace. 20 years ago I started my own business and was running 5-10km distances. Over the years I have gone to extremes, competing in ultramarathons, running 150km on a treadmill to raise money for charity but always enjoying a deep love for the experience of running.
After surviving breast cancer in 2014 I needed to re-assess my health. I loved ultramarathons, but the training is excruciating and it was then that I chose to focus on the 7 on 7 instead. Being told you have cancer changes you. I love pushing myself to extremes, and I refused to be defined by cancer. I fought back, chose an aggressive treatment option and got on with my life.
So with 6 weeks to go until I leave on my Antarctica adventure I am SO EXCITED!
I am used to the strange looks I get from people when I tell them what I am doing.
For me, it’s about defining the goal and not stopping until I achieve it!