Everybody has a race to run: Found an interesting book about stories about marathons. And finding one at vivo the other day about extreme running. Different race and ultramarathons at different and unique locales worldwide.

Like the Everest Marathon?

Or the Gobi March? (250km over 5-6 days in the desert carrying your own food/water)

The Marathon Des Sables –  an 220-245km ultramarathon through the Sahara desert (carrying your own supplies of water and food)

The Spartathon in Greece (246km from Athens to Sparta with cutoff times at 6 different checkpoints) (30-35% finish)

The Jungle ultramarathon (200km spread over 5 days, bashing through the jungle, cooking your own food, sleeping in the jungle, going past animals, river crossings etc) in the Amazon. (60-65% finish)

The Ultra-Trail Du Tour Du Mont Blanc: 163 km on mountainous terrain, from France, to Italy, passing by Switzerland and finishing back in France.

The Inca Trail Marathon, going by Maachu Picchu, evading Jaguars and running at 2-4000m above sea level.

The Antarctic Marathon.

North Pole Marathon. (A lap around the North Pole, wearing sleds underneath shoes)

And finally the Antarctic Ice Marathon/Ultramarathon. (Running through the South pole, Literally on Ice)

Why the random post?

Cause to do all that requires solitude, calm, focus and concentration. Calming your emotions, chucking aside all your fears and thoughts and put your energies to finish the task.

“The prelude to a marathon is one of life’s strangest yet most vivid times. It is a time of intensity yet relaxation, apprehension yet resolve; a time of deeply introspective solitude in the midst of the biggest jostling throng most of us will ever join. So many people, intent on a separate inward commitment, but united in one common physical endeavor. Our motive is private, the context public. We are strangers who are instant comrades, competitors bonded by the shared knowledge that we are all about to undertake one of the hardest tasks in our lives. Ahead lie strenuous effort, weariness, and pain, but we will endure it all volutarily, for the sheer enjoyment of trying.

The communal atmosphere before the start is tense, like an army awaiting the order to enter battle. Because the marathon is a contest-and each runner will be tested. Yet the mood is also ebullient and exhilarating, like a troupe of actors before a performance, because the marathon is also a drama-and each runner’s story will be part of the action.

It seems a very strange business, but somehow it works. Once experienced, it is never forgotten.

And the final moment before the race everywhere is the same, and it is magical. The music, the anthems, the speeches, the cheers, and the chatter all cease, and at last the runners are silent.

For runners, compulsively in motion, it is a unique moment of stillness. For 5 or 10 seconds everyone in that vast crowd looks silently inward and forward. All feel the premonitory glow, the flicker of readiness, like dry wood about to flare into flame.

Then the gun is fired. And the marathon begins”

– Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson 26.2 Marathon Stories

Stay tuned for the finish!!!  To be continued…….