In October of 2012 when I made my initial commitment to participate in the June 14-15 Ragnar 193 mile Race in Ontario the only thing that I had was a belief; A believe that “You Can do More Than You Think You Can”. Oh yea and I had a credit card payment to hold the spot for an Ultra team (6 runners instead of the normal 12 runners).
A quick look back tells me the following:
- · I had no teammates – just some likely participants from other adventure events
- · I needed to convince five other people to take on the challenge of running 193 miles in 28 hours in Canada with no sleep, living out of a van, and eating stuff that is called energy food that seems good at least for the first 5-6 times
- · THPL did not exist
And so the story unfolded just the way that we like life too. You start with a bit of serendipity, you find enthusiasm for new ideas, you do a bit of “selling” and then abracadabra (by March) you have a team committed. Miraculously we made it to the start line with five of us (yes one had to drop). And the true adventure was set to unfold.
THPL told us that it is the journey that matters most - both in the lead up to the event and during the event itself. Given that this group had never before done this together and that we would have limited, in-person, team training, we were going to need a lot of moxie and the right attitude. And that is indeed what happened. The team of Carl, Steve, Melissa and Garth brought to life THPL in every sense of the word. Each of them brought an indefatigable, supportive, and can do attitude to the race. There were some challenging moments – like the rerouting mid-course when Garth was on a trail (apparently there was a coyote nearby), then there was the 9.7 mile route that Steve had to run in the mid-day heat on a service road to nowhere. Melissa was so far beyond her maximum longest run (of 13) when she got to 21 miles and had another 3 to go. She worked through cramps, blisters and mud to bring home her last leg with her ever present smile. Carl, the mileage machine, brought his Ensure – his calorie of choice – there is certain irony in the name of his favorite endurance food in that he does “ensure” that he will finish every leg he runs.
And so it went – 36 legs, the exchanges, the people, the challenge, the running, the food, the fun – it came together perfectly. We finished as a team and there was a special emotion that can only be felt at the end of an event like this one. Yes, you can indeed more than you think you can. And what each of us know is that the most important thing is to plan the next event so that we can get back on the journey that THPL proscribes - it is the journey that we have fallen in love with and with our new found and reconfirmed belief that you can indeed do more than you think you can.
Loving life, and the journey for sure