Wednesday 29 January 2014

A New Royal Challenger!

Reader's of this blog will know that I've spent the best part of the past 10 months turning myself from a non-runner, into a budding marathoner (!), all in pursuit of a race I decided to take a shot at, the Royal Challenge.

The race was postponed last November due to a monsoonal week of rain which made both access to the race course and the terrain itself difficult.

It was re-scheduled for this weekend coming, which in my case was just as well. As is my way, I reckoned I was ready back in November, but a much more intense running program over the past month has given me a better chance of completing the 21km trail run, sandwiched between two 10.5km paddle legs. 
Mercer on the ski - he'll be racing the two 10.5km legs of this weekend's Royal Challenge
When the entries re-opened as soon as the original race was postponed, I convinced Rob to enter the teams event, and he in turn convinced our paddling mate Alan Thurman to be his team runner. As well as being an accomplished sea paddler, Alan has been running marathons & competitive distance events for a while now with some success, being good enough to get into the bunch of runners in the City to Surf who go off before the main crowd.
Alan in more familiar transport mode
So, no pressure, but you'd expect them as a team to do really, really well. 

There look to be about 100 competitors, but fewer than 20 are doing the full event as individuals, which I see as a warning that I'm in for a very tough day. My goal is to get inside 4hrs 30 minutes, which will depend on maintaining my training speed in the 21km run after a decent crack at the first paddle leg, and then being able to complete the final 10.5km at a reasonable clip on the ski with fatigued legs.

Regardless, training towards the goal of this race has been a revelation, and I've enjoyed the journey so far. I've also had some encouraging support from friends & colleagues who've sponsored my race to the tune of over $1000, all going towards the very worth cause of the KIDs Foundation

So thanks again to Sally, the Adonis, Stacka, Little Peter, JC, Don, Jono, the guys from James Harvest Sportwear, Barry & Dee, Penline, Dave, Captain Grumpy & my own workmates here at EK & Talisman. The link to my sponsorship page is HERE if anyone else out there in blog world wants to give me an extra incentive to go the distance.

Keep an eye on the results on Sunday morning, and Rob & Alan's 'Odd Couple' team. Here's the video from last year's event.

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