So there I was completing my 70 something kilometre during a long training ride on my bike last weekend when I started thinking about how far I would ultimately be prepared to push myself in terms of my endurance levels and perhaps my sanity all in the name of a good cause.
My train of thought had begun after chatting with John McInroy from www.redsockfriday.com and hearing about his incredible Unogwaja Challenge this year of cycling 1722 km from Cape Town to Durban and then running Comrades 89.1 km all within 10 days. Not only honouring Philip ‘Unogwaja’ Masterson-Smith, a previous Comrades winner that had achieved this in 1933 but also in order to raise money for Breast Cancer and the Sports Trust.
To top it off I had been further inspired by stories on twitter, the internet and through various sporting documentaries on TV that week. The stories ranged from Cape Town’s Ultra Running Legend Ryan Sandes latest feat of winning the last desert challenge in the Antarctic www.ryansandes.com, the incredible story about ParaTriathlete Sarah Reinertsen and how she became the first female leg amputee to complete an Ironman Triathlon www.alwaystri.com and then Dr Andrew Murray who ran from John O Groats (Scotland) to the Sahara covering some 2659 miles (4250 km’s approx) over 78 days (an ultra marathon a day) www.scotlandtosahara.com to raise funds for the alleviation of poverty in the Gobi Region of Mongolia.
So yes these are rather extreme examples of pushing your limits and finding out what you are capable of both physically and mentally. Don’t get me wrong I don’t plan on running to the Sahara or across the Antarctic any day soon but it is great to be inspired by others and aspire to challenge yourself to do extraordinary things.
So whilst sitting on my bicycle digesting all of this last week I thought to myself that riding 110km for the Argus Cycle Tour was not quite far enough for me at this stage and that I needed to raise my game and continue to see what I am capable of. So I had a chat with Macky (John McInroy) and agreed to join the Redsockers on the first leg of their epic Unogwaja 2011 Challenge as it leaves Cape Town and cycle the first 220 km with them. It may sound a bit crazy but I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of guys to spend that much time in the saddle with. It’s just a shame that I won’t be going the full 1722km with them to Durban. Though I will be wearing my Red Socks and cheering them on on the TV when Comrades comes around!
That is a rather far way after all ……… Isn’t it?
Be inspired, share perspiration and wear Red Socks!