Hello everyone! As you may have noticed from some of my recent posts, I was unable to run the Australian Outback Marathon due to an aircraft issue.  Our flight was 3/4 of the way to Uluru(Ayers Rock) when the captain informed us that the flight needed to be turned around and flown back to Sydney due to a technical issue.  Needless to say everyone on the flight was nervous if there was an issue with the plane and concerned about getting back to Uluru in time for the race in the morning.  The pilot and crew assured us that there was no danger, but that “the company” made a business decision to repair the plane in Sydney due to limited facilities at Uluru.  While still on the plane we were ok with this, but once we landed the airline told us that they would not be sending us back on the same day and that our new flight would be at 10am the next day and arrive into Uluru at 2pm.  This obviously was devastating as the race was to kick off promptly at 7:45am.  The race organizers tried to be accommodating as possible and offered anyone who decided to take the rescheduled flight the chance to run the half marathon course provided they could finish prior to sunset.  I knew that I could finish the half marathon in the required time, but something just did not feel right about traveling there just to knock over a half marathon that I had already completed.  Jamie and I made the decision to cancel the trip and were able to thankfully get our airfares refunded to us.  We are still working with the race organizers and the airline on some further compensation as we are out of pocket a fair amount of cash.  I was most disappointed that I did not get to run to support the families affected by MLD as opposed to these relatively minor travel inconveniences.  With that said, let’s talk about what comes next!

This change obviously threw a wrench/spanner into my seven marathons on seven continents challenge, but thankfully it is the prime winter race season here in Australia.  There are plenty of make up races to choose from and I have chosen to replace the Outback Marathon with my current hometown race at the Sydney Marathon on September 20th.  The Sydney Marathon is a fantastic race that I completed last year and I also completed the half marathon the year before that.  This race starts on the north side of Sydney Harbour Bridge and we get to traverse the iconic “coat hanger” before winding our way through the city.  I consider a good portion of the race to be “home turf advantage” as it winds through my weekend training ground of Centennial Park.  The race finishes at the Sydney Opera House and is quite a thrill to cross the line in front of such an iconic location.

Some of you might be wondering how this impacts the overall training schedule for the New York Marathon.  It definitely has presented a challenge that I will need to manage as that I will need to recover from Sydney and train in a short turnaround for NYC.  The turnaround time will be similar to the time I had between Tokyo and Paris, so I know what to expect and will make some minor changes to ensure I am fit and ready.  Between now and the Sydney Marathon I am going to run a 10k race called the Indigenous Marathon Foundation Warrior Run as part of the training plan.  The IMF is a great group that helps to promote running in Australian Indigenous communities.  The day should be a great time with lots of Indigenous culture, dancing, and music in Centennial Park.  I will post photos after the event has concluded.

Chris – #RunOverMLD #FMLD