It is now less than two weeks until I am running the Australian Outback Marathon at Uluru on July 25th. This race will be the third marathon and third continent for this challenge and I am very excited to be participating. My first ever distance race was the Half Marathon at the Australian Outback Marathon in 2013. After that race I got hooked on distance running and had the idea of running 7 marathons on 7 continents put into my brain. Little did I know that two years later I would be back to compete in the full marathon as part of this challenge. Uluru is also known as Ayer’s Rock but its original name was given to it by the local Anangu people who are the traditional owners of the land. It is a place of spiritual significance to the Anangu people and archaeological evidence suggests there has been human settlement in the area for close to 10,000 years. I was personally awe struck by its beauty when I was there in 2013.
Since the Paris Marathon in April I have been training well for this race and have no injuries bothering me at this time. This race at Uluru will be significantly different because it primarily held on the red earth of the Outback and only a small portion is on roads. There are some sandy hills also which make for a bit of fun too. Another key difference is the size of the race. Paris and Tokyo both had between 30-50 thousand runners and this race will only have a few hundred. Additionally, there are really no spectators on the route but the off chance that there might be a dingo or kangaroo.(I did see plenty of dingo tracks in 2013) The race will be interesting mentally and physically to get through and I am feeling very good about the race.
If you have a look at my Marathon Schedule section of the website you will notice a few changes since the inception of the challenge. The first major change is that I have changed my South America race from the Marathon de Rio to the Volcano Marathon. The are two main reasons for the change of plans, but I think it will work better. The Rio race is very close to the start of the Summer Olympics and I personally think it will be a bit too hectic to travel to Brazil at that time. The second reason for changing the race plan is to make the challenge more economical. The Volcano Marathon in Chile is organized by Richard Donovan’s Polar Running Adventures and is the week before the Antarctic Ice Marathon that he also organizes. I have to fly to Chile to depart for Antarctica, so I can save on international airfares and holiday time by combining two races into one trip. The Volcano Marathon is another extreme race in which the competitors are taken to the start line at over 14,000 ft(4,475m). The race will take us through a stunning desert landscape with panoramic views of many volcanoes. It will be very grueling as the altitude will make it hard to breath, but the key will be just finishing rather than worrying about a new personal best time. Backing up and running the Antarctic Ice Marathon the next week will make this trip even more challenging, but then again nothing worth doing is ever very easy!
Since there is now some gaps between races, I will be running some tune up half marathons to keep me fit and ready. The Sydney Half Marathon will be run this September and also in 2016. The tune up race that I am most excited for is the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland in California in January 2016. Anyone who has known for any decent amount of time knows that I am a huge Star Wars fan(nerd). Empire Strikes Back is the first movie I ever remember seeing when I was a kid and ever since then Star Wars has been a big part of my life. This race is the combination of my oldest favorite thing(Star Wars) and my newest favorite thing(running), so of course I was interested. When I learned that they first inaugural Star Wars race took place in January 2015 I was crushed to have missed out. Thankfully I got an entry this year and will be participating in it with my sister-in-law and Cori’s grandmother, Debbie Skolaski. Debbie is a fellow Star Wars fan and it will be great to meet her in California to run this face. There will probably be a few other tune up races that I will do to fill some gaps in the schedule and you will see them here and on Facebook.
This weekend was the MLD Family Conference in Delaware and I welcome any new followers who learned about my challenge from the conference sessions. I appreciate your support with my challenge and am doing this for not only my niece Cori but for all of the families affected by MLD. Please feel free to reach out and say hello via Facebook or if by chance you live near one of the races I am participating in please let me know! I will love to meet up with you!
I will be making some more posts on Facebook and Instagram between now and the race so keep a look out for them! Take care!
Chris #RunOverMLD #FMLD #AOM2015 #AustralianOutback Marathon