Here I am in the middle of march... mentally preparing for the Sahara in October... Sometimes it seems like such a long way off - yet I know that time does fly - it is relative, and to be absolutely prepared and ready to race I will have to train hard and be able to trust my training.
Its funny, when people ask what I'm training for - and I tell them I'm going to run a 250 km footrace through the Sahara desert - they can't believe it - they think I must be nuts....or masochistic - they cannot for the life of them imagine WHY I would EVER want to participate in such an event!!!
So this makes me ask - what is it about some people that they find excitement and exhilaration in running in one of the world's most alienated habitats? Are we adrenaline junkies? Maybe some of us are... are we truly crazy ??? nnahhh!!!! One theory I've heard is that modern life is so blase that people are looking for stimulation and events and activities that make them feel alive. It might be very interesting to study those that participate in the RACING THE PLANET series - prepare some sort of questionnaire that might narrow down the reasons why people like me enter events like this....Any Sociologists out there looking for a research paper ?? Most likely someone has already figured it out.
For me, my daily run is like a surefooted meditation. The pounding of my feet on the earth provide the percussion that lets my mind take off out of my body and soar from one thought to another. An opportunity to feel this earthly body as it is pushed to perform. Time to ponder my life, my path and my vision. Running longer and longer seems to be a natural extension of my daily run. And running in far off places is an opportunity to experience my run in an exotic locale, to push my limits and hopefully finish the race...
I just hosted the annual DASH for CASH ski and snowboard fundraiser at Sunshine Village in Banff Canada. Its a day of fun - a modified giant slalom (skiing gates) in the morning, lunch, and then race again. This is the 6th annual fundraiser that I've organized to raise money for the Dave Irwin Foundation for Brain Injury Recovery - www.daveirwinfoundation.org
We raised about $33,000 on saturday. Our foundation has three goals: to raise educate and provide awareness of head injuries - (They aren't contagious and you can't catch one by just talking to a brain injured person)... to raise money for research related to brain injury..... and to provide grants for innovative outreach programs that assist brain injury survivors and their families... We have raised approximately $150,000 so far, and hope to continue to raise lots of money and lots of awareness...
We have some great supporters of our event, including SUNSHINE VILLAGE (Mr. Ralph Scurfield), ARAMARK FOODS, ALPINE CANADA, ATOMIC skis, KARBON skiwear, UVEX, SMITH, CARRERA, and GIRO helmets, CLIFBAR, NATURE'S PATH, SKI CANADA MAGAZINE, KOMBI GLOVES, BLISTEX, HAWAIIAN TROPIC, FITTER, AND PAUL MITCHELL HAIR PRODUCTS. Each participant gets a goody bag with worth almost $300 plus a prize for every team. A fun one day event for the whole family!
Bode Miller even donated some prizes - he is a strong supporter of brain injury awareness and what Dave Irwin is doing for the brain injury survivor community.
When I decided to race Sahara - I was determined to use the race as an opportunity to raise money for the Dave Irwin Foundation for Brain Injury.. what a great way to race the Sahara!!
Brain injuries are on the rise, and extreme sports become more and more popular - mind you - most of the brain injuries that occur are the result of car accidents. My spouse (Dave Irwin ) and I often joke how eventually we will all be putting on our helmets before we get into our cars...
Anyhow... now that the fundraiser is over, its time to put my nose to the grindstone and really get at it!
I'll be training with BUDDY - my 2 year old English Coon Hound (looks like a foxhound)... he has energy to burn so he'll keep me on my toes!
In the meantime, Dave and I will be keeping busy speaking across Canada about brain injury. Since the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) did a documentary on Dave and his brain injury and his recovery - we have been inundated with requests to speak. Go to:
www.cbc.ca/fifth/downhillracer to see the documentary on Dave.
I will be busy with figuring out my gear over the next little while - with some help from my friend Gary Baron (who is racing Gobi in June)...
Thats all from the beautiful Canadian Rockies for now!!