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RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 Blogs

Parting Words via my speech at the awards banquet
25-Feb-2016 01:54:44 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

As a finale post for the journey in Sri Lanka, I leave you with my speech at the awards banquet. I will move all of these blogs over to my website so that as the year goes along folks can follow the entire journey of all 5 deserts in one place. Please enjoy the journey by following on my instagram and Facebook pages as well. And lastly, please take a moment to visit my fundraising page on the Lymelight foundation. We will be raising funds the entire year. I cannot wait to help a child/ young adult with the medical grant they need to heal from Lyme and provide the ability for him/her to get back outdoors. Cheers and be well!

So my husband said something to me in a note for day two:

"A river cuts through rock, not because of its, power but because of its preservearance." I would have to say, all of us flowed like a river this past week. Whatever the outcome was, we pushed through.
These past 7 days have tested every part of our physical and mental beings. We have had to dig deeper into our levels of strength, tenacity, determination, and mental grit than any of us ever knew was possible.
A race like this allows us to approach life struggles and skip the panic and sort to the solutions. A great life lesson to acquire.

It teaches us to bond to another human without judgement and allow our full self to come forth.

It also teaches you that the impossible, is in fact possible. For me, as soon as day one, stage one, in race one as I had already experienced equipment failure, a fall tweaking my knee and was lying down on the trail vomiting I experienced a moment of fear of success to complete the grand slam plus. Mind over matter and I was back on my feet finishing the stage as second female.

What we experience with our team mates here at camp is often more intimate than experiences we might have with our best friends at home.

To Sandy, thank you for your comradely. To Carlos, thank you for lifting me up when I began to fall yesterday. To Ralph, thanks for getting me through the home stretch. To the medical staff, thank you for your countless efforts through my bodies struggles to keep up. To Mary and the entire RTP staff thank you for creating an event for us to experience the ultimate level of human strength and tenacity. To the volunteers, thank you for your countless efforts supporting us. To Olivia and many other individuals thank you for your love, compassion and support. To the entire Sri Lankan community, thank you for the escorts, special excursions and beyond. And to my husband, friends, family, sponsors, thank you for overwhelming support from afar.

And lastly to tent Kandy, I love you all! Thank you for your friendship, love and support. We are a tight family and I cannot wait to cross paths many times in our future adventures.

Please take a moment in the next few days to visit the Lymelight foundation that gives medical grants to children and young adults suffering from Lyme.

I leave you with a quote my husband gave me to take along with me for the challenge to become the first female ever to complete the grand slam plus: "Courage and preserverance are a magical wand, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into thin air."

To all of you I wish you the best on whatever journey is next for you. God bless and namaste."
 

Stage 7 and the journey back home
24-Feb-2016 01:29:18 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hey there folks!

After 61 hours of travel back from Sri Lanka I am stoked to settle my thoughts for a finale post on the epic journey at Sri Lanka. It is a wonderful moment when you find yourself sitting back in your office chair at home at 2am, jetlagged, and you turn on your computer and wonder if that all just really happened or was it a big dream. But then you dip into your social media pages and see the overwhelming support that took place while you were away, peek at event photos from the website, see donations that occurred during the journey for the Lymelight foundation and realize it was not a dream.

My body really went through an epic feat through the jungle, heat, humidity and terrain of Sri Lanka. Those epic moments of highs and lows really happened and all of the love and support from new and old friends out on the course helped carry you through to the finish line.

The last 1.5k for myself and my tent mates was enjoyed in a team walk/jog to the finish. Joining together as a "tent family" we crossed the finish line to what has become a beautiful week as friends and a group of 8 that looked out for each other.

When you reflect back on another 7 days moving your body through rough, rugged, terrain, with everything on your back, you find yourself moving back to the "real world" with a different perspective. Something as little as a "real" toilet vs a hole in the ground with a tarp around it becomes an extreme luxury. It also makes you realize how little you really need to survive and to be content and happy in life. Thus, it also gives you a perspective on consumerism and sheds light to how much one really needs to buy to survive. Lastly, it gives you a perspective of how important and unique your friendships are with your friends and family that have been in your life at various times and new ones made along the running journey. You build a deep appreciation for your relationships near and far.

Looking back at the journey in Sri Lanka it was a huge success for the first step in 5 races this year to become the first female ever to complete the grand slam plus in honor of the Lymelight Foundation and all while scoring 2nd female overall and 9th overall when presented this time with a vast amount of adversity during my journey. It was awesome to hear stories along the way from competitors that have been affected by Lyme in one way of another and sharing how the foundation can help. Reflecting on the last 7 days is one that is a tall tale of stories that include many highs and many lows. The journey becoming one where you almost forget how often you thought on the fly to problem solve to revert your focus to a positive effort to succeed. As if you did not do so, you would fail.

There are many moments along the way that make one realize how large of a feat the Grand Slam Plus really is. It is a meticulous dance with your mind, body and spirit to have your body stay in 100% shape, injury free, strong and healthy for each race over the 10 months. Then within each race it is a process to ensure that each day you push only so hard as to make sure that you can get through the next stages in that race and the next stages all year long. It is a total of 35 race days that need to end across the finish line each time. And of course, I hope to land on the podium each time as icing on the cake. There will be highs and there will be lows as it is naturally expected to be. As those highs and lows come, it is a process to be strong and mighty and ensure that you are successful. Large measures can take place that can remove you from the game such as a big injury or fall, or your body giving up in the climate or terrain. And then the small and unexpected items can happen such as a dog bite, falling in a bathroom hole (sorry that is gross but it was a constant fear out there), eating something bad, a random accident at camp and the list goes on. Furthermore, between races it is additionally a dance to ensure your body stays strong, training is met to stay fit and fast and your mind stays in it.

And most importantly through the whole journey there is the passion and desire to inspire others to get outside and explore as a means to prevent disease and to share my passion to create awareness and raise funds for the Lyme community.

I will leave you with a quote that Nate wrote to me at Zeal Optics while on the course, "There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." Hold fast and Explore More!

Go get ‘em folks! And enjoy the journey.

Stage 6 – to the beach in Yala!
19-Feb-2016 09:37:07 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Hey there,

 

We are sitting in the cyber tent enjoying a beach breeze at our tents are pitched right next to the ocean. Today was long, humid, hot and undulating but we made it through with success. I am happy to finish the final stage as first female today. It was the icing on the cake to handling so much adversity and making one last push. Just thinking about the adversity on this race and pushing through just makes a tear drop down my face. The last 1.5 miles were very hard and hot and it has been tough running alone most of the week. I dug deep and decided to think of someone special in my life every tenth of a mile. 15 special people thinking of our relationship and how much I love and appreciate him or her. One was for my grandma Rose too who I felt was with me today. During this time I also ran past a huge Buddha statue around 20 feet high. It was magical.

 

After the clock stopped today at 30k, we continued in groups of 8-10 through the national park for another 13.5 miles. They allowed a special circumstance for us to have an escorted walk/run through the park. I hoped to see an elephant but we didn’t end up seeing anything. Our group was the top 8 of the day and we pressed on the brakes and enjoyed the time. Not to say that moments were very hot, and had struggle but we pushed through and around 2:45pm we finished 52.4k for the day and were greeted by the beach. I am grateful for Ralph that kept m company to the end. Yay!

 

It’s all I  the bag now. Tomorrow our tent decided to run the last 4k as a group to the finish line. We are stoked. Family run. And from there food and celebration and a stinky 5 hour bus ride back to Kandy to a shower!! Yay! We will celebrate tomorrow evening at the banquet together.

 

My ankle is in one piece. Swollen but all good. I am not sure how I just blocked it out and carried on. Last night I could not take the compression bandage anymore and cut it off. Today it survived just fine but there is another blister and more heat rash. Ack! The day started at 99% humidity and not sure how hot it got but it was hot and sunny.

 

So now we sit back as the beach breeze blows and congratulate each other on finishing a seriously epic feat this week. It has been a very hard race and my heart and thoughts go to any that had to drop out.

 

To the finish line tomorrow!

 

With love and light

Jax

Stage 5 -2
18-Feb-2016 01:58:01 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Howwwwwwdy,

Just like that stage 5 is in the books. We have arrived at the town of Yala and everyone is looking forward to the last 55k tomorrow that will take us to the beach at the Indian ocean. We cannot wait. So excited.

Today was smooth sailing with stage 3 being a bit hot. Other than that it rained a ton which was very refreshing. We travelled over a hanging bridge which was cool. The scenery is so beautiful and the terrain is so plush.  I decided to cut a hole in my shoes today due to my foot swelling from my ankle and a gnarly blister underneath from being squished. Worked like a charm. There are so many moments out here where you must problem solve in a snap to stay successful. It is a good life lesson when the issue arses to skip the panic and just go into solution mode.

I am stoked to keep solidifying my position as 2nd lady as well. Not too shabby off of ski training and minimal running.

Our night was very long with non-stop rain at our camp site. It makes things like even going to the bathroom a wet struggle and everyone started today wearing wet clothes but with a smile. It all just adds to the experience to make you tough. Our tent banded together like family to get through. Our tent rocks.

We are having slight moments of rain here at our new camp but mostly sunshine and everything is drying. It is a good reminder that everything shall pass.

Until tomorrow, at the beach!!

Stage 5 -1
18-Feb-2016 01:54:06 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

I just want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone for the emails and blog comments. I appreciate you all so much. I cannot even begin to let you know how much it means to me.

With love and light,

Jax

JAX MARIASH KOUDELE
RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016

Hometown
Wilson, Wyoming

Profession
Professional ultra runner and entrepreneur of Stoked Roasters + Mariash Marketing

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JAX MARIASH KOUDELE
RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 competitor

Bio

Hometown
Wilson, Wyoming

Profession
Professional ultra runner and entrepreneur of
Stoked Roasters + Mariash Marketing

Why are you competing?
To raise awareness for the LymeLight Foundation
and to try to become the first female in the world
to complete the Grand Slam Plus

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