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NEXT ROVING RACE: MADAGASCAR 2014

RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 Blogs

5 Days to till race day.
09-Feb-2016 06:53:54 AM [(GMT+06:00) Sri Jayawardenepura]

To be honest, i'm pretty scared shitless!  What did i just get myself into? People say i’m adventurous but, eh..kind of.  I like doing things that are different or traveling to places most people have not gone to or even thought about visiting.    Last spring i watch 2 friends, Mosi Smith and Paul Webb run the MDS, Marathon Des Sables.  MDS is a race that runs through the Sahara Desert.  7 days in the blazing desert heat, about a marathon a day except for the Long March which is usually back to back marathons in a day.   Cool i thought.  Those guys are wicked cool.   I should do that.  I followed Mosi and Paul online and tracked them like i was some kind of stalker. Watched them cross the finish line and wave and grin to the camera as they finished each day.  Sent them messages of how cool they are and tried to give words of support that were passed along to them each day by the race officials.    I read articles and then i came across the documentary called Desert Runners.  I was hooked.  The film is about the 4 Deserts series.   4 races in 4 different deserts around the globe.   The Sahara, Gobi, Atacama, and the Last Desert in Antartica.  I had no desire to do the Sahara, to hot! The Last Desert, way too cold.  Gobi, no brainer, that’s in China, close to home, not a lot of time away from the family.  Atacama Crossing, in Chile, running on the salt flats, that looks cool.  I have never been to Chile.  I could do that one.  Then as a was surfing their website at www.4deserts.com i read about the Roving Race, this years race in Sri Lanka. Cool, i thought, one of the few places i haven’t been to in Asia. I should do that race.  I continued on reading different tabs on the races, read blogs from past competitors, clicked on a tab about past competitors that ran all 4 races in one year to be members in the Grand Slam Club, about 100 runners only.  Then clicked on the tab that said Super Grand Slam, thats all 5 races in a year, the 4 desert ones, and then adding in the Roving Race.  Only  3 runners,  have competed this goal, all men.  No woman has done this.  Thoughts go racing through my head, i mean like, I could do that, I emailed the 4 deserts series and said i was interested in doing all 5 races, i asked if there was anyone else.  Only one they said, also another American, male.  So if i did do this i would be the first woman to do so.  Me? First person to do something, i’m more comfortable being a follower.  But i would have that title, first female, never to be taken away.  I mean, i don’t even have to go fast, all i have to do is just finish.  Holy smokes.  I leave a mark on the world.  My kids could brag, my mom did that, she was the first one, they could say.   Okay i’ll do it.   Then panic set in, i changed my mind, i mean it’s almost 4 grand a race entry except the Last Desert, thats almost 13 G’s.  thats like $30,000 just in race entries, not including airfare, all the equipment i’ll need just to support myself for 7 days out in each desert.  Maybe i should just do 1 or 2 races and then see how it goes then do the series.  But wait, they only do all 5 races every 2 years.  I’d have to wait until 2018, then have to pay for the races i already did again.  No i don’t want to spend that much money again.  Then the pull of being first woman swirled in my brain again, and i was back to doing all 5 races again.   Okay i emailed them signed up and confirmed i would do all 5 races.  Then i realized where am i going to get money to do this from, i mean, i really don’t have a job.   I look at my husband and say, i need at least a year of your retirement.  You’re going to have to work an extra year before you can retire.  The response was “Whaaaaat?!?!”  Silence, then sideways glances without him turning his head to look at me.   I say this is part of my mid-life crisis, "think of it baby, i could finally be a famous runner, i could be the first girl to finish."  I tell him, think of what all your co-workers will say, “Hey Ken’s wife just ran all these ultra marathon races, Ken has a cool wife, how did he get so lucky?”  I mean i could be the true “Trophy Wife”.    I might even make the Boeing Good News Story.     So here it is almost race day,  i'm already in Sri Lanka,  I'm still freaked out just as i was when i commited to do this.   A lot has happened since getting to this point, buying the worng equipment, then buying the right equipment, prepackaged foods, breaking in running shoes, and training, which i feel i haven't done enough of.  I have spent the last 4 weeks in Thailand with Lamai Fitness getting ready.  Having my trainer push me, even when i resisted.  Climbing hills, adding milage each day.   Now its 5 days to go and i have some kind of Sri Lankan cold, with a sore throat and i'm a bit lethargic, and wondering will i be 100% by race day?     Will i make it?  The 1st day i think no problem, 25 miles, i've done that.  The 2nd day at 50 miles. i'm a bit worried, will i make it?  Will my legs get me there, will there still be some left to do 25 miles each day for next 3 days?   Will i be the first woman to finish? No there are atleast 2 other women who joined to reach that goal of first woman, they are more experienced, and that's okay.  My goal is to just finished and if i do i'll be the 3rd woman in the world to reach this goal.  Not bad, top 3, that's a bronze medal.   

One the most important reasons for doing these races is not for the glory, but for Kourtney.  Doing the things in life that she didn't get a chance to do and if i can raise money for her memorial scholarship at Mt. Baker High School  at the same time, then it makes it all worth it.   www.gofundme.com/kourtneycadle   If you do decide to donate.  100% of your donation will go to Kourtney's Scholarship Fund.  My race entries, equipments, airfare, hotels are all paid for with the help of my family.       

KATHLEEN ENQUIST
RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016

Hometown
Sedro-Woolley, Washington USA/Chengdu, China

Profession
A jack of all trades, a former Body Structures Mechanic at Boeing, housewife, mother of 3 and a marathon organizer in China.

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KATHLEEN ENQUIST
RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016 competitor

Bio

Hometown
Sedro-Woolley, Washington USA/Chengdu, China

Profession
A jack of all trades, a former Body Structures
Mechanic at Boeing, housewife, mother of 3 and a
marathon organizer in China.

Why are you competing?
Sri Lanka will be my first race in completing the
4 deserts Grand Slam Plus Club. If finishing all
5 races i'll be one of the first 3 women to reach
this goal.

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