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Live Race Coverage
13 - 19 May 2012

RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 Blogs

Last Post
19-May-2012 08:33:47 AM [(GMT-04:00) Atlantic Time(Canada)]

I lied.  His last post just came through.  Here it is everyone!
-Sarah

Thought I would write one last post before ending my journey. I've been a bit of a smart ass in most of my post mostly for my enjoyment and hopefully for yours. I wanted to leave everybody with some stories from the field.

It's been a great trip and I'd do it all over again if I could but it didn't start that way. Most of the participants are return offenders, over 70% have done racing the planet adventures before so I had a lot of questions for them during hikes. The number one question was, why the hell would you do this more than once? The
number one answer was "just wait, you'll forget". I'll come back to this ...

My tent mates were two brits and five south Koreans, all were wonderful. Here are just a couple of stories.

One has attempted four such events and has failed them, I watched him get up every
morning try and eat, throw up from heat exhaustion and head out again, he'd spend each day out there and usually come in just before cut off time, exhausted. I would spend most off my days thinking about how he was doing, he showed so much drive and dedication it was inspiring. When he finished the long march at 29 hours after starting and just under the cut off the entire camp was at the finish line cheering him across, not a dry eye in the place, turns out I wasn't the only one willing him across. He made it.

One of the south Koreans, I won't attempt to spell her name, was last each and every day. All her country men would meet her at the finish line each day and teach her to care for her feet so she was prepared for the next day. She took 29 hours to finish the long march and was only able to make it to just before the finish line, she collapsed from exhaustion and her head was the only thing to cross, again the whole camp was out cheering her on, unable to do anything but cheer for fear of disqualifing her, it was tough to watch. I found out she never trained for the event and doesn't work out on a regular basis, she just showed up. She made it.

Then there is the story of the 62 year old Japanese woman with a backpack the size of RJ and a shopping bag...ask me about it when I'm home. She made it.

There have been amazing instances of mental toughness that still amaze me when I think about them. There is something about sharing a common struggle with strangers that really brings you together. In ten years I won't remember who won this particular race but I'll never forget the people from the stories above. I've forgotten the pain already, they were right.

I know everybody out there has something they have been putting off, 5k race they've always wanted to do, 10k, half marathon, bike race, maybe even just joining the gym or walking more, my advice is to get out there and do it, don't be afraid to fail be afraid of never having tried. If you need a training partner give me a ring, I'm always up for something different.

I'll be home next weekend and Sarah and I would love to see any of you at the house between 2 and 6 for our first six pack Saturday ( a Richard family tradition) we'll provide the hamburgers, hot dogs and stories, you bring your drinks. I'd like to also thank each and every one personally for your support and kind words during the race.

See you soon.
10 COMMENTS

Colin Lyall

Posted: 26-May-2012 08:02:52 AM

Hi Chris. Amazing blog, and I'm touched by your story about me! People tend to concentrate on their own race and managing their own problems, so it's good to hear that you were looking out for me. There must have been mornings when I really didn't look like I was going to make it, but like everything in the desert it's just a case of having the mental strength to battle through it. Post race I've been a bit miserable. It's a real shock to the system trying to get back to normal after such an extreme physical and emotional roller coaster. I've tried running a few times to re-energise, but I guess it'll take some time for my mind and obody to fully recover. Anyway it was a real pleasure sharing a tent with you, and who knows, we both might sign up to another race in the future. In the meantime, I hope you've enjoyed all the congratulations from your friends and family, and it looks like you'll be catching up with them all this weekend. It's nice and sunny here in Brighton, so I'll be sharing some beer and hotdogs with my mates as well! All the best. Colin

Lynn Hansen

Posted: 20-May-2012 06:12:29 PM

The determination and work ethic you show on the rugby field were there for you when called upon for this challenge. Pleased, but not surprised you made it. Congratulations, Chris!

Amy Kervin

Posted: 20-May-2012 04:27:45 PM

Chris, I\'m so inspired! I remember the encouragement and acknowledgement you gave me in my marathon days and now look what you\'ve done - finishing the marathon distance always took everything out of me, and I can't imagine being able to do what you've just done! So proud of you, my friend! I just wish we were closer to join you on Saturday and to give you a huge congratulatory hug and hear all the amazing stories you'll have to share!

Amy Kervin

Posted: 20-May-2012 04:26:06 PM

Chris, I'm so inspired! I remember the encouragement and acknowledgement you gave me in my marathon days and now look what you've done - finishing the marathon distance always took everything out of me, and I can't imagine being able to do what you've just done! So proud of you, me friend! I just wish we were closer to join you on Saturday and to give you a huge congratulatory hug in person and hear all the amazing stories you'll have to share!

Katie

Posted: 19-May-2012 11:27:24 PM

Amazing, Chris! Congrats and enjoy the celebrations!

Holly

Posted: 19-May-2012 09:00:50 PM

What can I say that I haven't already? Congrats on such an incredible, mind blowing feat..I will absolutely be there on Saturday. Enjoy the rest of the time you so richly deserve and earned. Safe travels home friend, so I can revere you in person :)

Meg

Posted: 19-May-2012 06:24:50 PM

Awesome, inspiring post,Chris. See you next Saturday!

Scott

Posted: 19-May-2012 04:27:15 PM

I imagine that you were an inspiration to many racers as well - See you next weekend. Scott

Chris

Posted: 19-May-2012 04:21:11 PM

Dude...how much for one of those falcons? I need one to catch the guy who's been poaching your beer while I'm sleeping.

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CHRIS AAEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012

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Chatham, New Brunswick

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Geological Engineer

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CHRIS AAEN
RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012 competitor

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Hometown
Chatham, New Brunswick

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Geological Engineer

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