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RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 Blogs

Standing Start to Madagascar Ultramarathon in 4 months
01-May-2014 06:22:44 AM [(GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi]

Eight years ago in 2006, I became one of the first 15 people to cross the windiest, driest, hottest and coldest deserts in Racing the Planet’s 1000km Four Desert Series. Consisting of 250km multi-stage (6 day) runs across the Atacama Desert (Chile), Gobi Desert (China), Sahara Desert (Egypt) and Last Desert (Antarctica). I decided to do one 250km more in 2009 in Namibia. The runs involved being totally self sufficient (i.e. carrying all gear and food) and lugging about 7kg in a backpack, with the only assistance being given being 9 litres of water a day and a spot in a crowded tent with 7 other competitors. When I completed the Four Deserts in 2006, I was 30 and at the peak of my fitness. I travelled less, worked for someone else and really had no cares in the world. I didn’t go the gym and didn’t really think that much about diet. I felt pretty invincible. Impulsively, three weeks ago, I’ve decided its time to run another one. I’m not one to over-think or over prepare for my goals and also think there is no time like the present. So on 31 August, I’ll tackle my sixth challenge, being 250km across Madagascar (www.4deserts.com/beyond/madagascar) Small problem: come 2014 I’m no longer so invincible nor as aerobically fit. Right now I’d struggle to run more than 10km. If I was to walk more than 20km I imagine I’d end up with blisters. And I feel mentally tired from the last six years of working hard at my many business projects and can actually feel manifesting in physical tiredness. An ultra-marathon seems a crazy solution to re-charge one’s energy levels, but its the chain-reaction of life changes and new perspective that getting organised to tackle something like this, that I hope will do the trick. Its good to know though that I have sustained a productive, four times a week regime at the gym since 2011 and always eat a pretty sensible diet. So there’s my slightly shaky base to launch off for a 250km ultra-marathon in 4 months. My goals in tackling Madagascar are as follows: 1) I haven’t got much spare time in my schedule for training over the next four months, so I’ll be happy with 2-3 runs/hikes of 6-8km during weekdays and I’ll dedicate time one day on a weekend to a longer hike/run which will progressively grow to 50km 2) I can’t change much in work lifestyle around constant travel and the associate effects on sleep deprivation, but I will cut back on stimulants (coffee in afternoon, emails in evening) to try to rest better 3) Be smart on strength training and diet. Aaron Rolley from IFC Personal Training help me monitor fat and muscle gain/loss and will oversee my strength/diet progress 4) Erase the chance of bad blisters (I got them in all 5 deserts I’ve tackled) I really need to get to the bottom of this problem 5) Launch and profile The Tommy Lim Charity Trust (TLCT). Tommy, a disabled employee of mine, sadly passed away this year. I will run this race in his honour and and champion TLCT to liberate disabled employees to take up creative physical pursuits to improve their quality of life. I’ve had first hand experience seeing the benefit of this, through some of ChapmanCG’s employees and results have been amazing. To follow the weekly march towards Madagascar, in 4 months, PM me and I’ll add you to the Matt-Madgascar-Madness FB group. Or you can follow it via this blog.
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MATT CHAPMAN
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014

Hometown
Singapore

Profession
CEO

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MATT CHAPMAN
RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014 competitor

Bio

Entrepreneur with interests predominantly in the recruitment sector and secondary interests in farming and hospitality.

Hometown
Singapore

Profession
CEO

Why are you competing?
To re-sync my personal and work balance. Ironic
that it takes entering an ultra marathon to get
myself focused on this!

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