Jan 13, 2009

Accepted to Ultraman Championships 2009!!

Incredible news!!

I was invited to participate in the Ultraman Canada Championship race!

Ultraman Canada is a 3-day, 318.6 mile individual ultra-endurance event.

Entry is limited to 30 solo participants and 5 relay teams and is by invitation only. The event is more than 2.25 times longer than a full Ironman Triathlon.

Day 1 starts with a 6.2 mile open water swim immediately followed by a 90 mile bike ride that traverses the Richter Pass and concludes in Okanagan Falls. Cutoff times are 6 hours for the swim and 12 hours for the entire day.

Day 2 is a 170 bike that begins in Penticton and concludes in Princeton. Cutoff time for the bike leg is 12 hours.

Day 3 is the final stage and consists of a 52.4 mile double-marathon run from Princeton to Summerland. Cutoff time for the run is 12 hours.

This is an international event and athletes are expected from around the world. Each athlete must be accompanied by an individual support team of at least two persons over the entire course, and I am hoping beyond all hope that my great friend Kelvin Shields can crew for me as he did in Tempe. I’m also very hopeful that Connor will be able to leave summer camp and join me in this incredible pursuit.

I intend to train smart and remain disciplined. This is not necessarily about training super hard, it’s more about putting in the long hours to build up an aerobic base. David Warden, my world class triathlon coach who got me from corporate sloth and coach potato to Ironman, has agreed to stay on for this event and to plan all aspects of my Ultraman training. I am also seeking input from any and all past Ultraman finishers that they might provide fitness benchmarks that I should try to achieve prior to the event. (There is very little information available about how to train for such a long event.)

No doubt, I am in over my head. And that’s exactly how I like it. Race Director Steve Brown courageously and generously invited me to participate and I don’t intend to betray his trust or confidence.

Only 40% Done

As I crossed the finish line and achieved my dream of becomming an Ironman the emotions where overwhelming. All that hard work, struggle, pain and suffering. The ups the downs, the incredible low points. It was now over and I couldn't hold back the rushing onslaught of emotion and pure joy and extreme pride.

But once we accomplish great things and the stories have been told and retold, then what? Are we done? Do we stay at the same event and just do it again and again? Or do we look for even greater quests, greater challenges? Do we look for inspiration in other areas, other fields of endeavor? Really....what do we do after we accomplish such grand objectives, goals and dreams?

I need constant change and new challenges. I'm not wired for the status quo and so I set out seeking even greater challenges. To see how far the human spirit can be moved. What's our real limit?

As David Goggins, one of the most inspiring and successful ultra endurance athletes in the world says, "When you hit that wall and everything inside of you tells you that you should quit....at that moment you are only about 40% done!"

There's still another 60% left to give and that's exactly how I feel after completing the Ironman.

I've scoured the journals and the web for exciting new challenges and adventures. Soon I will report on the next journey.

Stay tuned!