Saturday, 9 April 2016

Epic Shit - 36 hours, 100 miles DONE - April 2016


ONE MAN'S DREAM TO RUN 100 MILES FROM NEW YORK NON-STOP TO THE ROCKY STEPS PHILADELPHIA.

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CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHY.


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LEO

 INKY
 SUDHA
 TOMI
 SIMON

8AM, SATURDAY 2ND APRIL 2016:
WE START A JOURNEY FROM NEW YORK NON-STOP FOR 100 MILES TO THE ROCKY STEPS PHILADELPHIA. WE DO THIS TO BRING A CHILDHOOD DREAM ALIVE, TO RAISE AWARNESS FOR MENTAL HEALTH AND DONATIONS FOR THE CHARITY 'MIND'.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS.

WE HAD NO IDEA HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE OR WHAT WE WOULD FACE.

AN ULTRA MARATHON IS ANY DISTANCE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE MARATHON (26.2 MILES) DISTANCE.

FROM NEW YORK TO PHILADELPHIA IS EXACTLY 100 MILES.

THAT'S LIKE 4 CONTINUOUS MARATHONS.

I WOULD RUN/WALK FOR 36 HOURS, NON-STOP FOR 100 MILES, THRU TORNADO ALERT STORMS, THRU THE DEAD OF THE NIGHT, THRU UNBELIEVABLE PAIN, UNTIL WE REACHED THOSE GODDAMN ROCKY STEPS.

THE DREAM TEAM SUPPORT CREW WOULD BE THERE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.

HERE IS THE STORY:







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10AM,
4 MILES DONE,
1 HOUR IN










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12PM,
10-12 MILES DONE,
3 HOURS IN





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WE FACED RAIN.
QUITE A LOT OF RAIN.







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2PM,
18 MILES DONE,
5 HOURS IN



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4PM,
24 MILES DONE,
6-7 HOURS IN



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AFTER APPROX 25 MILES NUTRITION BECOMES VERY IMPORTANT.

YOU EAT, RUN, DRINK, REPEAT UNTIL YOU DROP DOWN AND CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE. THEN YOU KEEP GOING. REPEAT.

YOU STOP EVERY 60-90 MINS TO PUT FEET IN AIR TO RE-CIRCULATE BLOOD FLOW. IT'S CALLED "FRESH FEET" BECAUSE FOR A 5-10 MIN PERIOD AFTER YOU DON'T HAVE PAIN/SWELLING IN YOUR FEET.

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DRY CLOTHING (ESPECIALLY SOCKS) ARE CRUCIAL TO REDUCE BLISTERS AND LIKELIHOOD OF HYPOTHERMIA. VASELINE AROUND FEET AND OTHER AREAS (CROTCH/NIPPLES) REDUCE BLISTERS, CHAFING & BLEEDING.



MIND IS THE UK'S LARGEST MENTAL HEALTH CHARITY.

MIND WILL NOT STOP UNTIL EVERYONE SUFFERING A MENTAL ILLNESS RECEIVE BOTH SUPPORT & RESPECT.

MY FAMILY HAS BEEN RAVAGED BY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

I LIVE WITH DEPRESSION AND I HAVE NO SHAME TO SAY THAT. WHY IS THE STIGMA ATTACHED TO THIS ANY DIFFERENT TO OTHER PHYSICAL ILLNESSES?

AFTER THE PROGRESS IN EQUALITY ON RACE, GENDER & PHYSICAL DISABILTY OVER THE LAST 20-30 YEARS, MENTAL HEALTH IS THE LAST MAJOR REMAINING EQUALITY ISSUE WITH STIGMA IN THE WORLD. THIS NEEDS BREAKING DOWN FOR GOOD.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO MIND.

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5PM,
28 MILES DONE,
7-8 HOURS IN


PAIN REALLY STARTS AFTER ABOUT A MARATHON. YOUR FEET ACHE, YOUR CALF MUSCLES CRAMP UP, YOU GENERALLY START TO FEEL LIKE SHIT.

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6PM,
+30 MILES DONE,
8 HOURS IN




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FIRST 20-25 MILES ATE CLIF BARS, CHOCOLATE, FLAPJACKS, ETC BUT AFTER LIKE 30 MILES YOUR BODY NEEDS REAL FOOD: RICE'N'BEANS. GOOD OL' POPEYES.





SOMETIMES I RAN ALONE, BUT MOSTLY THE SUPPORT CREW (THAT DREAM TEAM IN TWO VEHICLES) TOOK TURNS TO RUN/WALK WITH ME UNTIL EVERY 5 MILE MEET-UP POINT. THEY WERE AMAZING. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE SELFLESS HUMAN BEINGS WHO SACRIFISED A WHOLE WEEKEND FOR THE GREATER GOOD.

THIS WAS NOT AN ORGANISED RACE OR EVENT - THIS WAS JUST US FOLLOWING GOOGLE MAPS UNTIL WE REACHED THE ROCKY STEPS PHILADELPHIA. I MEAN, LITERALLY WE JUST PUT "WALK TO ROCKY STEPS" TO OBTAIN THE ROUTE.






NUTELLA SANDWICHES = CALORIES.



"DO NOT GO WHERE THE PATH MAY LEAD, GO INSTEAD WHERE THERE IS NO PATH AND LEAVE A TRAIL"
- RALPH WALDO EMERSON




10PM-11PM,
+40 MILES DONE,
12-13 HOURS IN

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FIRST MELT-DOWN AFTER ABOUT 14 HOURS SOLID.

I GOT THE NUTRITION WRONG. IF YOU GET THE CALORIES WRONG YOU START TO FAINT.

I WAS DIZZY BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND NEEDED TO LIE FLAT TO LEVEL OFF THE BLOOD FLOW IN THE BODY AGAIN.




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THE SHAKING IS THE EARLY SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA.




WE FACED TORRENTIAL RAIN & FLASH FLOODS.

WE KEPT MOVING FORWARD.

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12AM MIDNIGHT,
47 MILES DONE,
15 HOURS IN

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WE DID ABOUT 15 MILES, 4-5 HOURS ON TRAIL, IN TOTAL PITCH BLACK DARKNESS, ALONG RIVER/CANAL SIDE.

WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW...

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WE FACED TORNADO ALERT STORMS (NOT EXAGGERATION), WITH VICIOUS RAIN & WIND. THE NIGHT-TIME HAD SOME KINDA BRUTAL MOMENTS ACTUALLY.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZCXJVjICYA

5AM WE SLEPT IN THE CAR FOR LIKE AN HOUR TO BE HONEST. THE STORM WAS TOO MUCH. BRANCHES WERE SNAPPING OFF TREES ROUND US AND THE CAR WAS SHAKING WITHIN THE STORM.

AT THIS POINT I'D BEEN GOING NON-STOP FOR LIKE 20 HOURS, 60 MILES.

I WAS IN A HELLUVA LOT OF PAIN.

ALL THE TENDONS IN MY ANKLES AND FEET WERE HURTING A LOT. THE TENDONS AT THE BACK OF MY KNEES WERE MURDERING ME.

FOR ME I WAS IMAGINING DAWN BREAKING THEN RUNNING ANOTHER 40 ODD MILES IN THESE CONDITIONS: MY PHYSICAL CONDITION, THE PAIN, AS WELL AS THE STORM CONDITIONS.

BREAKING OUT OF THE CAR AT 6AM, SHIVVERING FRANTICALLY, WAS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT THINGS I'VE EVER DONE.

CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO.

MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY, THIS WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART: 6AM GETTING OUT OF THAT CAR AND IMMEDIATELY STARTING TO RUN KNOWING THAT THERE WERE ANOTHER 40 MILES, ANOTHER 12-16 HOURS TO GO. 




FOR ME, THIS IS THE METAPHOR WITH DEPRESSION - JUST WHEN YOU LEAST FEEL LIKE MOVING, WHEN LIFE HAS BEATEN YOU TO YOUR HANDS & KNEES - THIS IS WHEN YOU NEED TO MOVE THE MOST.

MOVE.

JUST MOVE.

JUST MOVE AND YOU WILL BREAK FREE.

I HAVED LIVED WITH DEPRESSION FOR 10 YEARS. IT'S ALWAYS THERE BUT YOUR WILL-POWER NEEDS TO BE STRONGER THAN IT AT ALL TIMES NO MATTER HOW BAD IT GETS. THE BLACK DOG CAN BE MADE TO HEEL. 

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AFTER EVERY STORM COMES THE SUNSHINE.

7-8AM,
+60 MILES DONE

THE TRAIL FINISHES AND WE ARRIVED IN A TROPICAL OASIS CALLED TRENTON.



TRENTON IS A VERY ROUGH PLACE.

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WE STARTED TO SEE THE FIRST SIGNS OF PHILADELPHIA. THE WINDS WERE STILL INCREDIBLE - OFTEN BLOWING US BACK & FORTH. WE CROSSED THE DELAWARE RIVER.

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33 MILES TO GO,

25 HOURS IN



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AT THIS POINT THE NEWS OF MORE DONATIONS COMING THRU TO THE CHARITY WAS A MAJOR MOTIVATION FOR US.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE.

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I WAS IN A LOT OF PAIN AT THIS POINT. THE PAIN IN THE FEET, KNEES AND LEGS WERE NOTHING COMPARED TO THE CHAFING & BLEEDING IN BETWEEN MY THIGHS - IT MADE WALKING EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.

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THE WIND WAS UNBELIEVABLE. IT WAS BITING COLD WHEN IT BLEW, AND ALMOST KNOCKED YOU OFF YOUR FEET (NO EXAGGERATION).




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79 MILES DONE,
27 HOURS IN,
21 MILES TO GO





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RUNNING ULTRA MARATHONS IS A WEIRD THING. YOU CAN BE RUNNING OK ONE HOUR THEN THE NEXT HOUR YOU ARE DEAD - KNOCKED OFF YOUR FEET. THIS JUST MEANS YOU NEED CALORIES THAT'S ALL.

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BUT MAN WHEN IT COMES IT HURTS AND IT MAKES YOU FEEL REAL KINDA DIZZY AS SHIT. BUT YOU JUST NEED TO SUCK IT UP, EAT AND KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER AND EVENTUALLY YOU WILL ARRIVE.

KINDA LIKE LIFE WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT.

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"IT IS NOT THE CRITIC WHO COUNTS; NOT THE MAN WHO POINTS OUT HOW THE STRONG MAN STUMBLES, OR WHERE THE DOER OF DEEDS COULD HAVE DONE THEM BETTER. THE CREDIT BELONGS TO THE MAN WHO IS ACTUALLY IN THE ARENA, WHOSE FACE IS MARRED BY DUST AND SWEAT AND BLOOD: WHO STRIVES VALIANTLY: WHO ERRS, WHO COMES SHORT AGAIN AND AGAIN. BECAUSE THERE IS NO EFFORT WITH ERROR AND SHORTCOMING; BUT WHO DOES ACTUALLY STRIVE TO DO THE DEEDS: WHO KNOWS GREAT ENTHUSIASMS, THE GREAT DEVOTIONS, WHO SPENDS HIMSELF IN A WORTHY CAUSE. WHO AT BEST KNOWS IN THE END THE TRIUMPH OF HIGH ACHIEVEMENT, AND WHO AT THE WORST, IF HE FAILS, AT LEAST FAILS WHILE DARING GREATLY, SO THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO NEITHER KNOW VICTORY NOR DEFEAT"
- THEODORE ROOSEVELT




THE STORM BLEW BRANCHES CLEAN OFF THE TREES.



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90 MILES DONE,
32 HOURS IN,
10 MILES TO GO

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I COULDN'T RUN DUE TO THE MUSCLE/TENDON PAIN IN MY FEET, KNEES AND ANKLES.

I COULDN'T WALK DUE TO THE CHAFING, BLEEDING & CLUSTERS OF BLISTERS IN MY CROTCH IN BETWEEN TOP OF MY THIGHS.

SO FOR 2-3 MILES I JUST SUCKED IT UP AND SPRINTED, WHICH MADE ME CRY A LITTLE WHILST DOING IT BUT WE ATE UP A FEW MILES QUICKER THAN AT ANY PART OF THE PREVIOUS 90 MILES.

THIS WAS PHYSICALLY THE MOST GRUELLING PART - 90 MILES IN - I'D KEPT TELLING MYSELF AND THE TEAM THAT IT HADN'T EVEN STARTED YET. ALL THE WAY THRU, 30 MILES, 50 MILES, 70 MILES "THIS IS NOTHING, IT'S NOT EVEN STARTED YET".

BUT AT MILE 90 I WAS LIKE "YEP, NOW IT'S STARTED".

MENTALLY, THE RUN STARTED AT MILE 90.

THE PAIN WAS TANGIBLE, BUT SO TOO WAS THE FINISH. THERE WERE LITERALLY CLUSTERS OF BLISTERS IN BETWEEN MY LEGS, SWOLLEN & BLEEDING.

I WAS WALKING LIKE ROBOCOP.



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WE WENT PAST THE SAME PUB I STOPPED AT 3 YEARS EARLIER AND REWARDED THE PREVIOUS 2-3 MILES WITH A QUICK PINT - GOOD FOR THE MIND AND FULL OF CALORIES & SUGAR - PERFECT NUTRITION AT THAT STAGE.










ALL THE WAY THRU I KEEP A MANTRA GOING IN MY HEAD:

PAIN IS TEMPORARY. IT MAY LAST A MINUTE, A DAY, OR EVEN A YEAR, BUT EVENTUALLY IT WILL SUBSIDE AND SOMETHING STRONGER WILL TAKE IT'S PLACE. IF I QUIT HOWEVER, THE REGRET WILL REMAIN WITH ME FOREVER.

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WITH LESS THAN 1 MILE TO GO A MAN IN A CAR RANDOMLY STOPPED IN HIS CAR TO SHOUT "GO ROCKY, DON'T LET HIM STOP!!"

CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfizsp2i8WY

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3 YEARS AGO WHEN I ATTEMPTED THIS EXACT SAME THING I WAS IN BETTER PHYSICAL CONDITION. I DID 85 MILES AND I COULD HAVE FINISHED IT BACK THEN, BUT THE FACT IS I DIDN'T. I FINISHED THE LAST 15-20 MILES ON A BICYCLE BECAUSE WE WANTED TO MEET THE PEOPLE AND NEWS CREW ALREADY WAITING FOR US AT THE STEPS TO WISH MY BRO A HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN THE DAYLIGHT.

I ALWAYS REGRETTED THAT.

3 YEARS LATER, THERE WAS NO-ONE WAITING FOR US AT THE STEPS - NO PRESSURE FOR TIME - AND THERE WAS NO WAY IN THE WORLD THAT I WAS NOT GOING TO FINISH THOSE GODDAMN 100 MILES. MENTALLY, I WAS MORE PREPARED.

WE REACHED THE ROCKY STEPS AT 9:30PM SUNDAY EVENING.

THE DEMONS EXORCISED FROM 3 YEARS AGO.

EXACTLY 100 MILES.

EXACTLY 36 HOURS.




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CHILDHOOD DREAM OF MY BROTHER AND ME CAME TRUE.



















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THE BOND THAT FORMS BETWEEN THE TEAM, TOGETHER FOR A FULL WEEKEND ON A WEIRD MISSION, IS INCREDIBLE.

IT'S KINDA A LIFETIME MEMORY.

FUNDAMENTALLY, LIFE IS ABOUT CREATING INSPIRATIONAL MEMORIES WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE.

THE REST IS JUST DETAILS.


WE RAISED OVER $28,000 FOR THE MIND CHARITY, BUT WE WANT TO RAISE A LOT MORE. I KINDA WON'T STOP UNTIL I RAISE $1M FOR MIND.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION.

ALL MONEY GOES DIRECTLY TO THE CHARITY. WE PAY ALL EXPENSES. THE CHARITY DOES NOT PAY FOR MY EXPENSES AT ALL - I DO THIS IN MY SPARE TIME, TAKING HOLIDAY FROM WORK.

ALL CASH DONATED GOES DIRECTLY 100% TO MIND.







CLICK HERE TO DONATE.

PLEASE DONATE.



THE DREAM TEAM WERE AMAZING. WE ALL LEARNT A LOT ABOUT OURSELVES, ABOUT EACH OTHER, AND ABOUT HUMAN WILL DURING THIS WEEKEND.

INKY, SUDHA, LEO, TOMI.

LEGENDS.












WHEN YOU LEAST FEEL LIKE MOVING - THIS IS WHEN YOU NEED TO MOVE THE MOST.







BELIEF.

WILL-POWER.

IT'S ALL IN THE MIND.

IN MY MIND IT WAS ALREADY DONE.







WHAT WOULD I KNOW?

I'M JUST ANOTHER BUM FROM THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.

DA-DA-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH.

DA-DA-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH.

DA-DA-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH....