I am back in the States baby!!! Rocked into California yesterday for the Juice Plus+ conference in Long Beach but having a few cheeky days in San Francisco beforehand with Jennifer Steinman (Director of the Desert Runners Movie), Melissa & Andrea (great friends who I met during the Atacama Crossing last year). Pretty excited for the conference as I will be reconnecting with Ricky Paugh, Lisa Tamati and Dave O’Brien who I spent some pretty crazy moments with last year whilst completing the Four Deserts Grand Slam. We get to have a sneak preview at some of the footage, which may appear in the Desert Runners Movie – which will be released early in 2012. It’s quite surreal to look back at what we went through last year, some of the moments captured I have completely no memory of and I definitely said some loco things when I was on the absolute edge of my sanity. You guys will love it when it comes out – check out the website http://www.desertrunnersmovie.com
My 2011 race plan has started to form shape and the first big race of the year is the Northburn mountain race in Cromwell, New Zealand. The profile of this race is pretty hectic. I was initially planning on doing the 100mile event but had to make a tough but wise decision and opt for the 100km event. There are two loops in this event that will take me from 200m above sea level up near the most central point in New Zealand at around 1660m (2200m and 2600m vertical climb respectively), with a total climb of 4800m = gahhhhhh! Lisa Tamati has organised this event and it is the first year it is taking place.
About 7 weeks later I will be racing in the NorthFace100 in the Blue Mountains. Dr Dan and I have decided to combine our forces and enter in the mixed team division. Dr Dan is by far the speedier of the two of us and he will be taking the first 54kms of the race. Very wise decision as the course has record number of competitors and is renowned for getting bottlenecked with competitors within the first section of the course due to the narrow paths. I will be taking over for the second half of the course and will need to lock in as the final 46kms are very hilly and tough.
Third big race in August is La Ultra, The High: a 220km ultra- marathon in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. This will be my hardest race to date as it will be completed in a single stage and will have me shuffle at a seriously mean altitude in what is the highest ultra marathon in the world. No female has completed this race before and I am pretty scared about how technically difficult this will be. Juice Plus+ has come on board & have helped me with my altitude gear, which will become an important component of my training program over the next six months. I have chosen not to go with an altitude chamber and alternatively am using an Alto Lab device. Reasons why – impact on sleep quality, decreased immune system and it also means you have to sleep solo = no deal. Will keep everyone up to date on how it goes.
The fourth event on the cards is the NYC marathon. CW-X and Runners World have gotten on board to organise my spot for this event and I know I will be like a kid on Christmas morning when I fly back to the States in November for it. It’s been a long dream of mine to run in this event and I cannot wait to be apart of the atmosphere and excitement. I’ve always been a fan of the Melbourne Marathon course but disappointed by the lack of energy and enthusiasm of the crowd/supporters. I have watched the NYC mara on the TV for years and I am in constant awe how the whole city gets involved in the hype.
The final event for what is a big year is RacingThePlanet’s roving event in Nepal. This will follow the same structure as the Four Desert races I did last year – 250kms, six stages, self-supported. There is a great contingent of friends running in this race and that is one of the big appeals of the race. My mate Jimbot from law school will be competing in his first ultra there and we have been training together and will continue to do so in the lead up.
So there it is friends, possibly an even bigger year than last year. I will also be completing seven law subjects in the next five months to finish my degree. The final three subjects will be ticked off in Malaysia in seven weeks with the La Ultra, The High challenge in the middle of that period.
If I can pull of all of these events than truly anything is possible. I will be working like a beast to make it happen and am ever grateful to Daniel, my family and friends for being an amazing support to me. I am also incredibly blessed to have a great bunch of sponsors (Juice Plus+, Ascend, CW-X and Injinji) that help make these challenges possible.
Hope everyone else has some exciting adventures planned for 2011!!