120 miles of…. what?
Okay, I imagine it’s over a couple weeks? That’s almost 200 kilometres!!! Like 10 miles a day? That’d sure be a challenge!
Nope! All in one go. If all goes well I’ll only need to run through one night!
…..where and when do you participate in this….?
Well this race, Fat Dog, starts near Keremeos, British Columbia, just west of Osoyoos, and finishes in Manning Park. Oh ya, and it’s held on August 12-14 so it’ll be a bit warm.
So let me get this straight, not only are you RUNNING… NON-STOP….. OVER AN ENTIRE DAY…. but it’s going to be in one of the HOTTEST PLACES IN CANADA… DURING THE SUMMER?!?!?! Do I dare ask how this could possibly get any harder?
Well… I suppose I could mention it’s got the same elevation change as going from sea level to the top of Everest and back! You could say it’s a jaunt over a few mountain ranges.
WHAT ARE YOU… INSANE?!?!?!?!
I routinely go through conversations like this ALL THE TIME when talking ultra marathons. I suppose you could say running something like this is a bit crazy, which is why I decided to dedicate this season of training for the Fat Dog 120 miler to mental health awareness! There’s many aspects of running a foot race over the marathon distance that mirrors challenges that come with a mental health disorder.
For myself, I have to manage my struggle with depression. Training for and running these long races helps me stay as healthy as possible so I know I’m doing everything I can to stay happy and healthy.
As is the case with dealing with mental health challenges, sometimes you can’t predict what’s going to happen during an ultra marathon and how you will need to mentally cope with these situations. Ultimately, even through unavoidable negative experiences, the outcome is always positive when you persevere through the low points and cross the finish line. It can seem hopeless at times, but if you keep pushing forward, one foot in front of the other, you will come out the other side. For those of us participating in these ultra endurance events, if you finish, you win.
Over the next few months, I hope to illustrate in more detail how training for and racing ultra marathons can show people a physical similarity to many of the struggles with mental health challenges. Mental health is hidden from plain sight, I want to bring it front and centre.
Please consider donating to the Calgary branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association as a part of this initiative. You can donate here. Please select “Greg’s 120 Miles for Mental Health” under the campaign/event selection.