ENDURrun 2011 - Stage 7: The Marathon

I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible. – John Hanc After 117.8km and 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 22 seconds of running, it’s come down to this. The final stage, which starts where it all began a mere week ago. The marathon. The longest distance covered in a stage in the ENDURrun, but arguably not the hardest.

ENDURrun 2011 - Stage 6: The 10km Time Trial

Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them; a desire, a dream, a vision. – Muhammad Ali A short run. A net downhill course. More or less flat. Piece of cake. These are all things that I’d heard people saying about Stage 6. Sure, when looking at it on paper, it is the shortest, and easiest stage of the ENDURrun. However, considering that we are running it with legs that have seen 107.

ENDURrun 2011 - Stage 5: The 16 Mile Cross Country

When the guy says go, you start to suffer - or you might as well not be out there. It’s a small piece of your life, make it hurt. – Aaron Cox, US Mountain Biking Champion After a relaxing day off running on Thursday, it’s back at it on Friday, and this next stage is the toughest stage of the whole competition. This is where the training (or lack thereof) becomes evident for all to see.

ENDURrun 2011 - Stage 4: The 10 Miler

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy … It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed. – Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon Champion Wednesday begins the “Mountain Stage” of the ENDURrun, named after the number, and size, of the hills found in this and the next stage.

ENDURrun 2011 - Stage 3: The 30km Trail Run

We runners are all a little nutty, but we’re good people who just want to enjoy our healthy, primitive challenge. Others may not understand running, but we do, and we cherish it. That’s our only message. – John J. Kelley I awoke Tuesday to find the sky overcast and dark, and the pavement outside looking quite wet. Seeing as this is a trail race, and trails are typically made up of dirt (with some wood chips and maybe gravel thrown in here and there for good measure), I envisioned the race being a wet, icky, soupy mess.

ENDURrun 2011 - Stage 2: The 15km Time Trial

It is very hard to understand in the beginning that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit. - Dr. George Sheehan At first glance, Stage 2 looks to be the second easiest of all the stages. It’s the second shortest distance, for sure. But that’s where the “easy” part of it ends.

ENDURrun 2011 - Stage 1: The Half Marathon

Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running. – Sarah Condor At 5:45am the alarm goes off. My sleep was surprisingly good. Usually before a race, I sleep like crap, as I’ve been doing the past few nights. After today, though, I will have NO problem sleeping. Quick check on the weather… looks wet and steamy out.

ENDURrun 2011: Prologue

If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run. – John Bingham It’s 9:34pm on Saturday August 6, and I’m nervous. No, not nervous. Scared is closer. Scared of what is to come, tomorrow, and the rest of the week.