I have scheduled this post to go live on the day I start the Marathon des Sables. Right now as you sip that coffee or eat that slice of cake I have 9ishkg on my back, sand beneath my feet (and probably already in unholy places) and sweat pouring from every inch of me. I will be feeling more nervous and excited then I will have ever felt in my entire life.
Truth be told my goal was never to get to Marathon des Sables. I started running because if I hadn’t I honestly don’t know what would have become of me and where I would be now. In the early miles I ran to ruin the old me and rebuild a new identity. In doing so it created a new body but also a new soul sparked by this intoxicating passion. I am still rebuilding.
The Marathon des Sables is not the finish line for me, far from it. As this running adventure continues I learn with certainty that this is the path I was always meant to tread. That this, above all that has come before it, is what I was born to do.
I know I sound like a reality show contestant but thank you to everyone who has help me throughout this journey. To my parents who have been unbelievably supportive in an addiction that I know perplexes them as I was never ever into any fitness before this. They have offered unwavering love and generosity without which I wouldn’t be where I am today. To my brother for being a gauge at which I will always measure myself. To my old friends for simply putting up with my droning on about running like I’m trying to convert them and understanding why running has been so important. To my running friends I’ve made along the way for pacing me at races and sharing advice when I was lost. Most of all to my partner for being my courage when I doubt, my sanity when I get ahead of myself, my support when I stumble and my love when I thought I was all but loveless.
The Marathon des Sables is the toughest foot race on the planet, I am under no illusions that this race could be well beyond my capabilities. But I want to show anyone, maybe you right now, that no dream is too big. That if I can go from a 20 stone non-runner to the start line of Marathon des Sables in four and a half years then the limits you put infront of your dreams are fragile and frail. Go through them, smash the shadow you cast upon your hopes. All you have to do is believe in yourself and start. So just start.