Isolation inspiration: an ultra-marathon… in a back garden
Despite dealing with advanced prostate cancer, Kev has run the gruelling Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara desert multiple times. After this year's race was postponed he's found a way to take the challenge closer to home.
Our heroic ultra-running ambassador, Kevin Webber was given just two years to live in 2014. Since then he has gone on to run in extreme races around the world raising over £100K, including conquering a gruelling event in Africa called the Marathon Des Sables multiple times. He planned to return this year, but like most events over the next few months it was postponed. Kev being Kev, he’s taken the challenge a lot closer to home. Let’s hear from the man himself:
I hope that you're doing OK in what is the biggest global challenge in most of our lifetimes. I can only imagine how hard it must be for some families right now, be it actually having been touched by the virus or struggling with financial consequences.
So writing about me seems a little shallow against that backdrop but I guess life has to go on too, we do ourselves no favours dwelling on sad things and need to find joy somewhere, somehow, every day.
I feel a bit guilty saying I've had a good month. Regarding my prostate cancer, a recent blood test has improved slightly. I had a full-body MRI scan but await the results to see if the cancer is growing or has spread. I’ll deal with that outcome when/if I need to.
I’ve run over 1,000 kilometres so far this year, which is over 10k per day on average, never thought I would get this far that's for sure.
The Marathon Des Sables was due to start this Sunday but has been postponed until September. So what's a fundraising challenge junkie like me to do within the current social distancing rules?
I've decided to run my own Marathon Des Sables. I don't know how far it would have been this year but I ran last year and will mirror that as follows:-
Sunday 5th April 32.2k
Monday 6th April 32.5k
Tuesday 7th April 37.1k
Wednesday 8th April 76.3k
Friday 10th April 42.2k
Saturday 11th April 9.3k (longer than the race was but rounds up the week to a nice 230k or 143 miles)
What this won’t be... well it won’t be in the Sahara, it won’t be 50 degrees celcius, it won’t be on soft sand with massive dunes and jebels. But what it will be is in my back garden, it may be cold and wet, it will be a huge strain on my ankles and knees, it will be boring and lonely and it will be a massive challenge.
I will start each day at 8-00am, in true Marathon Des Sables style, to the sound of ACDC Highway to Hell. I'll also do a Facebook live every hour on the hour and at the finish to say how it's going. Its quite hard to run at any pace zig-zagging around my garden so at best I think I will manage on average about 6k per hour so about 6 hours a day, 12 on the long day and 40 hours for the whole event, I may well be slower though.
As ever with these events there's always jeopardy, I'll try my best but apologise in advance if my body fails in some way, my ankles and knees have suffered already but who knows? I do hope that my challenge will inspire you to find a way to do your best too in what are difficult times.
I always say, the miracle for me is not that I may finish but it’s that I’m here still to put my foot on the start line, I think we all have a part to play in creating our own positive miracles.
Thanks for reading, stay safe.
Kev is raising money for both National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal and Prostate Cancer UK. You can donate to his challenge here.
Inspired by Kev’s challenge? Got some tips or ideas to share?
Get in touch in the comments and let us know how you’re keeping your mind and body active during isolation.