I’d decided some time ago to add the Antarctic marathon into the schedule. I didn’t know how hard it would be to get in or even find the money to pay my way, but I just wanted to top off this trip by doing something completely ridiculous… The fact that they also have a 100km race that only had 3 participants and 2 finishers last year, made it all the more enticing.
Unfortunately this means that there is no end of changes to be made to my schedule to accommodate that random adventure. I would need from the 7th of December to the 21st, to get down to Puntas Arenas where you join the tour, to fly to Antarctica, await the race day, then return in good time. This wipes out a few weekends and the end of December is probably the hardest time of year to find races…
So I needed to double up a couple of times (2 marathons in 2 days), to give myself the opportunity to complete my mission of 52 marathons in the year. This coming weekend seemed like an ideal opportunity to do that, as I am in one of the most beautiful parts of the world – Scandinavia!
I found a race in a place named Stavanger, Norway. It’s on the western coast and apparently it’s a lovely little city.. I’ll soon find out as I’m on a train headed there right now. It gave me the opportunity to stop in Oslo for a few days, where I met up with one of Australia’s finest sons, Dr J Barnes. We had a fantastic stay with my old school mate David Craig, his beautiful wife Elin and champion son Aksel! We also stayed with a top Adelaide boy, Dave and met up with Jacqui and Eric too – thanks to Chloe for hooking that up from the Cayman Islands. All in all I met some lovely people (Fred, Claes and Casper included) and had a brilliant few days in Oslo. Spectacular city with some of the most impressive statues I’ve ever seen. I even ran 24km over the last couple of days to see more of the city!
The Doc and I are approaching Stavanger and it seems we’ll be meeting a local paper tonight and a TV2 news crew tomorrow. Very exciting. They’re particularly interested in my story because of the insanity that will occur this very weekend.
Essentially, I will run a full marathon at a reasonable pace (3:30ish) in Stavanger tomorrow morning. Then an ice bath… Followed by a beer… Ha!
Then I will head to the airport and jump on a plane to Copenhagen at about 6pm. I will head to a port called Koge, 40 mins away and at 11pm hop on an overnight ferry to Bornholm Island. It’s just below Sweden, but still part of Denmark. Unfortunately by the time I booked the ferry passage, they’d run out of beds, so it seems I’ll be asleep on a damn bench again…
A fella named Brian will pick me up from the port in Ronne at 6am. It’s a short drive from there to the start line of the Bornholm marathon.. That’s gonna be tough.. The fact that it is a 100km race around the island, makes it a little crazy. Now, I didn’t know it was a 100km race when I organised all this. I read that it was a marathon and added it into the plans. Then I saw that it started at 1pm, which made little sense to me. So I researched some more and found that it was an Ultra, with a 42km option…
I don’t much like being outdone. I hated the idea of showing up in the morning and seeing everyone take off on this incredible 100km challenge, just to wait 6 hours to start my part of the race. It sounded like an absolutely ridiculous idea for me to then opt into the 100km… but hey, that’s what this year is all about, right?! Get ridiculous. Do crazy.. Laugh at insane!!
The Stavanger race organisers have given me free entry. The people in Bornholm are bending over backwards to help me get to the start line and have also helped me with a free entry. These people are really pulling for me here, so I want to do well and give something back. I’m so impressed with the amount of support that has been generated by my cry for help on Facebook. It has been absolutely incredible!
Emma Ireland and her husband Joel are meeting us now. Thanks to Amanda in Melbourne for introducing us. Emma is an Aussie girl who has gone out of her way to help – she even contacted the local papers!
This is going to be a VERY interesting weekend, so stay tuned…
Here’s an idea…. a way that you can get involved.. It’s the Captain InsaneO Challenge!!
If I get through this weekend – 142km!! – then I challenge you to donate $10 to UNICEF or to Facing Africa. If you’ve already donated (some have donated twice!) then this is not aimed at you. But if you have been watching this adventure, I would implore you to join me in helping so many less fortunate children around the world. Just $10 to help a few kids has gotta be worth it. I’ve raised some dollars this year, but it’s far below my expectations, so help me lift the bar!
Use these two links:
I’m super excited. I hope you are too! Watch the below MYLAPS links over the weekend to see if I’m still going. Remember, if I make it through 142km, then you only have to donate $10!!
Yours in Viking Berserker Madness,