I often talk about the power of belief, and that we are all capable of more, and that if we just believe then we set our selves on the road to success.
However, sometimes I am shocked by just what is possible.
I know when I decided to run my first marathon that belief was a big driver.
I knew that millions of people had run marathons before, I knew that people older and less fit than myself had run them, and all this gave me the belief that I could do it too.
Last week I met someone, Andy McMenemy, and he was telling me about the challenge that he had completed which really impressed me, especially as I had just managed two complete Marathons 6 months apart.
He had completed 66 Ultra Marathons in 66 cities in 66 days, to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes.
An ultra marathon is 31 miles (approx 50km), running 66 consecutive Ultra Marathons is a World Record.
This means that in just over 66 days he had run over 2050 miles (over 3200km).
I was stunned, having just completed my second Marathon, I couldn’t believe that it was possible to run 66 consecutive Ultra Marathons in 66 days.
Many people say that 1 marathon a year is enough, others say 2 per year max, so 66 consecutive Ultra Marathons is very impressive indeed.
I asked him what had driven his to try such an amazing challenge. He told me that his original plan was to run 66 Marathons in 66 days, which would also at that time have been a World Record, previously the record was 52.
I asked him what made him switch from Marathons to Ultra Marathons, I mean wasn’t 66 Marathons is a big enough challenge?
He told me that if he did 66 Marathons this wouldn’t be a world record, because at the same time he was running his challenge (2011), there was another challenge in progress.
A Belgian runner, Stefan Engels, was attempting to run 365 marathons in a row!!!!
Can you imagine that?
Who would have believed that it was possible to run over 50 marathons on successive days, let alone 66. But here we have Stefan believing that is was possible to run 365.
Stefan completed his challenge, of 365, not only did he do those consecutively, but he also did 36 marathons before that (401 in 401 days), but he had an injury and completed several using a hand bike, and when the injury was healed he started the clock again, as he wanted to Run 365 Marathons in 365 consecutive days.
So here we can see what can be achieved with the power of belief, taking the world record from 52 unto 365, is a huge achievement, and just shows what, as humans we are capable of.
I was so impressed and inspired by these stories, that I read a couple of articles about them on the internet, seeing where they had run, what preparation they had taken to achieve such mammoth results.
During this research I came across an article about Ricardo Abad, who had decided to take on Stefan Engels record by running 500 marathons in 500 days.
Not just breaking his record of 365, but smashing it by running almost 150 marathons more.
I thought this is crazy, impossible even, then as i read on I saw that Ricardo had not only achieved this goal, but he had kept on running and had run a total of 607 Marathons on 607 consecutive days.
It just goes to show what it possible if we believe and we put in the right effort and commitment.
Ricardo also planned to run 1000 marathons in 500 days, basically 2 a day for 500 days, but this was abandoned, not because he could do it, or believe that he couldn’t do it, but because he couldn’t get the funding!
Having read about this we should really look to re-evaluate the goals we are setting for our selves, are we just aiming for equivalent of 1 marathon, 66 marathons, 365 marathons or a whopping 607!!!
And remember Ricardo wanted to raise that bar to 1000 marathons in 500 days!
If our ambition is the equivalent of just one marathon, then maybe we need to have more belief and look to achieve what we are truly capable of!