Volunteering - ING Georgia Marathon

I did something new and different today, I volunteered at a Marathon, the ING Georgia Marathon.

I have not yet run my first marathon, but was hoping this would be my first. Because of the fall, and broken collar bone mid year last year, my training was put on hold and so I wasn't ready.

I figured, what better way to still be part of a marathon, and see a bit of what it is like than to volunteer to help. I helped at one of the water stops. I was at the water stop at mile 18, during one of the many hills.

I woke up at 4:45 and was out the door by 5:10. I had anticipated it would take me 45 minutes to drive to where I needed to be, but it wasn't near as far as I thought. I arrived about 5:45 and was the first one there. After about 10 minutes the one in charge of the stop arrived and we started to unload the truck. We had till 8:30 when the elites would come by.

The elites arrived on schedule, I still cannot believe how fast they were moving. We had everything set up like shown in the first pic above, but we were told that the elites would not be stopping by our stop, because they had special water at the next stop. Not sure what the "special water" was, but they still grabbed some water as they flew by, knocking a lot of water off as they tried to grab some. We were not holding anything out because we were told they wouldn't be stopping.

It was a little while before we really saw any of the non-elite runners. It is still absolutely amazing how fast these next were running, they were still running well under 3 hour marathons. They are still considered elite in my book.

The next 3+ hours I was standing with one arm out holding Gatorade. It was a lot of fun watching the runners go by and seeing how many different types of runners were running, all of them very inspiring and making me wish I was ready to run my marathon. We even had one single amputee come by. She was hurting, but it was very inspiring to see her running this marathon. We all have nothing to complain about.

It was a cold morning, and our hands were freezing, but the time still flew by. It was a lot of fun, and I would do it again, however, next time I hope to be running it.

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow

Running the Sahara - The Review

From the point they stepped into the water at the beginning till when they reached the Red Sea in Egypt, what an amazing journey.

Running the Sahara is an inspirational movie about Charlie Engle from the United States, Kevin Lin from Taiwan, and Ray Zahab from Canada and their journey running across the Sahara Desert. What ended up taking them 111 days of running marathon followed by marathon, without even 1 day of rest. Their journey brought out all kinds of emotions both good and bad as we watched them do what the rest of the world would see as impossible.

This movie did not let me down. It started off a little slow and I was worried that I was going to be shortly watching the clock, however, it didn't take long before I was totally into it and completely unaware of my surroundings.

I went into this movie not really knowing what to expect. I wasn't sure if I was going to see a movie leaning towards the running, or more towards the environmental and social issues they found while crossing the desert. I was pleasantly surprised that this was a running movie all the way, but yet still had much to do with the journey and the obstacles they had to overcome, as well as the environmental and social issues they found along the way.

We were drawn into these three guys lives for the more than 3 months they were running and we were able to see many of the physical and emotional struggles that they experienced. They each struggled in their own way, and showed their vulnerabilities and strengths. The interactions with each other, as you can imagine, were not always agreeable or pleasant.

There is so much more I want to say about the movie, but really don't want to spoil it for those of you that are going to watch it. If you have not yet purchased your tickets for an upcoming screening why not head on over to their listings and see if it is coming your way. If not, you can also purchase the DVD here.

More information can be found about the movie at their website www.runningthesahara.com and the H2O Africa Organization at their website www.h2oafrica.org.

Following the movie we had the opportunity to talk to Ray Zahab (www.rayzahab.com). He answered questions from the audience in Atlanta, even though he was not able to be there with us like initially planned. I got the opportunity to ask the question about how long after he got back from Africa he started running again. He said he got out and tried running about a week and a half after returning home. He told the funny story of being passed by power-walkers while out on this run, even though he felt like he was doing pretty good. He talked about his South Pole Quest, as well as his organization, Impossible2Possible.

The bottom line is that I highly recommend seeing this movie. It is well worth your time, and is very inspirational. You can see a trailer on my previous post.

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow

Running the Sahara - Upcoming Screenings

What if I asked you what is the furthest you have ever run? Based on the readership I am sure I would get many answers varying from nothing, a mile or two, all the way up to 100+ mile distances by the Ultra Runners.

What about running two marathons every day.... for 80 days straight? That is what Charlie, Kevin, and Ray did as chronicled in the inspirational film, Running the Sahara.

Running the Sahara is a feature documentary narrated and executive produced by Academy Award winner Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll.

This powerful and inspirational film chronicles an attempt by three ultra marathoners to run across the entire length of Africa's Sahara Desert, tackling not only the elements, but also unimaginable physical and emotional obstacles. Their goal is to run across six African countries, anticipating two marathons per day, for eighty days ... without a day off. 

Charlie Engle from the United States, Kevin Lin from Taiwan, and Ray Zahab from Canada, have run together in marathons before. But this time is different. This isn't a race. It's a grueling test of will and a chance to accomplish something that no known person has ever achieved. 

The films score was produced by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer, composed by Heitor Pereira, with songs from U2, Pearl Jam and original songs performed by Wyclef Jean and the African Children's Choir.

Coming in the next week there will be four screenings, one of which is in Atlanta (which I will be attending) to corrispond with the ING Georgia Marathon and others in Washington DC, Virginia Beach, and Pasadina, with many more to come. I am very excited to see this film. 

What? You say you are not an Ultra Runner? You do not need to be an Ultra Runner to be inspired by this movie. Why not make plans to attend one of the Screenings this Thursday evening in either Atlanta or Washington DC. More information can be found at www.runningthesahara.com or tickets to one of the many screenings can be found by visiting the listing of screenings.

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow

Running with my boy

Today has been a really awesome day.  I have been able to spend the entire weekend with just my little boy.  My wife is at the beach and my two daughters are at our church for the weekend at a conference.

We started the weekend off with Pizza, a movie, and then ice cream following.  Not a good choice of food at all, but sometimes you just got to do it for the experience with your kids.  We went where he wanted to go.

This morning we decided to go to the school and throw the baseball around a bit.  I knew it was going to be hard to get any kind of run in since it is just me and my 7 year old hanging out.  He has been asking me for months to go running while he rides his bike, but for too long I was injured and couldn't do it.  


We both got ready and we packed a backpack with water, gloves, and a baseball.  We put the backpack on his back and we hit the road.  I was running and he was riding his bike.  We did have to stop and walk a couple times because the bike was too hard to ride up some of the hills, but the rest of the run/ride went really good.  We spent about 45 minutes playing there and then made the trip home.  The trip home was better than the trip there as we went a different way with fewer hills.

I asked him and he said that he was having a very fun day and wanted to do it again sometime soon.  This wasn't a great run as far as getting miles in or trying to hit a certain time, but it cannot be replaced with a better afternoon and time with my boy.... priceless!

Saturday's Good Run - Building Back the Distance

This past Saturday was another good run in the road to recovery.  I had pretty much given in to the fact that I wouldn't be going out for any substantial run.  The weatherman had told us that it was going to rain all day Saturday.

My wife had gotten home just about 11:00 from a doctor appointment and asked when I was going for my run.  I had been so into other things that I had not even noticed that it was not currently raining.  It was pouring just a short time earlier.  I was then not very happy because I had just gotten through eating a snack that I would regret in just a couple short miles.

I gave it some time and about 12:45 I headed out the door.  My plans were to go 7 or 8 miles, but wasn't sure where I would go yet.  Of course as soon as I got on the road the rain started to fall again.  The fact that it wasn't that cold kept the rain from detering me and I kept on going.  Before hitting the edge of the neighborhood I had decided I was going to take the 6 mile loop that I used to take during my past long runs of 10 - 14 miles.  This way I wouldn't cheat and try to cut the run short if it continued to rain or get a little cold.  I jsut figured I would add a mile or two in near the end of the run before re-entering the neighborhood.

The first couple miles were as good as any first couple miles are, and then the next couple miles really seemed kinda tough.  This is one of the benifits of running a circle..... I had to come back, so I couldn't give up.  After the next couple miles I was getting into the groove pretty good and the run was quite enjoyable.  As I neared our neighborhood I opted to do another 2 mile cirlce sealing the distance at 8 miles.

When I finished up the last bit I was very pleased to find that I still had energy left.  I probably could have gone another mile or two without too much issue, but being that this was the first distance past 6 miles since my injury, I figured I best stop to keep from being injured again.

All in all, I am very pleased with this run, I feel like I am starting to get my running legs and lungs back.... now if I can just drop those few extra pounds!