I happened upon a brief news item in elitedaily.com a few weeks ago. It reported a couple in Australia set a new world record running a marathon each day in 2013. Alan Murray and Janette Murray Wakelin ran those marathon distances by completing a journey around the perimeter of Australia.
I’ll forgive elitedaily.com for referring to this couple as “elderly.” It is after all an online news source geared to Generation Y. Alan and Janette, Age 68 and 64 respectively, had specific goals and a nutrition plan.
First, the nutrition plan: raw fruits and vegetables exclusively. Sixteen years earlier, Janette was diagnosed with cancer. Already a vegan, she began a raw diet which for her was successful.
Their goals were many. They spread the word about the positive impact of an active lifestyle, promoted kindness for living beings, and raised environmental issues. The couple fundraised for several charities that promote active living as well.
When reading interviews, I frequently find unexplored questions. In this case, my unasked questions were: “On exactly what day of this 365-day mission of a daily marathon with your partner for life did you have the blow-up of all blow-ups? Did you keep running during the meltdown or just stand alongside the road screaming at each other? Which of you cracked first?”
As I searched further, it was clear my questions were irrelevant to this couple. They don’t seem the type to waste energy on disagreement, nor is this their first multiple-marathon goal. On their website Running Raw Around Australia, they chronicle an earlier celebration of the millennia by running 2,000 (more precisely 2,182) kilometers across New Zealand, running 51 marathons in 51 days.
In her interview with the Sydney Herald, Janette made it clear that in a state of optimum health, she believes the possibilities are limitless.
Which has me musing about limits, those that come from other sources in our lives and those that are self-imposed. How many runners, whether struggling to maintain 20 miles a week or training for a third ultra in a year, have not heard at least one negative and usually unsolicited comment from a well-meaning friend, colleague or family member.
Whether or not my state of health and conditioning would take me through months of daily sequential marathons, there are many facets of my life that I wouldn’t willingly give up. I would certainly miss the occasional concert, theatre, film I can’t wait to see. It would be really difficult to give up quiet time with family and training and social sessions with a variety of running friends. Those are my personal limits, not limits outwardly imposed.
For this couple, their love of running, their willingness to fundraise and spread the word about healthy living places it well within their limits. I look forward to seeing what running project is in the future for them.
Now, about you. What are you limits? Have you already determined what you can physically accomplish? Do your friends and family support your push of the limits?