Article by Anthony as received by him. – Finisher of Jazeera RunKuwait 230 KM Ultra
“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past.” – Napoleon Hill. This is the most inspirational quotes on the power of positive thinking, it’s not only about thinking, it’s about believing. If you don’t believe you can achieve something your negative thoughts will make sure you don’t achieve it. Furthermore, an average person would not even try something new. Anyway, every runner at some point has a story to tell and after crossing the finish line of RunKuwait’s Season 5, (230KM) Ultra run I’m glad to share my experience too.
Stepping out of my comfort zone for regular walks was my New Year Resolution last year, 2016 and after three decades of a sedentary life. I began to nudge myself to walk regularly. Running was not imagined, the only run which I had done till then was a 3km Fun Run. When I heard of RUNKUWAIT’S 220KM ULTRA RUN which spans Kuwait from North to South border, it seemed like a distant dream. As they say “LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF COMFORT ZONE”, and my distant dream began taking shape when I received a phone call from Mr. Yousef Al-Qanai, CEO of the Forward Sports Co informing me that I was among the six selected runners out of 120 applicants & I was invited for the official orientation in Jan. 2017. Till then I had never run a marathon and had no inkling what an Ultra trial run is and was unaware of the actual distance on road other than seeing it on Google map, yet I set out on this journey with a determined will & was encouraged to meet my run-mates; the other five runners who were excitedly waiting to conquer the desert and highway roads. We underwent 3 months of rigorous training which sounded scary with all kinds of runs called the long run, tempo run, hill run, high intensity volume training etc. to improve endurance and mental stability that were enjoyable as well as doable and finally the day of the great event dawned and we found ourselves at the start point at northern border of the State of Kuwait on the morning of 8th April. After a brief photo session with banner of RunKuwait5 banner, I excitedly said a short prayer to God and we set off as a team, at gentle pace to warm up. The initial part was quite beautiful with pleasant weather and wind blowing, we felt like we were flying but by noon the weather changed. It is said that even a trained athlete could end up hitting the wall after having run 30KM but for us going beyond 20KM was next to impossible with the scorching heat burning down our skins, we were gasping for water and breath but that’s the time when our minds awakened to remind us why we were running; the purpose, the goals, the strategy, the teamwork, the care & support from one another to cross the finish line at the south borders of Kuwait together as one team without giving up and to push ourselves beyond our limits to keep running forward through the desert and the unending roads. Apart from physical body ailments and mental challenges, survival in the desert with our limited run-diets and resources became a major challenge too. We had to cover a distance of 40 KM each on the first two days, the third day being a rest n recovery day with a 33KM run and the fourth day being the biggest, wildest, scariest challenge run of our lives which was around 93 KM which we boldly completed in the next two days. Our excitement throughout the run was so great that there was no space for pain or anxieties. The final day run on 13 April was a celebration day run with just 27KM which we ran together singing and dancing, waving to passerby vehicles till we crossed the finish line at the South border of Kuwait before sunset.
Looking back at how it was possible to run 230KM straight from a 3KM fun run, I firmly believe that it would not have been possible without the tremendous support from Forward Sports Company’s – Management Team Members (Founder & CEO – Mr. Yousef AlQanai, Managing Partners – Mr. Bader AlFailakawy & Ms. Mona Al Wazzan) and their support team ensuring us at every step that Ultra-run is a mind game. If the mind is willing the body will move forward in action for “Impossible Is Nothing”. This ultra-run have transformed me inward as well as outward. It’s a “lifetime achievement” for me, at the same time; this is just the beginning for a change in my life.
If you too wish to make a giant leap in your life to experience joy, happiness, satisfaction of accomplishment and achievements to balance your life, work and family, you have to be crazy enough to dream VERY BIG, so big that it should scare you, challenge you to push your limits then an Ultra-run is the best choice. Get started right away using the valuable time “NOW” which is in your hands. Feel free to write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org, if you need any assistance and guidance in getting started in this exciting venture and I would be glad to reply. Till then, happy running.