31 days days to the start of the 2016 Grand to Grand Ultra …
The Grand to Grand Ultra starts in exactly one month from today.
It is amazing how quickly time flies. It feels like yesterday when I decided to enter this race after completing the Atacama Crossing in October 2015 in Chile.
With a month to go before a big race like this there is always a bit of doubt and uncertainty creeping in, but without any unforeseen problems or injuries, I should be fine when the race starts on 25 September 2016.
I am pleased with my training over the last few weeks. I had a few very good runs ranging from 20km to 50km, as well as various shorter runs with my back pack. In recent years I have done less long runs with my back pack to reduce the impact on my knees before big desert races. I trust this strategy will also work for the Grand to Grand Ultra. After my final long run over the coming weekend, the 12-hour Dawn-to-Dusk race in Pretoria, my focus will shift to shorter training sessions and all the other issues which still need to finalised, including the gear and nutrition which I will be using during the race.
My support for the END Fund’s efforts in eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) will also intensify in the period leading up to the race. Far too many people in Africa are confronted by NTDs such as intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma and river blindness. These diseases affect over 1.6 billion people worldwide and are a significant contributor to healthy life years lost as a result of either disability or premature death. They also leave sufferers vulnerable to other debilitating illnesses like tuberculosis.
We need to create more public awareness and understanding about NTDs and their impact on poor and vulnerable communities, and mobilise more funding and support for organistions such as the END Fund which are playing a critical role in response to these diseases.
Over the past 24 hours my personal and professional life has been shaken to the core, something which was unexpected, and with far reaching implications for everyone involved. There is never a good time to deal with challenging issues of this nature, especially not before taking on a physical and mental challenge such as the Grand to Grand Ultra. But that’s life, and hopefully my motivation for completing the race will only grow stronger.
The countdown to the Grand to Grand Ultra continues…
I invite you to support my fundraising campaign and encourage others to do the same.
Together, we can END NTDs!