A Cool Idea for a Hot Cause!
I did an ice skating marathon to raise money for my GAT to Uganda!
Why the marathon? We have been interested in the Global Alpha Training participating since we first heard about it but it had never worked out for us to go. When an opportunity came for my husband and I to join a team going out to Uganda in September 2010, we instantly both wanted to do it.
We knew that as a team we were expected to pay our own way and cover our own expenses so as to not be a burden to the country destination. Fund-raising was suggested. I had already been toying with the idea of walking a marathon to see if I would be fit enough to do that after my husband had run his first marathon back in May. However, having worked at the Ice rink, the idea soon became: ‘I wonder if I could skate a marathon?’ I wasn’t at all sure. I knew that on a normal day at the ice rink, I could clock up 10 – 15 km, but that was with breaks and a chance for the feet to get out of the skates in between public sessions. It seemed a potential long way to 42 km! However, I decided there was only one way to find out and set a date, worked out how many laps were required - 350 to be precise!
I had at least 3 challenges ahead of me:
1. Getting up at 5am to be at the rink for 6.30am and start skating early in the morning. I’m not a morning person and wearing skates at that time of day is just not normal!
2. The mental challenge. I knew it would be easy to tell myself ‘I can’t do it’. To offset this I worked out which lap rounds would be significant mentally for me and focused on those and told myself that most of us are quite able to do more than we think. I had also prepared myself that it would take 4 – 5 hrs. I had to because I hate it when things take longer than I hope for, so I knew I had to sort of trick myself to think long in case it was going to be.
3. Sore feet - would they make it? Anyone who has been skating will understand the ache skating can cause. There were some laps 3/4 way through where my feet were clearly in objection to what I was telling them to do but we got back on speaking terms again and it turned out to my surprise that the last 80 laps were the fastest.
I’m well aware that there are people out there who will be able to do it much faster but I was chuffed I was able to complete it - and finish with a good time of 3 hrs and 38 mins – at my age (47!) that is not too bad. And after effects? No after effects apart from aches under the feet. It seemed crazy when I planned it but it probably helped that I had to work both the afternoon and day after the marathon, no chance to cease up!
I’d encourage anybody to set themselves a challenge. It’s great! Next challenge is adjusting to life in Kampala quickly and delivering the training program as well as possible.
Lone, Stirling, Scotland