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Quite often I am asked why I like endurance events, here is my shot at answering this question.

It is a mixture of several things, such as the ability to forget about all your worries for the duration of the event, the realization and enjoyment of basic pleasures like sleep, warmth and food, the mate ship with other crazy people, but most of all the satisfaction of achieving something that you thought you were not capable of achieving,

As soon as you start an event the adrenalin just pumps through your body and all you want to do is race. Everything else is insignificant and you don't think about anything but the event. You don't worry about a thing, not even the task ahead because at the start the adrenalin makes everything seem possible. Eventually the adrenalin wears off and the pain starts to set in, yet you don't worry because all you want to do is beat the task ahead. It becomes personal and you feel an elevation that is hard to explain when you conquer that hill or other obstacle that was thrown your way. As you pound away the miles your body and mind goes into "the zone", a bit like a higher consciousness. You become one with your environment and the pain goes away, it is nearly as if you are floating. It is a high that you cannot achieve with any drug.

After 12 hours of racing in the cold you realize that a lot of things that we think are basic needs in our life become insignificant. You tend not to think about that play station or big four wheel drive, but all you want is the real basics, you would give anything for some hours of sleep, warmth and food. I love this realization as it puts my life back into perspective. When I finish the event and I warm up, have a good feed and wake up from a long sleep I am 100% satisfied and don't need any material pleasures.

Over time I tend to loose or diminish my believe in human society. I often think that we are caught up in a world that only revolves around our selfs. It is all about "me" and a lot of people don't care about anybody else. But when it comes to endurance racing, everybody may be in it for different reasons, but none of them are selfish. The biggest example is my family. When they support me they are only thinking about looking after me. They never complain. I cannot explain the feeling when I get to a checkpoint, I am really struggling, and I get cheered on by my kids and looked after by my wife. I not only regain energy for the event, but I also regain faith in people. My favorite events are the ones that I do as a team with my wife, we both know that we can depend 110% on each other and we tackle each challenge knowing that we are doing it with our best friend. But it is not only people that are close to me. Nearly all people in these events would forgo their ambitions to help out anyone on the course. The mate ship in these events is normally only read about from days gone past. After each event I am proud to be human again.

I guess my greatest motivation is the sense of achievement that comes with completing an endurance event. As a computer analyst I never experience a great sense of achievement. All achievements are mental, and never feel as good as a combination of mental and physical achievement. I am a great believer that if you have a healthy body you should be thankful and use it. There are a lot of people out there that don't have that privilege and would give anything for that chance. Short before an event I normally have some doubts creep in. Can I do it? Am I ready? Should I have trained more? But once I am off I know that I can do better than the target that I set myself. A friend of mine once told me that endurance events are 80% mental and 20% physical, and when I finish better than expected I feel mentally and physically on top of the world. I feel that I can achieve anything.

An endurance event may leave you in a tremendous amount of pain, you might not be able to move for days after, but it is the most beautiful and uplifting experience that you can imagine.

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