The challenge was one set by David Goggins – Google him if you don’t know him at all. You will understand where the craziness to do this challenge comes from. Its 4 Miles (6.4kms) every 4 hours for 48 hours straight.  My trainer from the gym I attend said that he was going to complete the challenge and I thought – why not! The times were set for a 3pm start and I set my alarm for the rest of the runs 3pm, 7pm, 11pm, 3am, 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 11pm, 3am, 7am and finally 11am. 

I usually run 5-10kms when I go for a run so I wasn’t daunted by the distance as such, looking only at the 6.4km, not the total 76kms. My obstacles came in the way of a long weekend with two family birthdays, three boys and a husband to work into my running schedule and the normal housework, washing and prepping of school lunches. 

The first two runs were easy enough, I was fresh and feeling good. My middle son rode his bike with me to keep me company. We had my father in laws birthday tea and then home by 8pm to put kids to bed. I usually head to bed by 9.30pm so the 11pm run was a test. I folded some washing, had an hour catnap on the couch and then headed out to our shed where the dreadmill lives. I ran my kms and headed to bed after – finding it hard to sleep but knew I needed to. 3am rolled around quickly and I was back out and at it again. Before each run I checked in with my trainer to keep the spirits up (and partly to keep myself accountable and not chicken out).

7am came around and hubby joined me to walk our two pointer doggies for these kms.  A huge day planned at my family farm for my Dads 70th birthday was ahead and I packed my gear for my runs.  I was able to sneak away without too much fuss and complete my runs, out on country roads. My run at 7pm was literally laps of a paddock. My sister was a huge support and all the kids were cheering me on with high fives as I lapped around near the house. 

Back home and after putting the kids to bed I again had a catnap on the couch in my running gear waiting for 11pm to come. Back out to the shed, and getting it done. As I crawled in to bed at midnight I was feeling great in the body but oh so tired mentally. Questioning why I was doing this to myself! When the alarm went off at 3am I saw a message from my trainer and it spurred me on to get up and get at it.  

Up again at 7am to get my second last run down I knew I was going to make it. I didn’t care if I had to crawl – I was going to make it. Home and sorting kids and the shopping list and into town for the groceries (all the boring stuff) with the deadline to get it done before my last 11am run. So out I set for my last run – it was slow, I was tired and I plodded along. I decided to pop on the RMA Spotify playlist to help me get through. Thank you to Michelle Zalupka who made this list as it’s fantastic!! I was about 3kms in so about 73kms into the whole lot when Sia came on with Unstoppable. Well I turned into a blubbering mess and ugly cried the whole song. It really hit home that I am unstoppable when I put my mind to it. 

At home after it all, I was so proud of myself. I was surprised my body held up fine during the whole challenge. I didn’t have any pain, sore spots or injuries. Mentally I was exhausted, but elated that I was done. I am aiming for the 50km Ultra at Surf Coast Century this year – I now have so much more confidence that I will smash this as I am Unstoppable!!!!!

Heather Jennings