Difficult, tough, hard? The words used to describe yesterday’s Shimla Tuffman Ultra just do not seem to be sufficient. Severe, relentless, unyielding… The Comrades and Runtherann both seem tame compared to it. At around 67k I wondered what I was doing there. Am I insane? Who would willingly do this to themselves? But to give up never entered my mind. I trained for this. This was the test. I labored up the long, long hills.

Five kilometers from the end I knew that I made it. I sat down at the aid station, drank more Enerzal, filled up my water and got my courage up too. I knew that it was 3k level and then 2k steep down to the finish. Five kilometers is that magic number that many beginner runners dream about completing without having to stop. In our company, we recently did just that. We went from zero to five in 3 months time and celebrated with a 5k race behind the lake.

Now, as I ran these last five kilometers, I placed myself in one of those first-time runners’ shoes. I remember being there myself. Every time there is a new challenge, there is the doubt, but also the hope and the excitement. I will make it, or will I?

And then that sweet moment when I cross the finish line knowing that it was worth it.

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It took me 11 hours and 10 minutes.

It was hard but good. The organizing was great, support fantastic, nature incredible.

My daughter went with me. We were nervous before the run. One of my old favourite verses in the Bible gave a lot of comfort.

Isaiah 41:10, 13,

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

“For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.”

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We enjoyed the sound of the rain on the tent and the interaction with all the other athletes. My daughter was the first lady in the 20k.  I came third.

Keep running

Stephan

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