Running and completing any race is an achievement.
But for some runners, it isn’t quite enough. They require an added challenge.
Take, for example, John-Paul De Lacy, in the 2010 London marathon. To help raise money for charity he chose to run the entire marathon in a giraffe costume. No mean feat considering the neck of the giraffe stretched to 7 meters high, and the London marathon course goes through several tunnels. He had to crawl to get through.
De Lacy now holds the world record for “Tallest Costume Worn While Running a Marathon” – a strange but remarkable achievement.
He is not alone in setting himself absurd running challenges.
Michal Kapral is the world’s leading talent in joggling. (This is jogging while juggling at the same time.) He holds the marathon record for joggling, at 2 hours 50 minutes and 12 seconds, an extraordinary time without the juggling part!
And let’s not forget the fastest marathon while dribbling a ball. At the Sydkyst Marathon in Denmark, Jan La Caille dribbled a football round the whole 26.2 miles, on a course both on road and on rough ground, in an incredible time of 3 hours 29 minutes and 55 seconds.
Happily, Ethiopia had its own record breaker in the world of extraordinary runners. The record for the fastest barefoot marathon is still held by Abebe Bikila. In the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome, Bikila clinched the gold medal, but quite unintentionally also gained the record for barefoot marathon too.
Its two weeks to go until the Great Ethiopian Run’s International 10k race. You might not see a giraffe running past, but you can be assured of plenty of entertainment and colour. Look out for the stilt walkers, and the many costumes and customised T-shirts.
We won’t expect you to wear a superhero suit and no need to tackle the 10k juggling or dribbling a ball. But be sure you set yourself a goal. Perhaps it is just to complete, or you might have a time target in mind? Maybe you have chosen to run for our charity campaign? Whatever your aim, you are sure to finish with a huge sense of achievement, and an equally large smile on your face.
HAILE – Respected advice
The race is getting closer.
This is the final week of hard training – leaving it until next week will be too late.
So this week test yourself!
If you’ve trained well, you should be running further and faster than when you started the training in September.
As a test, you could try timing yourself over 2km. Then have a short recovery. Then run another 2km followed by another short recovery. And then do it for one final time. Each time you should try to reduce the time you take for each 2km effort.
It’s not long until the race now.
One final bit of advice: eat well and stay healthy!