The finish line. and… why!

Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone for the support, kind words and love during the last week. It has meant a lot and I feel humbled by all the of the kind things people have said.

So, after a whirlwind week with big ups, a few downs and lots of food cravings, the final washup results are in.

Richard Bray – 7th overall and 1st in the 30-39 yr age group. Total time: 24:04 hrs

Mark Power – 17th Overall. Total time: 26:17 hrs

Craig Martin – 19th Overall. Total time: 26:47 hrs

Chip Corley – 24th Overall. Total time: 27:12 hrs

Digby Beaumont – 43rd Overall. Total time: 29:13 hrs

Dr. Steve Donchey – 83rd Overall. Total time: 33:21 hrs

Harry Picone – 124th Overall. Total time: 35:47 hrs

A few reflections.

  • Once again, Racing the Planet have impressed me with the organisation and logistics of putting on such an epic race. Hats off to Mary, Sam, Riitta and the team for all that you have done. I had a ball out there.
  • Like always, the camaraderie, the fellowship, the competitive spirit was second to none. 300 people from 49 nations made it one hell of a cultural melting pot.
  • Patagonia was beautiful. Although I saw very little of it because I was so focused on the task at hand!
  • The first email sent to the lads about this race was in Feb 2016. 18mths of anticipation and it’s over. To complete another adventure like that with a best mate, Power, is one of the biggest highlights this year. I only wish we could catch up, race and drink together more often.
  • Best gear choices, Ultimate Direction 25ltr backpack and waterproof jacket, Inov-8 shoes and racing tops, injinji socks, expedition freeze dried food, tom and luke frooze balls, Budgy Smugglers and of course, the chilli pants.

So. The question everyone seems to ask me. Why?  Why do I do it? Why put my body and mind through hell?

The answer – why not!

Every person has a desire to achieve something great on some level. It’s just how high you want to set the bar. How much you want to test yourself and of course, what lengths you will go to push yourself to the edge.

I went in with my own goals and reasons. Low on expectations but high on drive. I wanted to prove to myself how hard I could push myself and how I stacked up against the hundreds of other competitors from around the world there to do the same thing. I trained hard. There is nowhere to hide in a race like this. Those who train and prepare, win. It’s simple. Yes, there are some individuals more talented than others but, in a race like this, it comes down to how big your heart is and how conditioned you are. I needed to prove to myself that I could play on the big stage.

The other big point to note is that this was one hell of an experience that I will never forget. Sitting around each day talking to people from all over the globe makes you realise a few things. When you have no phones or technology, no distractions from modern day society, when you break yourself down to the purest form of just a person trying to get through a survival situation, you get to a conclusion: we are the stories that we can tell. It’s nothing to do with the possessions we have. If you create incredible experiences you will have a wonderful life. Tell your stories and not other peoples. When you sit down around a campfire and can share memories of good times, bad times and times that just simply made you, you realise that when it’s all said and done, that is who you are. So, what stories do you want to tell? What experiences and memories do you cherish in your life?

I loved meeting all the people out there. I loved racing with the guys at the front and pushing the boundaries. But, I especially enjoyed my time with The Governor, The Weapon, The Dark Horse, 007, The Bear, The Mule and The Doc. This crack team made the event for me. We laughed, there were a few tears and most of all, we formed a friendship out there that crosses many borders and will last for a very long time. Without this group, the event would not have been anywhere near as great as it was. Thank you lads. Until the next adventure.

Budgies hit the finish line!

Lastly, to my wife and family. Thank you for your unwavering faith in me. The support and of course the hugs yesterday at the airport when I returned. You guys are my world and I could not have done any of the training, preparation or race without you. Especially Emma. The most encouraging, loving wife I could wish for. I know the last week has been tough on you and the girls and I can’t thank you enough for allowing me to go off into the wilderness like that. Your messages of support, kind emails and of course the welcome home cake and banner were amazing. Your love and support is never ending and I can’t thank you enough.

Now, how long before I can do another adventure?!

 

Budgy brothers hit 2 from 2!

 

The boys – ready to hit the beers.

 

Wrapped up at the last basecamp.

 

ROCK CHICKEN! Aftermatch function

 

Tent 9 – before shot!

 

The Startline. Day 1.

 

Hitting the hills

Storytime with Chip!

 

Tent life and Power’s makeshift patch!

Chow time with Chip

About to hit the 75km day!

Racing the Planet Age Group Winning trophy.

 

Back home with my girls.

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One Response to “The finish line. and… why!”

  1. Once again well done Rich!
    Every adventure you have done has been an amazing read, so inspirational!
    NZ – London – USA – NZ ??? up to you!

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