ONE THE GREATEST RUNNING FEATS – EVER

If you’ve ever trained for and run a marathon race as I have you’ll know how bloody tough it is just to get prepared for the race let alone the race itself.

It is a gut-busting 42.2kms which takes a lot of physical and mental toughness to complete and by the end of it most people are totally drained, exhausted. 

ECSTASY ERCHANA TRIUMPHANT AT THE FINISH !

Well imagine if you can, someone running 150 marathons on consecutive days, a new world record which she completed in January. That’s right 150 marathons, 42.2kms each day for five and half months from Cape York at the top of Australia to the finish line in Melbourne much of it run off the beaten track in hilly terrain.

Erchana Murray-Bartlett, a 32 year old from Victoria did exactly that, a monumental effort covering over 6,300kms and climbing hills the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest eight times. She ran in total for 632hrs 32min and didn’t just shuffle along she ran a cracking pace mostly under 6min kms.

The truth is I had no idea if it was a good idea. I didn’t know if I would make it, if I could afford it, or if I was brave enough to put this much pressure on myself. I cried a LOT. I had every insecurity you can imagine.

OFF ROAD ON TARGET

During her amazing journey Erchana wore though 10 pairs of running shoes, ate 330 bananas, consumed around 6,000 calories each day and half her diet was high quality foods such as pasta and salads and on some days she would consume four scoops of ice cream and large pizzas to build up her energy reserves.

The toughest part of her challenge were the early stages including after the very first marathon, but as she kept on clocking each run her body slowly adapted the the punishment.

She also had to overcome injuries and had to change her running style to take pressure away from the part of her leg which was injured. She ran in all conditions and at one stage got heat stroke in 36deg heat.

JUMPING FOR JOY ANOTHER DAY DONE

Every morning, I woke up and gave myself no room to negotiate whether I’d run or not. If I had the option not to, I was scared I’d take it in my darkest hours. Finally, I surrounded myself with people who lift me up. People who believed in me, people who give me strength.

The idea of this epic challenge came when she missed out on selection in the Australian team to run the marathon at the Olympics. She had a lot of pent up energy and enthusiasm and decided on what was called ‘Tip to Toe’ and as well as running she wanted to raise money for the Wilderness Society, aiming to educate Australians on the benefits of enjoying the great outdoors safely and raising awareness for wildlife diversity loss.

She smashed that task as well, raising over $100,000.

Erchana wasn’t always a runner, she played soccer in the USA and in 2013 joined her local athletics club next door to her home in Melbourne. What started as a 5km road run quickly advanced up the kms to the marathon but her first marathon was a disaster.

During the Gold Coast marathon in 2017 her coach set an ambitious goal of 2hrs 45min but as she explained, “I cooked it and only made 30kms. 

However she quickly bounced back and completed the Sydney marathon and finished third Australian in a smart time of 2hrs 54 min.

STEELY DETERMINATION

This amazing lady has another challenge on the horizon but compared to the Tip to Toe, it’s almost a sprint. She’s doing the Gold Coast half marathon on the Saturday and following up on Sunday in the first weekend in July by running the marathon and you can bet this time she won’t be pulling out at the 30km mark

The start line is often the hardest place to get to, and I believe that taking that very first step needs to be as celebrated as taking the last one. The first is, I had no idea I could run five marathons in a row, or 20, or 50 or 100. Getting to 150 was an accomplishment well outside my comfort zone and personal expectations. Whatever your passion is, believe in yourself and give it a go – I bet $100 bucks that you’ll definitely surprise yourself.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Listen to my (John Alexander) interview with Erchana (pronounced Erkana) during which she explains how she managed this incredible feat of 150 marathons on consecutive days. And please share our stories with your friends.

Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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