Running 160 km in a 400 m Stadium’s Track for 21 hrs | How it all started…Recap on Spartathlon

Running around 400-meter loop for 100 miles sounds crazy? Yes, IT IS!

Last week-end I ran exactly 160.72 km in a time of 21hours 03minutes, meaning that I exactly ran 392 laps of 400 m, with an average of 3 min for each lap. So, if you remove the 0.700 m (with 3 min average of each loop), this means I achieved a sub of 21 hours on a 100 miles! An achievement I never imagined I was capable of doing…

This, once again, proves that we are much stronger then we think we are! I am delighted to share with you my personal 100 miles on track experience.

It all started at the 2019 Spartathlon |Greece

It all started in Greece when some ‘friends experimented with ultra-runner – mentor gave me some running tips after they knew that I was disappointed from my DNF in Spartathlon. They told me to find a 24hours race and just test my speed as it is. Afterwards, they said that I would be able to work towards a target pace and be ready for Spartathlon next year (if I decided to give it another go!!!). I felt truly privileged and blessed to be surrounded by outstanding people. The quality of the people (positive, empowering, unconditional support) that I surrounded myself with, make a massive difference in my mindset, and the way that I saw life. They made me push myself even more and they help me to achieve my goals. I cannot go in life alone😊

Surround yourself with people who lifts you up and would lead you where you want to go!

Spartathlon had always been my ‘dream’ race. Since I started my ultra-running journey. I remembered that Spartathlon was the first Ultra- marathon race that I was dreaming about and looked up to. For me, the most magical part was the start in front of the Acropolis. In my mind, this race was impossible.  For me, Spartathlon was only for ‘pros’! In 2015, I couldn’t believe that I got my first qualification for Spartathhlon without even targeting it, I was literally over the top!. I got my official second entry one years later, but sadly for personal reason, I couldn’t go…

I was overjoyed to get my Spartathlon entry this year! I knew that before the race, I stretched my limits: 444kms race in July following a 50 miles race just 2 weeks after my 444km it was not the smartest thing to do before a race like Spartathlon! When I was  thinking of Spartathlon I was so stress… I was totally aware that I had some risk of DNF ( which almost made me give up my entry and stay at home, needless to say I was terrified of the DNF) on the other hand I couldn’t let the opportunity to go and not run this mythical race. So I took the decision! I could have decided to stay home but then fear would have won!

I finally made the start of  the Spartathlon in front of the acropolis!!! So greateful! But, you can’t imagine the shock that I had at 65km, when I had been cut off ( just less than 1 min after the cut off)…My ego took a big hit…I never thought I couldn’t finish the spartathlon, when a few months before I managed to win the 444km race in Malaysia … I met my fear of failure like a slap on the face, I remember chatting with my fear, I discovered her personality….And… I survived…!

I manage to get into the bus ( which we used to call the losers bus) which was getting us back in our hotel in Sparta. I recalled it the ‘learners Bus (failures doesn’t exist, just feed back)  I made a point to smile to everyone and congratulate them for reaching as far as they could. I could have done that, because I was one of the one which had been cut off the earliest in the race, so I had the right to do it 😊 Of course we talked and we connected straight away , we chatted about our experience on the road! In total, we were in the bus together for 10hrs …So a lot can happen in 10 hours! We had fun, a lot of fun! So many unforgettable stories came out from this bus… While waiting, one of our fellow runners got out of the bus to buy us some beers so we could all celebrate! Humanity at his best! 

I was very privileged to connect with such inspirational individuals. Some of us even made the commitment to come back next year. Sooner or later, we realized that all things in life happens for a reason. 

Most importantly, I was surrounded by runners feeling the same intense emotions. As soon as you are open to live some intense and real emotions while being truly vulnerable, without any sense of superficiality, real and unique connections! It’s the privilege that I get for being 10hrs in this bus! Life is good!

Life doesn’t happen to you; it happens for you.

Life is what you make of it.

Of course, I could complain and get frustrated at my DNF…In life I always reminded myself that I have 2 choice: 

  1. Letting life happen to you, assuming the victim Role
  2. Letting life happen for you, taking control and making decisions and making risks

I have made a conscious decision to be at the root of my life. Life will keep testing me again and again…. It’s my duty to recognize the message that life is telling me. As soon as I understood it, I have to be responsible and make my decisions accordingly. Because the decision that I am making today will influence my tomorrow. 

I learned a lot in Greece, I learned to face my fear of failure. Facing my fear was uncomfortable yes, but not as terrible as I thought it would have been. I am really grateful to have taken this plane to Greece. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have met so many beautiful and inspirational souls. So many things I learned about myself I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It would have been a terrible lost for me.

I need to break my comfort zone again, again and again!

As a commitment that I made to myself after Spartathlon is to never let myself being comfortable. As soon as a new comfort zone appeared, I needed to commit myself to break it again, again, and again! Fear will appears in my life in any shape and size it will always happen, I just have to recognize it and make them my allies! . 

I commit myself once again, to keep to my truth and to be alive and always thriving to go further. I committed once again to be truly connected with myself, open to others and live in a peak state. I made the commitment to continue to challenge myself whatever happens. I will continue to live in balance and in harmony with my mental and my body. 

I will continue to elevate my standards and never get settle!

You found this story interesting? Go visit Veroniquerun.com for more content, Free Ebook, more adventures and good vibes!

Next Week (Part II): My 100 miles in a 400 m Stadium experience, the realities of running around in a circle in Malaysia

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