SkyRun 2014 -Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits
How do you know someone has done the Skyrun? They don’t have to tell you, you will see it in their eyes and the expression on their face, a changed being – someone who lived a lifetime in a day. The Salomon Skyrun is a long but awe-inspiring journey. A journey into the unknown, fraught with dangers, difficulties and unexpected challenges. A journey encompassing fear and happiness, triumph and despair; the journey of life.
You are only able to maintain optimism in the face of all you encounter by the ongoing experience of the Almighty’s presence. Throughout my journey, the Almighty hovered over me in a cloud, allowing me to feel safe, comforted, and ultimately joyful. I also had the tremendous privilege of having my husband and best friend, Christiaan Greyling, accompanying me on the journey. Without him, the words in this report might just have been quite different. The Skyrun is your chance to break free, to live life to the full, to experience the sheer beauty of the most majestic mountains. This event has so much imagination, and as Muhammad Ali said, imagination gives you wings!
My strategy was to go out on the $10,000 record pace of 14h30 as I believed I had little to lose (except I suppose blowing completely and not crossing the finish line as the 1st lady…), so I decided to take the risk. This inevitably resulted in a very rigid pace from the gun. It was quite amazing to see that I was spot on (give or take a minute) at each checkpoint until the 58km mark at Balloch.
However, it was shortly after this point that the stringent pace along with the extreme heat of 32 degrees started taking its toll on my body. I literally hit the wall, the Balloch Wall, however ironically on the downhill section of the wall towards checkpoint 7. I started feeling quite dizzy and nauseas and my body refused to go down! How frustrating; one minute you’re on top of the world (or Wall!), the next you find yourself in the deepest of gutters!
I honestly felt like giving up the race there and then, realizing that although there is 40km left of the race, there is a straight line to the finish a mere 2km away. Fortunately I did not submit to that weak moment. I told myself that this was just a test, and the only option was to pass it. In life we will be always be challenged, but I believe we were created with the strength of mind to never give up. So I focused on my adjusted goal, which was to finish the race in the best possible time. I grit my teeth and took on the daunting task of attempting to force down some nutrition, mostly unsuccessful. And as one can imagine, in a 100km mountain race, your food is your fuel, and if you run out of fuel, well then my friend, you are quite frankly… STUCK!
The section between CP 7 (Edgehill) and CP8 (the Turn) seemed like FOREVER. The mental and physical battles that I had to fight in these 3 hours are simply inexplicable. Miraculously, my race was about to take another Turn, but this time for the better. I savored a wonderful warm cuppa soup at
the checkpoint, which seemed to be a life saver! I managed to push the pace again and I, Christiaan and Graeme McCallum arrived at the last checkpoint, CP 9 (Halston’s Peak) just before dark. We maneuvered our way down the mosttricky gully and at long last we spotted the lights which represented the finish line. We crossed the line together, me as the 1st lady and Christiaan & Graeme in joint 7th position. The final time was 16h14, a new female record by almost 2 hours. My 2014 season came to a traumatic, yet successful end. I experienced an immense sense of satisfaction and absolute relief. Hallelujah!
The Skyrun is a revolutionary experience and it will change your perspective forever!
I would like to give thanks to my life line’s and dream givers:
My husband, Christiaan Greyling
My parents, Jan & Liesel Visser
My chiro, Jacques Breitenbach
My massage therapist, Liesel Gey von Pittius
My coach, Ian Waddle
My strength trainer, Ronel Nattrass
Endurocad (Elana Meyer & Janet Welham)
My mental mentor, Louis Awerbuck
My sponsors: Salomon, Suunto, Cebe, Llamabar, Hazz, Peptopro, Futurelife
Check out Landie Greylings blog at landiegreyling.com
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- SkyRun 2014 -Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits - November 27, 2014