I have a hobby: to change crazy ideas into plans.
Seems simple, but if I dive too deep in craziness and no feasible plan can come out of it or if there is a plan but the idea seems no longer crazy enough, I get disappointed.
Last year I though about running a 100km race this year en enrolled for it.
But than I got injured - and immediately disappointed because my plan would inevitably fail.
On April I could finally run again and even though I would have little preparation time, I though I could still make it to that race on May 31st. But then all the races were canceled because of the Corona virus.
Since we were still allowed to run outside here in The Netherlands, I decided I would run my own 100km race. Just me against myself: why not?!
Inspired by everything I am grateful for in my life and to raise money to help people in need, I decided to organize a charity run on my 34th birthday: 12 June 2020.
I am where I am now because I had the chance to go to good schools while growing up in Brazil. However, I know not everybody had the same luck I had. In the Netherlands, 1,4% from the population is illiterate. But in Brazil, 30% (!!!) of the population has never been to (any) school. Not even as a child. So the raised money were fully donated to a Brazilian non-profit organization that helps children to get access to education: Ayrton Senna Institute.
Since I was tuning 34 years old, I decided to run a 3,34km round from home. 30 times. (Summing 100,2km).
And just when I was organizing the last details of my run, the Dutch government allowed its citizens to get back to practice outdoor sports in small groups. That inspired me to invite donators to join me for a couple of kms on my "race". People from outside The Netherlands could also join remotely by following their country's rules.
Together we raised € 734 and ran 480km over The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Brazil and USA!
I started at 5am local time in The Netherlands (since this was 00:00 in Brazil). At 6am friends and donators started joining me.
From the 30 rounds, I ran just 3 alone. And that, my friends, had a bigger impact on me than the distance. You know that "you'll never walk alone" thing? It's true. Even in Corona times, "walk on, walk on with hope in your heart, and you will never walk alone".
It was a warm and humid day, and I didn't choose an easy route (it had to be crazy, right?!). But there wasn't a single moment I though about giving up. Of course legs felt heavy after a while, but I was having fun and the best birthday party I could ask for!!!
Life is like an ultramarathon and ultramarathons are like life. Running long distances has taught me to try, fail, learn the lesson, laugh about it, try again, fail again, learn more and finnaly do it right - before failing again somewhere. It has taught me that I can't have everything under control and that to be able to handle that is exactly the point!
Reaching the 100km mark has its special bright. But seeing the 3 cyphers on my watch had less impact on me than I expected. The beauty of this day comes rather to seeing my friends, building a community willing to help those in need and motivating people to go out for an extra 3,4km run or walk!
...And, of course, to be ready on time for a birthday call with my family in Brazil!