I realised this weekend is Valentines weekend, which is 3 weeks away from when I compete in my 6th Ironman with five having been Ironman New Zealand and one being Ironman Australia. Not bad for someone who couldn’t even really swim when I signed up for my first Ironman in 2011 to compete in it in March of 2012, let alone work out the intricacies of modern push-bikes and hadn’t run a marathon for over 20 years simply to get a free t-shirt. But Valentines Day (14 February) is also 3 months to the day (14 May) to when I commence the greatest endurance test, both physically and mentally, of my life and to also support a chosen charity close to my heart to help others. To help the families of the fallen, the sick, the wounded and injured, by doing what I have been told is my nature, something for others.
I have mentioned this before, but I really take my hat off to my Coach Ray Boardman (Qwik Kiwi) who probably has the greater challenge of this journey, not just to get me to the start line, but to be alongside me at various stages to get me to the finish line and to co-ordinate everything with my ever-willing ‘support crew’ Derrick McMillan and Scott Cordwell who are giving up their time for the journey… for the cause!
So to reflect, Ultraman Australia is the 3 day event in Noosa, Queensland Australia with the following endurance activities:
Day 1 = 10 km swim, 140 km cycle (time allowed 6 hours each, 12 hours max);
Day 2 = 281.1 km cycle (time allowed 12 hours max), and
Day 3 = 84.3 km Run of a double Marathon (time allowed 12 hours max).
Total distance 515 kms of swimming, cycling and running over 3 days.
So to answer the question in the title of Blog # 7 – “WHY“?
I stumbled across Ultraman much the same as I stumbled across Ironman, purely by chance. When I decided I wanted to do an Ultraman, I knew straight away that if I was going to do this 3 day event covering 515 kms, I wanted to raise funds for a cause. It didn’t take long for me to work out what my cause would be. This year is a milestone year for me as I turn 50 (6 weeks after Ultraman). This year I have been in the New Zealand Defence Force (Army) for 33 years in January. So the ‘WHY’ is I wanted to give something back to the organisation. The organisation that has given me a career and many opportunities (both within New Zealand and overseas), as well as educational, personal and professional development opportunities and the list goes on. It has stood by me when the going got tough, or when I needed some guidance. It didn’t turn its back on me when I got something wrong. For me it is simply my turn to see an opportunity in Ultraman and give something back to the organisation. The best way I could think of was to promote a cause that touches everyone when we lose someone or someone gets wounded on operations or injured in training or falls ill. Hence I chose to give something back to the organisation by raising funds for the fallen, particularly their families and to raise funds to support those that have been wounded, injured or sick and hope I can give a helping hand.
I told my family from the outset, that I couldn’t do this without the support of family, friends and work colleagues. The support I receive through the UltraHumps Facebook Page designed by Ray Boardman is tremendous and keeps me striving forward. There has been a few glitches with the Give-A-Little Page, however I have just received an email to advise it should be good to go from the week starting Monday 15 May 2016.
On the injury side, I am now completely injury free now, so no excuses!
I thank you all for the support you are providing me, Coach Ray and our support crew. Stay tuned for more to follow next week…
Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)