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The GL 35 Challenge

Operation Smile is celebrating its 35 th year of providing corrective surgery globally. I have been involved in OP Smile SA for the past 10 years and this relationship has grown with my daughter Tamlin also now working in the organization. So guess what? I got a call – “Dad we are celebrating 35 years of Operation Smile- We want to raise enough funding to put 35 children in 35 days.” My mind began to run; what can we do with the Miles For Smiles initiative to assist with...

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THAILAND POWER OF TEN UPDATE – 1 DEC

When the dust has settled. It has been go, go, go every day, up early and hitting the road, running the 50 Km per day- suddenly 20 days later and the 1000 km the run ends at Cave lodge. Fortunately it was only a 4 day wait and the next challenge was there, The Thailand Ultra, 100 km of hell. That has also now come to an end. It’s finally all over; slowly the mist begins to roll in. It’s a different mist that quietly begins...

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 21 Nov

The real challenge The (TU) Thailand Ultra Out here they call it the beast – 100 km of unrelenting jungle covered hills, mud roads, ravines and the best humidity that Thailand can offer all baked into a monster by the unrelenting sun. I have just been sitting in the tree top deck of Cave Lodge staring out at the hill ahead which is the start of the Thailand Ultra, stage 1.   Guess what?   It goes by the name of “Heart Attach hill” the steepest part of the whole...

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 17 Nov

Yes I miss….. There are many of us out there pushing our minds and bodies to the limits, testing the limits of our own personal frontiers, fighting those inner demons that torment and torture us every day.   We all have them, not just in extreme conditions, many of us just manage to deal with this on a normal daily basis and it is more than any one could imagine. We push on with a smile and deal with it; pretend it does not exist and say...

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 16 Nov

Rain forest As we begin to climb with serious altitude now, slowly the landscape begins to unfold below us.   The road winds and snakes up and up the mountainside, massive trees perch out of the forest canapé like sentries guarding the sacred path to the top. Every now and then the gold paint and mirrors of a temple décor throws a flash of sunlight like a bolt of lightning ripping through the leaves and dissipates into the swirling rolling mist. As you look down the side...

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 15 Nov

Rolling hills to Chiang Mai Chiang Mai; just a word we kept throwing around every time someone asked us where we were running to. It was a dot on the map, sounded cool and created quite a stir of disbelief, a head shake and a long babble in Thai as we trotted off down the road. The heat was subsiding, the average temperature for the first 10 days has been 33-36 degrees Celsius, but this has been substituted with gradient and with this comes serious hard grind up...

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 14 Nov

Why are we on the road? I must admit that I live every day of the year for this; I will put my head down and toil, day and night every day of the year.   It does not matter, it’s worth it, to get time off to hit the road to have one’s life enhanced with the rewards the road brings.   When I look at it just from the aspect of what I gain mentally, physically and for the experiences that a journey like this enriches...

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 9 Nov

Road Mind With any of these adventure runs, the mind plays the biggest part. You can plan and plan and plan as much as you want, try and work out a route to follow, where to stay and the rest – I am sorry, none of this will ever pan out as you planned. You just have to take it day by day. This is where mental strength and mental resilience comes into play. One needs to build the mental ability to block out every little...

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 8 Nov

On we roll It was a real slow start for me – To be honest I was worried. I had pulled a calf muscle on the top of Table Mountain in training 4 weeks before we left. So it’s been Physio and Acupunctures every second day, instead of being on the road running. It was driving me mad knowing Andy was out there on the mountain continuing with the preparations and I was home with all kinds of scenarios going through my head. Well here we are....

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Thailand Power of Ten Update – 7 Nov

The local police. The word police in a foreign country does bring up little beads of sweat on my brow if I think of what I have been through on these trips. The most recent, etched in my mind vividly was in Cuba; probably the most aggressive and unwelcoming bunch that I have met. It was before the country had opened up to the west, so they were rather paranoid about anyone crossing their turf on foot at speed especially if you were from the “West.”...