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Coastal Challenge Stage 6 – Spark by Irreplaceable Spark

Stage 6

The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other, but to be with each other – MacDougall

A year in the making, all six of my teammates have now crossed the finish line at the Coastal Challenge. At different points over the past week each person has been pushed beyond a place of tears.

Personally I knew the decision to withdraw after my kidneys failed was the obvious, right and immediate choice. That doesn’t mean it was easy. Initially I felt like I had let my teammates down and that a year’s worth of preparation was gone.

The reality is that I got a first class ticket to the experience my teammates were having – for which I am very grateful.

Each team member has completed a post-race interview and their big highlights were the ways in which the team supported each other, how when we reached for a helping had there were several reaching back. I wish I had the post race photos to show you how close this team has become.

The are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise to meet. – Halsy

Congrats to newbie runner and now female race champion Gemma Slaughter.

Marissa successfully navigated the course on the final day with the second longest overall time & distance spent on course. I actually think Marissa is happier with her performance / result than Gemma.

Tam has a bigger challenge ahead of her; figuring out how to explain this experience to her daughters. What a mother of two thinks about while lost in a Costa Rican jungle is beyond me.

Tony put the biggest self selected challenge of his life in front of him and after questioning his ability to start day 2 he confidently strode to the finish line today.

Shawn is likely to offer this challenge up to others that he knows and activate them to redefine the limitations they have imposed on themselves.

Pavel has come an incredible distance from how he was feeling a year ago. Embracing this challenge and everything that it encompassed has given him confidence that he will carry & apply the rest of his life.

I had my first DNF for any race I’ve started and I don’t even know if I care anymore. This adventure started out with a goal that each of these individuals would experience something beyond their expectations and previous capacity for understanding. Sitting here listening to post race discussions I know that was accomplished.

Perhaps the genius of ultra running is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of spaceships and supercomputer to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense.

The common question is why do I do these things? Countless hours of training, sacrificed time with friends and family, all to compete in races that I have no chance of winning. Understanding that choice is pretty difficult I get it.

I will say again that we do these things to learn how little we know about ourselves. I have spent nearly 32 years with myself and these experiences create the greatest learning opportunities to dive deeper into who we are and how we can contribute to the world.

I know also believe that they give me the best vehicle through which to activate someone or a group of people. Fundamentally I believe the world is at a point where positive efforts are gathering steam. Engaging in philanthropic causes and proactivity is emerging from a younger generation. I am excited to see the work that they do and progress that they make.

I’m going to take you on the greatest adventure of your life. You will probably never even thank me. Let’s go. -Radcliffe

Some of you have already asked to join in on the next adventure. To be honest, I’ve got this shit eating grin on my face because you are crazy and have no idea what you’re in for but it’s already too late for you to back out. And don’t worry, you’ll succeed, 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.

Going Coastal Team