Ultra marathon gives hope
WHEN people go to Bali, they usually plan to sit by the beach, sipping on a cocktail.
But Coolangatta personal trainer Michelle Edwards had other plans.
The 45-year-old became the first woman to finish in the first annual Bali Hope Ultra Marathon, where she ran 84km in 11 hours and 25 minutes last month.
The charity run was created in collaboration between Classroom of Hope and Bali Children’s Foundation to support education programs.
Running through the dark, with just a headlamp and phone (whose battery died halfway through the race), Ms Edwards ran up the side of a volcano for 20km before getting lost in a rice paddy.
“It was pretty full on, we were sort of all by ourselves,” she said.
“It’s a type of race where you turn a corner and you can’t see anyone because it’s so dark. Once we got about 4km out of town ... it was 15km up a straight-up elevation of 1400m to the top of the volcano. I’ve run 15 marathons, so I know what a marathon run is but then I got lost in a rice field and fell off the map on the GPS tracker.”
Up until this point Ms Edwards said she was coping well with pushing the pain from her mind but as soon as she realised she was lost, her self-doubt started to creep in.
“The terrain was varying and I was visualising the whole thing,” she said.
“When I got lost, the fear definitely took over and I had to start talking to myself in a different way. I just kept thinking that I had to keep moving because if I didn’t I was going to get stuck and hurt. I had no respect of where I was in terms of distance or time. I had no expectation of how long it would take me.
“I took two Nurofen and I was getting very spiritual. If I wasn’t thinking about my pain, I was praying because I knew that was the only thing that was going to help me. Nurofen or God answered my prayers.
“Pushing myself to the end of Bali Hope Ultra is the most exhilarating thing I’ve done.”
To donate visitwww. the bali hope ultra marathon 2018. everydayhero.com/ au/ run well-with-me.
HOLY SMOKES: Michelle Edwards poses for a photograph at Rainbow Bay after competing her first ultra marathon in Bali. INSET: Snaps of Michelle during the marathon.