Ul­tra marathon gives hope

Tweed Daily News - - LIFE - Ais­ling Brennan

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.

PHOTO: JOHN GASS

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.

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