The Endurance Tourist

About The Endurance Tourist

Chas is an Ironman Triathlete, UltraRunner, Ultra-Adventures Ambassador, Team Nuun, SF Marathon ambassador, HS Hive, actor, writer, sailor. You can see more of his reviews and musings at .

The Importance of Being Mentally Tough

During my second attempt at the Comrades (Ultra) Marathon in South Africa I was convinced I was going to fail and DNF. In fact, by mile 13 of the 56 mile race I was finished. Despite traveling over 24 hours by air to arrive in Durban, South Africa, to participate in the World’s Largest Ultramarathon, I knew all my hard work was going for nought.

I would fail myself, my friends, and my family who had sacrificed so much to give me the opportunity to get a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a back-to-back medal. You see, at the Comrades Marathon, if you finish in your rookie year (your first attempt), and then return the very next year and finish, you will receive the coveted back-to-back medal.

You get one shot, and I was going to blow it. And I wrote all about it here.
Being Stubborn Isn’t Always Bad

The above picture shows my finisher medal and the back-to-back medal. So, if I was so convinced I wasn’t going to finish less than 1/3 of the way into the race, how did I achieve it?

By being stubborn and keeping a promise. You see, prior to my first race, I attended a meeting hosted by some of the best known Veterans of the Comrades race. During that meeting, I remembered one bit of advice:

“No matter what you do, don’t get on a bailout bus.” (A bailout bus is a bus that you get on in the middle of the race to get a ride to the finish, causing an automatic DNF).

I promised myself at the beginning of the race that I would not quit. Now, if I didn’t make a cutoff, if I was pulled off the course by the officials, […]

By |June 17th, 2015|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off on The Importance of Being Mentally Tough

Are you planning to fail your race?

“You’re not going to win,” the wise old runner told me. “Just remember that.”

I was at my very first marathon, on a dark and cloudless early morning in Hawaii before the race start, when I asked a nearby experienced runner if he might have some advice for me. “Stick to your plan,” he added. “Race as you trained and don’t go out too fast.”

Naturally, as this was my first marathon, I did nothing of the sort, beginning the first half of the marathon by running a beautiful and somewhat fast half marathon. I was feeling good until reaching the dreaded wall at mile 18. Some runners hit the wall, some bounce into the wall, and some, like me, crash into it full force and shatter every muscle-bone in their body until they limp, destroyed, across the finish line.

I was given sage advice and I ignored it. Four years later, a half-dozen ultra-marathons, dozens of marathons and half marathons, and a couple of Ironman triathlons later, I still occasionally forget the advice.

As the saying goes, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Some people don’t like having a plan and they think it works for them. They go with the flow. They make up training and race strategy as they go along. And that might work for those runners with decades of experience.

For the rest of us, however, particular those of us who are a more mature athlete, you quickly realize that the indiscretions of youth and young body can’t continue and our aging athleticism just doesn’t hold up well under the “winging it” plan.

Whether your goal is to simply finish a half marathon, or to set a new personal record in the full marathon, the single […]

By |January 21st, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors|Tags: , |Comments Off on Are you planning to fail your race?