RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon Blogs 2021

View All Posts 2021 From : Adam CJ Park

Adam CJ Park
Wow, that was a fun Long March

20 August 2021 06:00 pm (GMT+04:00) Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan

 

Wow, that was a fun Long March. We didn’t stop at all for 70km. Someone asked me the night before what we talk about during the race so I tried to keep a mental log today – it was nothing but pure concentration on the race for 11hrs. Thinking about food levels, water, state of our legs, blisters, distance, time, position, etc. It was like being co-pilots, monitoring hundreds of dials and discussing the best course of action throughout the flight. And I am now more confident than ever that I have the best co-pilot ever.

 

Jeanne was in pretty serious pain from the get go. Her quads really hurt, especially on the downhills, and there were some severe downhills early on. I could see the tears rolling down her cheeks but she would not slow down! That was at kilometre twelve… we still had 58km to go… and she took on every single one like a champ. She reached a state she hadn’t encountered before, and she found something awesome inside her to not only keep going, but still competing. She has now put 2hrs between herself and the next position – if she takes it easy tomorrow, she should be on the podium. I’m so proud of her and I’m so happy I could guide her through her first race.

 

I’ve felt pretty good throughout this race – I felt in control at all times, and not as “in the red” as my previous races. But this was also by far the fastest. Experience helps. I wonder what’s next…

 

Comments: Total (5) comments

Josh Weinberg

Posted On: 21 Aug 2021 10:48 am

Typically epic of you, and amazing to have such a co-pilot alongside, huge well done to you both

Beverly Wang

Posted On: 21 Aug 2021 05:10 am

inspiring, impressive by your commitment!!! Can‘t wait to see you and Jeanne to overcome the challenges and to finish the rough race. So proud of you !!! Love you both :)

Beverly Wang

Posted On: 21 Aug 2021 05:10 am

inspiring, impressive by your commitment!!! Can‘t wait to see you and Jeanne to overcome the challenges and to finish the rough race. So proud of you !!! Love you both :)

Angela Chen

Posted On: 20 Aug 2021 06:11 pm

WOW your description really painted a poignant picture for me…my sister is incredible I cannot believe how much she is bracing to stay in the race and fight for the podium. Thank you for guiding her through her first race! You guys continue to limitlessly inspire 💕love you

Oli D

Posted On: 20 Aug 2021 04:41 pm

Impressive stuff! Will be thinking of you finishing tomorrow
Adam CJ Park
Another tough day through the mountains.

18 August 2021 08:00 pm (GMT+04:00) Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan

Another tough day through the mountains. The trails reminded us of the alps, and they were hard on the feet, evidenced by my ginormous blister on my left heel. I had to pull off the compede on top of it because it was getting messy and the skin came off. It’s raw now. Time for some robust tape job. One toenail is definitely dead, and there are a few minor blisters dotted about but all manageable.

Everything is hurting but nothing broken. We have arrived. Tomorrow is the big day. 70km. The last 4days was just preparation to strip away the exterior and expose the core. So that I can see what I’m made of. When I’m hurting, tired, cold, hungry, for hours on end, and the finish line seems impossible to reach. It’s also a chance to define who I am, decide who I want to be in that situation. I’ll I keep my shit together? Let’s see…

Fyi, we nailed it today. Top 12, Jeanne in top 3 women again. She’s not feeling great but she’s tough, she’ll make it through…

Comments: Total (1) comments

Angela Chen

Posted On: 19 Aug 2021 05:40 pm

You are BOTH tough. Tough runners. Tough partners. Tough dreamers are turning their dreams into reality. Fight through the pain - those blisters are temporary but this journey and success you’ll achieve at the end are eternal. So proud of you Adam, my brother! Love you xx Angela
Adam CJ Park
Day 3

17 August 2021 08:00 pm (GMT+04:00) Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan

Today was a fast day. 4 sections, all under 10km. We had rainy, windy, and cold start to the day. It was a tactical decision to put out rain gear on to keep dry, knowing we’ll probably lose a few places later when we have to stop to take them off. It was a good decision regardless, it’s only day 3 and we’re only a third of the way through.

We took it fairly easy off the start through long flat and gently undulating sections. We cleared CP1 in 1.5hrs – feeling great. Then we hit a steep hill – this was it. The folks who ran ahead were clearly slowing down. I saw folks hunched over, taking small breaks, looking up at the top, and then down at the ground. And I clocked the two women who have been getting in slightly ahead of is, including the current Number Three – that’s it, my mission today is to get Jeanne to be on the top 3. I didn’t tell her but that was my mission all day.

Unless you’re a mountain goat / human hybrid born in the Swiss Alps and can run up mountains faster than most people can run on flats, long sections uphill are all about rhythm. Shorter strides, faster cadence, good posture, steady breaths, consistent, relentless. Rhythm. This is where took at least 5-6 folks. This was my jam.

Then at CP3, we decided not to stop, and took another spot in the women’s field. We were going to do it. Then came 20km of steady, rocky downhill, and it was just about hanging on.

Long story short, Jeanne came in 3rd woman today. Super proud.

Tomorrow is going to be rough but not the worst. That’s still to come on day 5… it’s all a mental game.

Comments: Total (0) comments

Adam CJ Park
Day 2. The pain begins.

16 August 2021 08:00 pm (GMT+03:00) Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd

Today was quite tricky. 4-5 water crossings, long stretches of thick mud, rocky hills, etc. The feet took some pounding but only a couple of blisters so far – I did a beautiful pre-tape job before we stared but the water crossing messed it all up. Oh well.

We were quite lean on our snack planning to save weight – 3 snack bars for the day – and it was a constant balance between managing hunger and rationing so we don’t run out too early. Not the most pleasant feeling but it’s all par for course.

It got a little bit tougher after the last check point – CP3 – when we hit a part of the ancient silk road. Sounds fun but it just means steep up hill on fist sized rocks and mud. And then we hit a section that reminded me of the Yorkshire dales – endless false summits, corner after corner. It’s a psychological bitch – even if you know there’s more coming, you can’t avoid the soul destroying feeling when you see another hill after climbing for 30 mins staring at what looked like the top. The thing to do is to expect and prepare for the emotion, not the next hill. And then don’t dillidaddle wallowing in it. Move on to the next hill and get back in the rhythm. And do that about twenty times until you’re out of the hell hole.

Jeanne was a champ today, as always. We’re a good team on the course. Just the right balance of competitiveness, team work, and sense of humour. We’re hurting pretty bad this evening (pushed a bit harder than we needed to, again) but nothing is broken. So we keep going.

Comments: Total (0) comments

Adam CJ Park
Day 1 - 37.7km

15 August 2021 08:00 pm (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius

Today kicked off with a great little flat and downhill ~10km to CP1 with undulating trail to warm up the ankles… or twist them. The terrain was pretty technical throughout the day with mud, steep downhills, forest trails, rocks, river crossings, tractor trails, etc.

 

We made good progress to CP1, and from CP2, the steep incline started. I can’t remember how many feet but it was f***ing steep for about another 10km. It caught a lot of people off-guard I think. Hills are generally our thing so we managed relative well but there was a scary moment where Jeanne looked a little hungry / dehydrate so early on in the day but she took it like a champ, regrouped at CP2, and we picked up the pace again from there. It was relatively chill terrain from there through farms but there were a couple of river crossings where we had to take our shoes off and wade through knee deep water…

 

It was a slightly aggressive Day 1 overall and we probably went a little faster than we had to - we obviously got a little amped up after we were told we were top 15 at some stage… obviously… we get competitive lol. BUT I’ve felt worse after Day 1. We ran together the whole time, and it felt good – Jeanne is a tough cookie and she wouldn’t be caught dead whinging or whining on course, even when she’s feeling rough. I love that. I think she came in top 5 among the women today. Legend.

 

We are officially known as “the newly weds” on the course lol  Our camp mates and the organisers have great banter, and the camaraderie has been phenomenal.

 

Overall condition after day 1: pretty sore but nothing unexpected. Could have been more conservative but feet, leg, shoulders in pretty decent shape.

 

One ~marathon down, ~5 more to go = more pain to come. Looking forward.

 

Comments: Total (2) comments

Marco Grobbelaar

Posted On: 16 Aug 2021 03:40 pm

Howzit! Cool post and awesome having met you guys here! Well done on your and Jeanne's results thus far. Keep it up! Cheers.

Oli D

Posted On: 16 Aug 2021 10:10 am

Love this! Sounds a great start. Keep it up ‘Newly Weds’ thinking of you
Adam CJ Park
Packed and ready to go

13 August 2021 09:49 am (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

We're packed! 

It's the third time I'm packing for a race of this format, and this is the lightest I've packed yet (very exciting). There were a few extra items on the madatory kit list compared to the desert runs (e.g., lower temperature sleeping bag, rain gear, TWO PAIRS of gloves) but it helped to 1) invest a bit more in lighter kit, and 2) ditch the "in case" stuff that you know you can do without from experience. Also, I went with Osprey packing cubes this time instead of using ziplock bags to organize everything - for me, the pack feels so much better organized this way. 

It really makes very little difference in reality but psychologically, the traditional "ceremony" of going through the kit and cutting off all the tags helped calm the nerves last night :)

T-2, heading to Camp 1 shortly where we'll spend tonight and tomorrow getting prepared (registration, kit check, etc I asssume) before kicking off the race on Sunday morning. 

Let's roll.

 

Before After (35L pack)

Comments: Total (1) comments

Becky Frederick

Posted On: 14 Aug 2021 02:48 pm

Cheering you on from afar! Stay dry enough and enjoy the moments.
Adam CJ Park
Here we go!

03 August 2021 06:32 pm (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time: Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

Hi everyone,

Jeanne (Bib 10) and I (Bib 51) are using the first week of our honeymoon to run this race, and we cannot wait to get to the starting line with you all.

We are running in support of Action Aid, a charity that runs programmes to empower girls and women around the world.

If you're interested, we've put together a little website for our friends and family with more details about our chosen charity, equipment, etc.
 

See you at the start line!

Adam

Comments: Total (1) comments

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 04 Aug 2021 04:16 pm

I can't believe you didn't tell us that this was the start of your honeymoon - that is so exciting! We are honoured to have you at the race and can't wait to meet Jeanne. I also love your profile photo from the Atacama Crossing - hard to believe that was 6 years ago already!