Seven Marathons on Seven Continents in Seven Days
Beck Mitchell has recently returned from completing 'The World Marathon Challenge' where she has, in seven days, run a marathon in Antarctica, Cape Town, Perth, Dubai, Madrid, Fortaleza and Miami.
The event is held in February every two years and in 2020, 42 people had signed up for this extreme event. There were three Australian's who took part, and all three of them are women.
We caught up with Beck to talk to her about her experiences taking part in the challenge.
What was it like to run a marathon in Antarctica?
The conditions while we were running were brutal. It certainly is a beautiful place to run however, I was very much preoccupied with how cold and windy it was. We ran in -25c with gale-force winds, which made it quite challenging, certainly the most challenging run of my life without a shadow of a doubt. I had never run on ice before, so that was a quick learning curve. There were many, many moments when I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish, so looking back I am incredibly proud of what I achieved and it goes to show that we are all capable of more than we think.
Was the event more a mental challenge or a physical challenge? How did you prepare mentally for this?
I would say it was equally as much of a challenge mentally as it was physically. There were moments when my body was breaking down, fatigue really set in and the pain was overwhelming. In those moments it was the strength in my mind that brought me through. At other times I was overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of what I had gotten myself into, that made me want to give up, and I was able to continue because my body was strong enough and I had trained my body to know it could complete what I was asking of it. Overcoming the challenge really came back to my preparation, I had spent two years training for it. I had a coach and a team of people who supported me every step of the way. I truly believed I was able to complete it because there were so many people who believed in me.
Was there any time, either in training or during one of the marathons where you thought 'I can't do this?'
A lot. We all have self doubt, especially when we dream big and attempt things that feel impossible. In the lead up to the race I would worry about preventing injury, whereas during the races it was more about enduring and pushing beyond the challenges of fatigue, pain, sleep deprivation etc. There were plenty of ‘I can’t do this’ moments, but I wasn’t just running for me, I was running for so many people that need help. My ‘why’ was so much stronger than what I was doing, and that helped me find a way forward.
Bridge Builders Youth seems to be your 'why', what makes you feel so connected to this charity and the work they do?
Bridge Builders drastically changed my life when I was 17 years old. I experienced a lot of changes in my teenage years and Bridge Builders was a place of refuge for me. The organisation supported me when I needed it the most and it has helped me become the person I am today. After 15 years of involvement, I am in an incredible position to be able to work with young people who were just like me, who need support in their most challenging times. The whole World Marathon Challenge campaign was about helping young people to see their value and to know that anything is possible, that their dreams are possible. If I can go out and achieve what I did, if I can overcome the challenges that I faced then they too can overcome the challenges in their own world. I hoped to provide inspiration for many and to raise much-needed funds and awareness for an organisation working on the ground every day to help young people feel valued and have a sense of belonging. There is no better cause for me to place my efforts behind, they changed my life and their work is critical to the youth in our community.
If you want to find out more about Beck Mitchell and the work she does with Bridge Builders, you can click here.