Sometimes as I sit on my front porch in the evening, I watch runners charge up the steepest part of Willow Avenue. Then, having reached the top, they run down again, only to start back up the hill. As I sip my glass of wine, I have often reflected on recreational runner’s grip on reality.
However, that said, there is no one more passionate about their sport than a marathoner. Take Alison Simpson , for example.
She identified herself by saying, “I’m a proud Beach resident who loves the recreational aspects our community offers. I’m also someone who loves a challenge and I’ve always liked to run and travel.”
Over the years Alison has competed in 29 (!) marathons. If marathons were not gruelling enough, now she has signed up for a 250 km race across the Sahara Desert.
In five weeks, Alison will start a six-day race across the Sahara. Time Magazine rates the race as one of the toughest physical challenges in the world.
The first four days she will have to run 40 km a day. On the fifth day she has to complete 80km. The last should be a cinch – only 10 km.
The temperatures in the desert range between 40 and 50 ˚C, and the running surface is sand for the entire race.
Just to up the ante, Alison will have to carry a 25 pound backpack on her back for the duration of the race which contains all of her food and provisions for the week.
Remember what I said about runners’ grasp on reality? Alison can see my point. “The very logical question you’re likely asking yourself is: “are you crazy?’ Part of the answer is quite simple – yes. It takes a little dose of crazy to sign up for something like this,” she said.
So why do it? “I’ve always believed you learn a lot about what you’re capable of accomplishing by challenging yourself physically and mentally. This has certainly been true for the marathons I’ve completed, and the Sahara challenge is sure to take my learning curve to a whole new extreme.
“Another important reason is to give hope to people who have fallen on hard times and are in desperate need of help.”
You see Alison isn’t just racing for her personal goals. The race is also a fundraiser for NABS Canada. NABS is a charity that’s dedicated to helping people in the marketing industry who are battling serious illness and need support. NABS also provides financial support and counselling to people who have been hit by the massive lay-offs that have struck the marketing industry the last two years.
Alison will pay all of her costs for the race, so every dollar donated will go directly to NABS to help people in need.
Alison is now entering the toughest part of her training. She is running 100 km a week with a backpack, plus doing cross training.
She is also working hard to meet her fundraising goal. So far she has raised $10,862 and hopes to reach $15,000.
To learn more about Alison’s Saharan challenge and NABS go to: