THIS should give you motivation to move.
Early Sunday morning, right when most of Ballarat will be sleeping in, Julian Spence is in Doha running a marathon in 30-plus degrees in the IAAF World Championships. His start time: midnight.
The whole concept - a first in world champs - sounds epic.
It is in complete earnest this columnist suggests Spence's mission should give you motivation to move.
If you need a goal, we are six weeks out from this city's major run festival Run For A Cause, which is plenty of time to start training or dust off your runners to find a way to get moving for charity.
Spence will return from Doha to pick back up as race director for the event on a course he helped design for all abilities and participant goals - flat and picturesque through Victoria Park and by Lake Wendouree.
This event truly is about having a go, trying your best and testing yourself, mentally and physically - if you want - but above all having fun for a good cause (this year it is in ensuring children are school-ready).
Motivational tip: this is fundamentally not about time, nor the distance, unless you want it to be. This is about getting out of your comfort zone with sound preparation to give yourself a strong chance.
This is Spence's first Australian athletics team. He smashed his personal best to run two hours, 14 minutes and 42 seconds in Lake Biwa, Japan, to qualify in March. Four other guys qualified but Spence was the only one to take up the challenge.
Spence's training regime has become almost town folklore this winter: turning the heating up to boiling in his shop for after-hours treadmill sessions; dark runs by the lake to tune his night running perception; wearing out training shoes every couple of weeks.
Now in Doha and acclimatising, the focus in on cooling his pre-race core temperature with ice vests, ice baths and slushie drinks.
Spence is an elite athlete, running is his business and hobby. Doha is his challenge.
For others, the challenge could be in achieving a couch-to-five-kilometre run or walk in Run For A Cause or in striding out for a longer run. For some, a big challenge could be getting the family out the door in time for a walk on course together.
Remember Deb Clark from VicHealth's Deb v doubt campaign? Her key hurdle was to overcome fear of judgement for how she looked in order to start going for a walk before breakfast each morning.
Runner Mike Silcock says Ballarat's strength is support for each other making a move. He says you can find this in parkrun each week where there was a good vibe among all who cross the line, no matter what their morning aim or ability, because we all have barriers to break.
Silcock, who will share his story in The Courier this week, is one month out from running the world-famous New York City Marathon. You can read about his campaign launch here.
Silcock had not been considering a marathon until MND Victoria, a charity he champions, offered him the chance of a lifetime. He felt community support right behind him and he could hardly wait to return the favour in Run For A Cause.
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