Month: September 2015

Marathon #4: Race Preview

Next week I’ll be running the fourth marathon of my fundraising challenge and for the first time it will be a real race, the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra. This is a race that explores Canberra’s hills, trails and nature parks covering more than 100 km in four stages that can be completed by solo athletes or in teams of two to four runners. It started two years ago to celebrate Canberra’s centenary with a 100 km trail race, a distance that has been increasing by 1 km every year to match the age of Australia’s capital.

Running an official event should have made the planning stage a lot easier as I didn’t have to create a course, make a map, count the kilometers, or find suitable starting and finish points. However, I decided to run the race as part of a team (or should I say that my body decided that it wouldn’t accept 102 km as a reasonable approximation to the 42 km that a marathon should have?) which means that I couldn’t completely avoid some sort of planning. The major problem was to form a team since most of my triathlon friends will be racing the duathlon championship on the same day. I was luck to get Jasen and Shane, two other members of the Bilbys triathlon club, to run the first two legs of the race, leaving the last 47.1 km for me.

Race map with individual legs for the relay (1st - red, 2nd yellow, 3rd cyan, 4th- purple). Below the elevation profile.

Race map with individual legs for the relay (starting from red and finishing with purple). Below the elevation profile.

I ran leg two in the first two editions of this race and I’m looking forward to complete legs 3 and 4 this time. One week to go!


Things to Keep in Mind When Dating/Married to/Friend of/Parent to an Ultra & Trail Runner

Not quite an ultra runner yet but my wife said that she sees me in at least 7 of the 10 items in the list…



  1. When we say we “need” to go for a run, we mean it. Whether it’s for sanity’s or training’s sake, we literally need to go run. After we get that run in, we’ll stop talking about it . . . until the next day. In that same vein, we may sometimes complain about HAVING to go for a run. Yes, we know we could technically “not go” . . . wait, actually no, we have to go. If we don’t, it’ll pick at us all day, everything will remind us of the fact we didn’t go, and we’ll be cranky and miserable because of it.
  2. However long we say we’ll be gone on a run, it’s safe to add AT LEAST an hour or two. Sometimes, we fail to take into consideration travel time, bonk time, refueling time, or “we felt good so we just kept going” time.
  3. Grocery bills will…

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TED Talks on Cancer Research

A friend of mine, Carlos Pineda (the one that ran with me in my first marathon), sent me a link to some TED talks on cancer. Since supporting cancer research is the reason behind my 12in1 marathon challenge, I decided to share some of these videos with you. The first one is a talk given in 2011 by Jay Bradner, a researcher at Harvard and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He talks about a molecule developed in his lab that can make cancer cells forget their identity and turn into normal cells. What is interesting is that his talk was not advertised for the technical progress made with the JQ1 molecule, but was announced as “Jay Bradner: Open-source cancer research”. The reason for that is that Bradner’s group not only published their results (that’s what we, scientists, do), but published them at the early prototype stage AND shared their molecule with labs around the world. This fast-tracked our understanding of this molecule and its potential to be used in cancer treatment.

He finishes his talk (spoiler alert!!) giving me even more motivation to run my marathons. In his own words:

Now the business model involves all of you. This research is funded by the public. It’s funded by foundations. And one thing I’ve learned in Boston is that you people will do anything for cancer — and I love that. You bike across the state. You walk up and down the river. (Laughter) I’ve never seen really anywhere this unique support for cancer research. And so I want to thank you for your participation, your collaboration and most of all for your confidence in our ideas.”

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