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7 ultra marathons in 7 days on 7 continents

Audrey McIntosh - Global Odyssey

  • 7.49% funded
  • £ 1,872.00 pledged
  • Open

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#challengedementia #womeninsport #WomenOver50

What is the Global Odyssey

In a nutshell:  7 ultra marathons in 7 days on 7 continents

The ultimate global ultra-marathon challenge that pushes the limits of mental & physical strength and endurance, planning & logistics. To be the first woman to achieve this goal.

  • 7 x 50k ultra-marathons on 7 continents in 7 days (168 hours)
  • Antarctica, South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania
  • Approximately 12 hours per continent touch-down to take-off
  • Each 50k will need to be run in approximately 6 – 6.5 hrs
  • Total distance 350 km /217 miles
  • Total calories burned 26,500
  • Temperatures ranging from -30 to +30
  • Mixed terrain – snow & ice, trails, tarmac
  • Challenges posed by lack of sleep and time zone changes

Where has it come from?

When asked 3 years ago if I wanted to run a marathon on every continent I said no. Trotting round the world doing big city marathons did not excite me. Once the thought was there in my head it was only a matter of time before a challenge took form. People have run standard 26.2 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days, so could I  ’up the anti’ and make it more challenging and more inspiring? Yes.

Why

Why not try for the ‘777’ and whilst doing so be the master of my own destiny, planning my own logistics, locations and routes, working with fellow runners in each destination to create a support network.

Why not be the first woman to achieve this: dream big and aim high.

There are a number of reasons why, but here are the main ones:

Since 2013 I have been raising funds for Alzheimer Scotland and it is my aim to raise at least £50k more.

There are 850 thousand people suffering from dementia in the UK, (86 thousand in Scotland), and that will rise to 1m by 2025. Two thirds of sufferers are women. There are 670 thousand carers in the UK. Two thirds of sufferers live in the community. The funds that I raise for Alzheimer Scotland are allocated to community based project that provide much needed support to sufferers and just as importantly their carers.

I want to show that gender and age should not be, and are not barriers to setting and achieving challenges. I aim to inspire women not only to see what they can achieve, but also to encourage them to take up sport; to see the benefits of a healthy life style. Running or walking on a regular basis protects memory retention and brain growth. Exercise improves bone density too.

How the money is spent

My previous challenges have all be self-funded, but for a project of this scale I need support.

This campaign is to raise £25k which will enable me to undertake the Global Odyssey unsupported. Ideally I want to raise £50k which will mean I can also take a single person support crew. Here is a breakdown of the budget:

  • Antarctic logistics 55%
  • Air & road travel 32%
  • Location support & accommodation 8%
  • Kit (shoes, clothing, specialist nutrition) 5%

Who am I?

I may not look like your image of an ultra-marathon runner and yes I am an ordinary woman fitting training and racing around full-time work and family life; but I am an ordinary woman with an extraordinary passion for running, adventure, pushing the limits, breaking down barriers and defying stereotypes.  I am a proud wife and mother.
I works full-time as a freelance Business Consultant and Project Manager so have the skills to organise this. I fly the flag for the older woman and the older runner.

Coming to running late, in my mid thirties, I started with a 10k with aim of raising funds for my local hospital. Training for a 10k was all that I could fit into my life back then. As my children grew older and more independent I began to stretch my wings, upping the training time and distance gradually moving up to half marathon and marathon when I turned 40 after saying that only lunatics ran marathons. An ultra-marathon in 2010 and then in 2013 as I turned 50 more ultra-marathons and what then seemed like the ultimate challenge a marathon and an ultra-marathon in Antarctica.

Here are some highlights from my running track record:

2015

  • North Pole Marathon run in -41, 4th woman
  • West Highland Way Race, 95 miles from Milngavie (Glasgow) to Fort William
  • Glenmore 24 hr Trail Race where I ran 100 miles

2014

  • Volcano Marathon 3rd woman
  • Glenmore 24 hr Trail Race where I ran 95.6 miles

2013

  • Antarctic Ice Marathon 4th Woman
  • Antarctic Ice 100k 1st woman, 3rd overall

My next step

Is to continue the planning and also my training to prepare my body for the challenges to come; to be able to run long distances close together and in mixed and extreme environments.

In January 2017 I will be taking on an extreme double adventure marathon challenge where I will run the Namibian Sand Marathon in the desert sand dunes in 40 degrees followed a few days later by the Genghis Khan Ice Marathon in Mongolia run on a frozen river in -40 degrees.

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+Thank Yous and Updates

Ticking Along

It has been a good start to the crowd-funding and I an grateful for the support. My plans and developing and my training going well. In January I will be taking on an extreme marathon double event: the Namibian Sand Marathon and the Genghis Khan Ice Marathon in Mongolia. This will give me a taste of switching between extreme temperatures and environments as well as significant travel time (48 hours) between events.

+The Project FAQ's

Can it be done?

Yes. Two men have completed 7 ultra-marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. The first was fellow Scot Dr Andrew Murray. The trick is to start in Antarctica which is where delays are most likely to happen and to not cross the pacific.

How do you train for something like this?

I can build up my mileage, run events close together and run events in environments and climates similar to those that I will encounter. I will have to train myself to to function when sleep deprived: something which I have already experienced as a mother and running in events that take 24 hours or longer. In June or July 2017 I plan to do a rehearsal by running 7 marathon distance training runs in 7 days.

Are you mad?

Just a little, but as someone once said, out madness comes greatness.

What is the banner?

I want to acknowledge and include everyone who has supported me and become part of the Global Odyssey team. So I will get a banner printed with all your names and the banner will travel with me and be displayed at the start and finish of each run on every continent.

How do the rewards work?

You select an amount to give and then get your reward. As the amounts increase the rewards build on the previous award. You can also do your own thing and set your own amount.

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