"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why 100+?

Funny you should ask.
I have always dreamed of leaving the shackles of the working world behind to become an adventurer of sorts.  The problem was I never knew how, and always thought that I would never be able to do something so grand as the people I had read about.  The reason why I love the longer events is that I don't want the adventure to end because it is the adventure that makes me feel whole.  I remember a few years ago when Chuck and Robin needed a replacement teammate for the Goomna adventure race.  Robin had sent out an email to the Metro Tri Club members saying that the first to respond was in.  Luckily I happened to check my email at the right moment and thought "sweet!" because I had been wanting to try adventure racing for a while and figured this would be a great way in.  I didn't respond right away though.  I had doubts, I barely knew robin at the time, and I had never met Chuck.  I didn't know how fast they were, I didn't want to hold them back, and so on.  Finally I decided that if I didn't get on board I was a fool.  I emailed Robin and I was in.  It turned out to be a really great decision, one that would ultimately lead me down the path that I currently on.  Together we have had some great adventures and the future will bring even more.
Chuck and I had planned on racing the MR340 this year but it was cancelled.  We spent a lot of time paddling, and somehow in my Internet searching for paddling I came across Dave Cornthwaite, who I have mentioned before.  I read his on his website and could relate to it really well.  Too well.  Dave made a change, he would skateboard across Australia.  First though to warm up he skateboarded the length of the UK.  He wasn't just going to do it though he was doing it for charity.  As he said "skateboarding with a purpose".  Since he completed the two skateboarding journeys Dave has created Expedition 1000 where he will raise money for his charities while completing journeys of 1000miles or more each using a different mode of non-motorized transport (sound familiar).  So far he has kayaked the Murray river in Australia, and is currently paddling the length of the Mississippi on a stand up paddle board.  That is how we met.  I was pretty excited about an Adventurer coming through the area.  I tracked his progress and when he got close I sent an email asking if he would mind if I joined him for a day.  He said he wouldn't mind at all.  It turned out to be a rough day of paddling with strong headwinds and a high temp of 103degrees.  All the while I was trying to figure out how I could do what Dave does.  While he has done some remarkable things he is just a person who puts his shoes on toes first just like me.  I finally figured out that I don't have to do what he does or what anyone else does.  Meaning I don't have to quit my job and become a full time adventurer (although I would still like to) in order to be happy.  I can create meaning in all of the things I do by trying to raise awareness and money for a cause that has affected my life.  And thus the 100+Project was born.

I chose the 100+ because face it 100 is an impressive number and on some "vehicles" I have in mind 100miles will be pushing me beyond my limits.  The "+" is the other side of the coin, because some of the vehicles 100miles would be relatively simple.  So 100+ leaves me with many options to work with since there is really only one guiding principle, that I travel a distance of more than 100miles.
Whenever possible I would like to complete these events with one continuous effort but there will be times when this is just not possible.  For instance I plan to paddle the length of the Illinois river by canoe sometime next year, and because of the distance involved it will take a few days.  Along the same lines I will be competing in the Missouri River 340 next year as well using my kayak.  For those of you that may be wondering, yes I plan to run a 100mile race as part of the project although I can't say when.  
There is no way, at least at this point to know how many of these I will be able to complete each year.  Currently I am limited by how much time I can be away from work.  Also the different types of training I will have to do will be a big factor.  Running 100miles takes a huge amount of time effort and focus in order to run it slowly, while the two previously mentioned paddling adventures are similar enough that they could be trained for concurrently.

I chose skateboarding for my first project as an homage to Dave since he is the one that was the catalyst that started the wheels turning in my head.  I was a skateboarder for many years until I gave it up about 6years ago so I knew it would be a good vehicle to start with since I wouldn't have a steep learning curve to deal with.

I have many adventures ahead of me and I am really looking forward to each one, especially the ones I haven't even thought of yet.

Next up I will explain why I chose to raise money for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America St Louis Chapter.

In the meantime,
Stay safe and breathe easy!


  1. This is so cool. And when you get ready to train for 100 miles, let me know. I can definitely be your "slow" pacer for at least part of the run. :)

  2. Like Kate said, very cool. I look forward to following your adventure. Do you have a route in mind for the 100 mile skateboard?