Now that I am close to completing my goal of running the 6 world marathon majors (just Boston remaining), I have been thinking about what I will do after I have ticked that one off.
I am the type of guy who likes to have something to work towards. I don’t like signing up for one race, training for it, running it and then sitting back and relaxing. I will sign up for multiple races across multiple disciplines, running, cycling, swimming, triathlon and OCR, its all fair game.
The thought of achieving my long term goal and then what? has been bugging me. I need that challenge and that goal to dream of.
The goal that is challenging, sounds impossible, heck! it might even be impossible. The goal that will fuel my drive and ambition for another year or coming years.
I thought about stepping up to ultramarathons, running a marathon on each of the seven continents or qualifying for the Ironman World Championships. None of them really excited me, they are goals that lots and lots of people strive for. I am tired of waiting on lottery results, chasing qualifying times, waiting for qualification slots and application windows.
I want to do something that puts the fun back into running and gets you back to running at that moment in time where it is just you and the road. No thoughts of hitting a certain pace, running splits and worrying about whether you have done enough to qualify.
I want something bigger, something more challenging and something very few have done.
At the end of March, I stumbled upon a post on Instagram. A friend of mine was running something called The Speed Project. The name caught my attention first. The Speed Project, that sounds intriguing. What can that be?
I took a look at the Instagram page for The Speed Project and that was it, that was when I was hooked and I then knew what my next goal was. Just browsing through the photos from previous years of TSP gave me that fire in my belly. They were stunning, the scenery was breathtaking, the runners looked awesome, the solitude and vastness draw you in and the RV’s!
Picture this. an RV parked at the side of a road in the middle of the Mojave desert, mountains in the background, the sky orange as the sunsets on another day. Nothing on the road beside one person running, that person running into a tunnel created by the 7 teammates, smoke flares and confetti going off as that runner tags in their teammate.
*Photo from Team Take the Bridge, who ran TSP4.0 in 2018.
So come on, what the hell is The Speed Project? I hear you shout.
The Speed Project or TSP is an unsanctioned 340-mile ultra relay from Santa Monica Pier in LA to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign in, well Vegas of course. That is pretty much it. There are no rules (besides US law), no aids stations, no cut off times. It’s just you, your teammates and the road. you run from A to B, job done, simple right?
What attracts me to this one is the sheer scale and challenge of it. 340-miles is tough even as a relay with 6 or more teammates the distances are massive, no stopping, very little rest, the heat, the mountains and the looooong straight never ending roads of Death Valley.
You may or may not know that I spent 5 days cycling around Death Valley in 2016 with a bunch of people I had never met before. During those 5 days I made friends for life, we cycled, drank, ate and slept together as one team. The team spirit was awesome, we had the time of our lives. We experienced the stunning vast natural beauty of Death Valley.
I have always wanted to go back and do that all over again and what better way to do it than on foot and once again creating memories and friends to last a lifetime.
Now I have my goal and that challenge to keep me running past the 6 world marathon majors. The only problem is, The Speed Project is by invite only. I need to find out how I can get an invite to take part in TSP6.0 2019 or later, or find someone who would let me join their team.
Ideally, I would get an invite and then pull together my own team of 6 – 10 runners and go on this awesome running adventure of a lifetime. Two days, cramped together in a hot sweaty RV and running multiple times throughout the day and night. What more could you ask for!