Authored by Harriet Teare
It is becoming increasingly popular to run long distances – amateur runners across the globe are queuing up to tackle a marathon, many of whom have never run before, and possible, will never run again. Running further than 26.2 miles (42.195km) is also gaining in popularity, although for now this still draws a fairly select crowd of runners, with plenty of miles already under their belts.
Ultra marathons – that is, any distance longer than a marathon, takes careful preparation, and often requires significant support, even if it’s seen as an individual sport. To be successful, ultra runners will draw on advice from their coach, nutritionist, physio; they may have a pacer, support crew, friends and family all helping them to achieve their goals and collect their race buckles (or medals). They are demonstrating the reality that it is easier to go further together. This is one of the crucial ideals which underpins the Homeward Bound program: that we are #strongertogether.
Our ship, the #IslandSky2023 has now left Port Stanley in East Falkland, our final stop before we reach the Antarctic Peninsula. There are over 100 of us on board, living, eating, exploring, and growing together – supported by a generous crew, a stellar expedition team, and our vibrant Homeward Bound faculty (including HB HQ supporting our communications on land). It’s a momentous effort, driven by the conviction that we, the participants, will gain so much from this time together, learning, and caring for each other on our journey. We collaborate, and are immersed in the incredible nature around us, to witness in real-time the impact that climate change is having on our planet. Together we are preparing for the long game – the ultra marathon ahead of us to secure our future, safe in the knowledge that we are #strongertogether.
Photo: Direction Pole. Credit: Jennifer Robertson