Darren's Endurance Highlights

Endurance Hat-trick ….. by Darren MacGregor

Darren explains why he ends up doing 3 big endurance events inside a month, how he gets through it and that he is in fact looking forward to what's next! 

Oxfam Trailwalker 100km – Aug 28th

Coastal Classic 29km trail run – Sep 5th

Blackmores Sydney Marathon – Sep 20th


Why I decided to do the events:

It’s been a big 4 weeks for me, with 171kms of events packed into 3 of the last 4 weekends (full points to my beautiful wife for being so supportive!).  The ‘month of Darren’ as my wife calls it wasn’t always part of the plan, it just kind of happened that way.  The original plan for 2015 was to do another marathon – I needed to prove to myself I could do that again after a busy few years disrupted the regularly running.  We had baby number 3 in 2012 and also moved from the Shire to Randwick which meant I lost my regular running group.  I joined Rejoov and signed up for the Sydney marathon in April 2015 to force myself to get serious about training again. 


As for the other two events, I signed up for the Coastal Classic 29km early in the year knowing full well it was only 2 weeks from the marathon but knowing I’ve wanted to do it for a few years and backing myself to be able to recover.   The Oxfam 100km on the other hand, was completely unplanned (and rather crazy I suspect) but I was helping out a mate who had lost a team member a few weeks out from the event.  And it was for charity of course which made it easier to tell myself to harden up.


What does completing the events mean to me:

I’m a very achievement driven person and have the view that (in all aspects of your life) you get the most out of yourself when you’re stretched and challenged in some way.  I tell my kids that on a fairly regular basis and I think they ‘get’ now that Daddy likes a challenge and that a little hard work can pay off (the little tikes are still young enough to think the ‘participation medals’ I come home with are podium finishes! Bless em’).   There is definitely a huge sense of satisfaction having ticked them all off the list.


How have I pulled up?

Surprisingly well actually.  A bit of tightness in the legs and calves but no major injuries to report which I’ll put down to Greta’s marathon training programme and steady mileage build-up. 



The Oxfam was a pretty amazing event – such great spirit out on the course with everyone pulling together to get through the 100km.  Being a team event that continues day and night makes it pretty unique – add to that we had absolutely perfect weather and a brilliant full moon.  Hardly needed the head torch!  Finishing the marathon is also pretty hard to top – such an exhausting and intense event that you can’t help but feel amazing when you cross the line.


Training nutrition tips:

Remember to eat and drink on the long runs!  I was pretty bad at this on account of some bad prior experiences with stomach upsets from gels etc.  I found the Tailwind electrolyte drink to be a better solution for me although I have to admit, I’ve still not solved it entirely and was often a little nauseous after the +30km long runs. 


Would I encourage others to do it?

Absolutely, there is nothing better than training for longer distance events – yes, it occupies a bit of time and requires organisation but when you’re done, you have the benefit of feeling super fit and knowing that you’ve achieved something that most people probably couldn’t.   You save a bit of money too I have to say – a few less nights out and a bit less to drink which isn’t a bad thing either!  Having someone like Greta there consistently checking in with you is also pretty important – keeps you accountable.


Other events coming up?

Hmm…..I think ‘event’ remains a banned word in our house for the next month or so………but yes, I have my eye on a few. 

 Pic: Darren leading the early morning charge with the Rejoov Runners on some hill sprints after the tempo session!