In every race, you experience new highs, new lows and meet unique personalities of impeccable character. In the coming weeks, I will profile some of those people from all over the globe.
Once the race is done, everyone heads back to the host hotel to clean off 7 days of grime, lie down on a real bed and reflect on the adventure.
In the evening, the race organization hosts an awards banquet to hand out recognition for the top individuals and teams. To get through these races you need an incredible amount of grit, camaraderie, and belief in yourself.
The logistics that go into the week are incredible. Weather systems in Patagonia are highly unpredictable and we had at least two course change during the week. The race brings volunteers and partners with local workers to make sure everything runs as smooth as possible.
Every runner is up between 5-6am preparing for the start of each day. We need hot water for our breakfast and often corral around the campfires in order to warm up. Days can be warm (or not) and nights are cold.
Often simple acts of kindness by volunteers or the extra effort they put in can mean an incredible amount to runners.
As the awards were handed out and winners made quick thank you speeches, each received a round of applause. The spirit award for those who are seen living the values of the race and helping others always receive a heavy round of applause and often the loudest.
This race was unique.
As the race organizers thanked everyone involved for making the event a success, a surprising thing happened.
The applause that started to rise was not for the runners, all 300+ warriors who battled the elements and all well deserved.
It was not for the individual or team winners who came out on top of an elite field.
It was not for the volunteers, who were up early and worked extremely hard.
The applause, no the standing ovation was for a ragtag bunch of laborers, the Sons of Patagonia.
These men of the mountains set up and moved all our camps every day. When we arrived at our first camp, they were chopping wood to build fires. They were attacking huge trunks of wood that took 10 hacks just to make a single dent in the large trunks.
They were up two hours before we were up in the blackness of night. They didn’t come from much, yet they beamed with pride of their work. You could tell they were happy. Living off the land and full of cheer.
Our community of runners is not easy to impress. High-performance athletes, entrepreneurs, and extremely successful business leaders.
The entire room turned to face the men at the back of the room and gave them a raucous standing ovation meant for champions.
There were tears in some eyes, the rest beaming with pride.
It doesn’t matter what your profession is, it’s how you show up, the effort and pride you put into your work.
People are always watching and hard work never goes unnoticed.
The kick in the pants you need. Sign-up for a better start to your work day.