The Calm Before The Storm

Well here we are! The long wait is almost over!

At the time this blog post goes live I will be two days out from the American Ultra. Or 48 hours - which ever way you want to look at it!

It feels good to be finally at this point. I am experiencing many different feelings and emotions the last 7 to 10 days I will admit.

It is hard to describe what its like to lie into bed at night and with each sleep bringing you closer to something amazing. Each sleep also brings me closer to 36 days of suffering, 36 days of putting myself into a place I have never been, 36 days of making amazing memories with both the crew and my family & 36 days of gritting it out to bring a little comfort and hope to those who need it most.

I say it all the time; the reason I am here & the reason we created the crazy plan and adventure was to do three main things;

  1. Raise as much funds as we can for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland. Our target is €250,000.

  2. To bring hope and happiness to those effected or currently living with Spina Bifida and/or Hydrocephalus in Ireland.

  3. To raise more awareness about the condition, it’s effects on people and provide families around Ireland with a louder voice.

I am confident we can tick all three boxes in the next 2 months or so between starting, completing & finishing the American Ultra.

It is at times like this I think about my cousin Mary in Kildare! If you know me, you know her! Mary is the reason I got into endurance sports about 8/9 years ago and she is still very much the fuel to my fire!

Mary is tough, in fact I am 100% certain, she is far tougher than me & far more resilient than I can ever dream of being. She smiles every time I see her, even though she is still fighting her own battle each and every day. It is tough for both her & her family. Not just from 9am to 5pm but for 7 days a week, every week.

This is a 24/7 fight, that I am very proud to be supporting.

The thing is, when you compare 36 days of ultra cycling and ultra running to the fight that some families in Ireland, that I am representing, go through - it is the least I can do. I am here to stand with them, shoulder to shoulder & wheel to wheel as best I can.

No doubt there will be struggle over the coming 36 days, there will be days where I question things, there will be days where it feels tougher than it should and there will be days where maybe it just won’t click for me. And that is okay - those days are just tests. Small exams I need to pass so I can see the skyline of New York City on Friday May 3rd.

But I always revert back, in my mind, when I speak & when I write. What I am about to go through is just scratching the surface of what some families in Ireland face. And I want to make sure people realise that!

Of course there is a side to the endurance stuff that is personal. I want to find out what I can do, I want to see where my body can do. I have been given a gift and I fully intend on using to its maximum. Part of me also wants to be half way through day 19 or 20, in the middle of nowhere, hurting, maybe struggling & my back to the wall. Because its in those moments you see what you are, who you are & where you are.

So I fully intend on enjoying the next 36 days I can promise you that and we will be creating many memories for years to come. I will cycle 270km a day for 3 days and then run 60km a day for 3 days. That is 6 days & I repeat that 6 times to give us 36 days. Coast to coast, Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge - some craic!

Also as you may or may not know! Absolutely none of this would even be possible without the support of the team! You will see me running and biking everyday but there are 8 of us on the road to New York City!

From my Dad, Martin & Anthony on driving duties to Ben, Craig & Greg creating another amazing documentary to Ali my physiotherapist - we are a team & I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else! This is their American Ultra too. I am beyond grateful for their support and I know when the going is tough and maybe the heat or the hills start to take their toll - they have my back - no matter what. This gives me so much confidence.

Adding to this is Tom & Katy in the office in Dublin, over 12 months of work and logistics have gone into making this happen - the work that has gone on behind the scenes is pretty extraordinary. SBHI is a small organisation and we have to punch above our weight big time. But no better team to fight!

And of course my Mother, brother & sister at home! I heard the food consumption at home has dropped significantly in the last month since I headed to Colorado! I am already looking forward to getting home for a Sunday dinner again soon I can also tell you that!

I could stay here all evening typing but a special thank you to everyone and anyone who has helped, guided or advised me in the last 6/12 months! Or even checked in to see if I was still alive 4 hours into a 5 hour training run or to see how I was keeping 3 days into a 4 day mini training camp! You know who you are!

On that note - it is almost time to sign off and start a journey of a lifetime!

I don’t feel nervous at all, I feel excited and optimistic about what lies ahead! And I feel very grateful to be able to do this and to help other people in the process! I wake up each morning smiling, knowing that I am a day closer! I do have plenty of pent up energy during my days & I often walk laps around the Airbnb each evening just to keep moving!

After all my cousin Mary is going to be on the Brooklyn Bridge waiting for me on day 36 - so I am going to make sure I am there too, I wouldn’t want to keep her waiting!

Thank you for all the messages, well wishes, texts and calls!

Here’s to an amazing month!

You can follow the whole thing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course here on the website too!

We would really appreciate any shares, mentions, comments, messages you can send. Tell your neighbours, the postman and your cousins! All help, assistance & donations are very warmly welcomed!

You can donate via the website & at this link

Thanks again! Slán go fóil!


Shane Finn2 Comments