I have a lot of hopes and dreams for this blog, and when I first started writing it, one of my main desires was to come into contact with inspirational people from all walks of life and from all over the world, so that I’d be able to learn their stories, be inspired by their stories and then ultimately share those stories with you. As such, I’m immensely pleased to be able to present the first of many interviews. This one is with a couple of mates from Australia, Chris (Tofes) and Ant, who together are known as The Wounded Pelicans…
The Wounded Pelicans
Name, age and location?
Christopher Evans, 24, and Antony Sedman, 25, from the Gold Coast, Australia.
How long have you been running, and what are your motivations for running?
About one-and-a-half years. We both got into running to get fit after living a wild and rambunctious party lifestyle. We got really curious with the sport and became obsessed with seeing how far we could push our bodies.
If you couldn’t run again, what would you do instead?
A different but similar endurance sport where we could push ourselves to new limits.
When a race gets really tough, what thoughts keep your legs moving?
We don’t want to let the team down (a charity in this case) and we said we’d do these events to prove we can do them.
What is your favourite race that you’ve run, and why?
Probably the Gold Coast Airport Marathon – Australia’s largest marathon. We dressed up as daffodils to raise awareness for our charity’s ‘Daffodil Day’. You could say we had quite flamboyant costumes and we even got given a beer at the 39km mark from a few locals! Wasn’t the most aesthetic choice of clothing, but we were definitely aesthetic…
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned about yourself from running?
How pushing ourselves makes us realise what’s important in life. When you finish a race, the only thing you care about is food, shelter, and water. You don’t care what house or car you have and it makes you appreciate what you do have. It also reduces any complaining you had initially to a minimum, because, after running 100km ultra-marathons, it comes to mind that you’ve just completed the toughest thing that day, so any problem you come across seems like nothing. And if there is adversity, then you know you can deal with it much better because it’s not much different than running for an extensive period of time, where you’re constantly fighting mental demons.
Do you follow any particular eating strategy?
Not really. Chris eats anything that isn’t processed or contains refined sugar, and Ant has quite the sweet tooth…
If you could tell your 13 year-old self one thing, what would it be?
Be patient, because it’s going to be a long ride. However, do everything you can do that day to get closer to getting what you want.
What are you afraid of?
Regret. Most people are afraid of spiders, heights and other conventional fears. But when time and energy are the most important assets on this world (money not so much, because it can be regained) then you can’t squander and waste your time on things that don’t matter. Regret is poison, because the last thing you want later in life is wishing you took up that challenge.
They’re just a couple of regular guys…
…pushing themselves to their limits. That’s something we can all do, right? But what’s impressed me most about Chris and Ant is their gung-ho attitude towards the physical challenges that they put themselves through. Like most of us, they work long full-time hours, and fit their training in during the evenings, when they also tackle their website, fundraising and blog. Most weekends they race. Inspirational stuff from a couple of regular guys in their mid-twenties. When I first came into contact with Chris, him and Ant had just tackled their first 100-miler. Chris celebrated finishing by taking off his running shoes, filling one with a beer and drinking it straight down. Now, I’ve been unfortunate enough to have caught more than one whiff of my own running shoes after a 100-miler, and the thought of drinking a pint out of either of them isn’t one I care to dwell on. But for these guys, it’s all part of the wild, vivid tapestry of life. This year alone they’ve tackled a crazy number of endurance events, and from what Chris has been telling me in his emails, they have some seriously BIG plans for next year. I’d encourage you to head on over to their website to have a nosey around – it’s an infectious place to linger, and their exuberance comes across in each post and instantly brings a smile to the face. You can also find them on facebook and instagram too.
All of their efforts are not just for themselves either – this year alone, they hope to raise $20,000 AUD for their chosen charity, Cancer Council Queensland. If you have a spare bit of cash, they’d be stoked to take it off your hands, so please head on over to their fundraising page and help them to help others.