Chris Evans, marathon runner

when shit hits the fan you have to be adaptable to change ...

Running a marathon generally steps outside everyday ‘comfort zones’, with one 42 kilometre endurance challenge arguably justifying bragging rights for life. Not for Gold Coast lads, and best mates, Chris Evans and Antony Sedman – aka Tofes and Ant – who not only took up running last year but are backing themselves to complete an epic 29-plus endurance events in 2016 … a distance equivalent to running from London to Moscow. Their ultimate aim: to raise $20,000 for Cancer Council Queensland. We had a chat with one half of The Wounded Pelicans, Chris Evans, about maintaining motivation and mental blocks.

How and why did you get into running in the first place?
To be honest I was partying too much overseas and I wanted to get fit so I set myself a goal of running the Gold Coast Marathon, which I did last year. Within 12-months I’ve done 28 events and it’s kind of escalated into something much more now because we’re doing it for charity.

It’s said that four months is the ideal time to train for your first marathon, you had 17 weeks when you signed up. How challenging was that first race?
At first it was daunting but once I started running it was fine. I hit a wall at about 30 kilometres but I pushed myself to keep going and when I crossed the line it was the best feeling ever, I wanted to do another one!

What did you tell yourself to get past the mental block at 30 kilometres?
I set small goals, like I’d see a lamppost in the distance and I focused on reaching that lamppost. When I did I thought, okay, that wasn’t that hard and you’d do it again and again. When you get to the 30 kilometre point that’s when all of the people start cheering you on so that gives you a second wind but it runs out real quick. You’ve just got to focus on finishing it.

That was one year ago and since then you’ve completed 28 more endurance events and have a bunch more planned. How do you keep yourself motivated?
We’re doing it for Cancer Council Queensland so we don’t want to let the team down, that’s our impetus to keep going. We’re pretty ambitious guys and we want to see how far we can push our bodies. We have some pretty big goals.

We hear whispers of a 24-hour treadmill challenge! What’s that all about?
Our goal is to raise $20,000 and so far we’ve raised $13,200 in six months so we’re doing alright but we wanted to do something drastic and challenging to just smash out the last little bit. The idea came about to run on a treadmill for 24-hours and we thought, well, we could do that. A guy did it last year on a bike so we’re attempting it on treadmills. It is going to be like a mini-festival in Burleigh with the radio station and food-trucks. We’ll start at six in the morning and finish at six in the morning.

Wow. You guys are crazy! After you’ve reached the goal of $20,000, what next?
Our goal for next year is to go global and hopefully do some big big runs like the Mount Everest Marathon or the Antarctic Ice Marathon as well as a run from Brisbane to Sydney and biking back. We also want to teach people how to train for their first marathon and even host quirky boutique events as well. It’s kind of sparked this passion and we’re keen to pursue it.

How can people help?
People can donate through our Everydayhero page or just follow our journey on Instagram, Facebook and our blog The Wounded Pelicans.

Finally, any words of advice for people who might be contemplating a fun run/half/full marathon?
Just sign up. You will be surprised at how well you can do it. If you have a big goal and stay committed you’ll do it. Also, when shit hits the fan you have to be adaptable to change, for example when I trained for my first marathon my knee was starting to play up, that may have put some people off but I really wanted to do it so I strapped on a knee strap and persisted. Aim big. Always aim big.

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