Never to Whenever to Forever.
“Why wait? What is to stop the Never being changed to NOW which once achieved, will stay with you forever? Do we always give in to the excuses that are ultimately thrown at us relentlessly in life to prevent us from achieving the “unachievable”? “
This was the opening lines of the launch for a challenge never seen in Australia, possibly the world – Couch to 200 Mile! After the huge success of the Delirious West 200 Mile, drawing international competitors and many local runners and supporters, it was a natural conclusion for the organisers to come up with a life changing idea. This passionate panel of running enthusiasts came together to create an opportunity for 12 participants, to compete for one of the two finalists’ spots, to undergo a 12-month journey that will undoubtedly change their lives. The 2 finalists will be announced at the conclusion of the Wild Goose Chase Running Festival on Sunday 30th June 2019.
A huge 45 applications were submitted, and the final 12 semi-finalists were selected on the 24th of April 2019. They will undergo a 4 week intensive selection process starting on May 20th, including 4 weeks of coaching, weekly boot camp session, psychological workshops, physio assessment, time trials, running workshops, merchandise and a $250 USWA voucher (for the 10 runners that don’t continue on to the final 2). The finalists are Simon Watkins, Kathy Reid, Sharene Blake, Pete Hookham, Josh Gibbons, Suzy Poli, Ben Thomas, Stefan Gierczycki, Rashanthi Wanigasekera, Jennifer Schrader, Ronald Li & Tyrone O’Doherty
At the conclusion of the 4 weeks, the panel will select who they deem as the most suitable candidates to undergo the 12 month experience. They will need to have drive, determination, patience, grit, and willingness to learn, grow, develop and change. With a coaching program from Consistent Running, entries to Ultra Series WA and Forest Series WA events, physiotherapy treatments with PhysioFitness, USWA merchandise from Ultra Series WA, footwear and apparel from Tribe & Trail by USWA, merchandise from Hillbilly Endurance, supplies of Tailwind Nutrition and entry into The Irrational S.O.U.T.H. 200 Miler in the Adelaide Hills June 2020 including return airfares from Perth to Adelaide for the event.
The good news is that you can all be involved and train alongside the Couch to 200 Mile finalists. There are couple of ways to do this, firstly, there will be a Strava club set up so anyone can start their training and record some goals along with the finalists. Secondly, each Saturday during the 4 week semi-final program, all 12 finalists will be at a suburban parkrun altogether so you can go and support and encourage them there. Event announcements for these will be on the Couch to 200 Mile Facebook page.
The website will be launched in the coming days and you will be able to witness the entrants grow and achieve with their personal video entries as they progress.
A door has opened for a few and started a vision of inspiration and determination for many.