My guest on the show today is on a mission to run 30 marathons in 30 countries before she turns 30 all in the hopes of raising money for some worthy organizations.
Like all of us, her plans have been altered due to the Covid-19 situation, but she’s still finding a way to move forward despite the obstacles.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Liz Warner today.
Squash the Sport
Liz Warner was athletic growing up, but she was focused on a rather uncommon sport.
Liz was a competitive squash player and even played throughout college.
Post-college, Liz found that she was burnt out on playing squash after an intense focus for most of her life.
A close friend suggested that Liz run a half marathon with her to try something different.
Having never run more than a couple of miles at a time didn’t deter Liz from signing up.
Liz was surprised to find that she enjoyed the training required for a half marathon.
Her first half marathon was a positive experience, yet Liz still decided to take some time off after that first race.
It was about a year later before Liz laced up her sneakers to start training again.
Liz lived in Japan from 2012 to 2016 and it was while there that she completed her first marathon.
She signed up for the race with only 3 months to train.
Training for a marathon was unlike anything she had ever done before.
The commitment to training for a marathon was the first time she had ever poured herself into something.
The race was a small local race with about 200 to 300 participants.
Over the course of training, Liz had lost her father.
Completing a new distance coupled with her recent loss gave her a sense of empowerment.
A New Way To Travel
After her first marathon, Liz promptly signed up for 2 other races in nearby countries.
It didn’t take long for Liz to realize that for her running a marathon was just as much about traveling and learning about new cultures.
Liz was able to marry her two passions of running and traveling.
She routinely began incorporating marathons into her trips and was running 1 to 2 per year.
Along with training for marathons, Liz also moved to Paris, started a new job, and got married.
Her life was chaotic during that period, to say the least.
It was during her honeymoon that Liz finally got a chance to take a breath and relax.
This downtime allowed Liz to re-focus and it was during this period that she came up with her next big goal.
Run To Reach
By the time Liz got married and went on her honeymoon, she had already run 10 marathons.
In a year and a half from the time of her honeymoon, Liz would be turning 30.
Liz came up with the idea to run 30 marathons, in 30 countries, by her 30th birthday.
The idea behind project Run To Reach was that Liz wanted to support women empowerment initiatives across the globe.
In order to accomplish her goal, Liz would ideally partner with local organizations in each of the countries she would run in.
With only a year and a half to accomplish this goal, Liz had no time to waste in both planning and training.
Full Speed Ahead
The main goal for Liz in completing 20 marathons in less than 2 years was to avoid injury.
With a solid weekly mileage base of 60 to 65 miles, Liz focused on incorporating more strength and stretching as opposed to increasing mileage.
Liz focused on building her mental strength just as much as she focused on her physical strength.
The planning of such an audacious goal was no small undertaking.
Liz wanted to choose organizations to work with that were transparent in how they dispersed the money.
Currently, Liz has raised almost $40,000 in her goal to $100,000.
Liz was well on her way to 30 marathons when races began to get canceled due to the Coronavirus.
She has completed 28 marathons and with some adjustments, she will finish her 30th marathon before her birthday.
Surrender Yourself To The Unknown
With her adjusted race plans, Liz will be running her 29th full as a virtual where she hopes to get runners from over 100 countries to join.
She is still working out the logistics for her last race, but if it’s in typical Liz fashion it will be memorable.
Through this experience, Liz’s perspective has shifted and altered her life in ways she couldn’t have predicted.
Getting to know locals and their cultures has been eye-opening.
Liz has experienced a renewed sense of hope for humanity through working with such great organizations.
Initially, this plan was daunting and there were so many unknowns.
Liz’s advice to anyone thinking about working towards a goal is that that is never a “good” time to do it.
The biggest tragedy would be to regret not trying to pursue a goal.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Liz Warner created Run To Reach as a way to inspire lasting change in every part of the world she runs. Running 30 marathons in 30 countries before turning 30 began as a personal goal and morphed into so much more. Click To Tweet
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