By Jon Hill
I thrive on challenges and I love to run. It was only a matter of time before these two passions collided. This is the story of my first ultra-marathon.
Having moved roles in Quintiles, I relocated to Singapore in 2012 and was looking for a new challenge, preferably one that would stretch me physically. I signed-up for an ultra-marathon after seeing a colleague complete her first ultra. The idea to run an ultra was planted after completing my first marathon in college, then the time came for me to go all-in for this grueling and rewarding physical challenge.
Once I committed, I had to seal my fate to ensure there was no backing out; I told my friends, family and colleagues as a means of holding myself accountable. For further motivation, I put ‘skin in the game’ by signing up for the Australian Surf Coast Century. There was no backing out!
Then came the hard part, and I don’t mean the running. The biggest hurdle was the time commitment; training was much more time intensive than I anticipated. I quickly learned that beyond the physical requirements, the training and prep would require a major lifestyle change. Between balancing work, training and sleeping, a shift occurred in my priorities. I was no longer staying out late on weekends, my social calendar significantly trimmed down, and my diet changed to sustain my new active lifestyle.
But all those sacrifices seemed a distant memory on race day. The 6 months of intensive training payed off when I completed my first ultra-marathon, a 100KM (62 mile) race. I even finished 3 hours faster than planned! The achievement of reaching the finish line, injury-free was my ultimate goal but to have far exceeded my projected finishing time was a testament to self-motivation. Throughout this journey I grew a tremendous amount. The biggest takeaway was the importance of breaking goals into manageable pieces and celebrating each milestone, no matter how small and seemingly unimportant. These lessons expanded beyond running, profoundly impacting my professional life. I adapted these learnings to become more motivated and self-disciplined. I have a clearer understanding of the power of the mind to overcome mental blocks and a deeper confidence in my ability to achieve the seemingly insurmountable.
Now on to the next challenge…
Jon Hill is an avid runner and traveler, seeking to marry these interests through completion of additional endurance events in various geographies. His biggest goal is balancing these passions while remaining focused on his professional ambitions. He can be contacted at Jonathan.Hill@quintiles.com.