Part 2. The Lineup of Desert Marathons…

“I want to run the Sahara Desert 250km Marathon one day.”

Several months after I took up running, I found this picture and I have been longing to run the Sahara Desert Marathon ever since.

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But one day I was shocked to find out that there are several other 250km desert marathons.

“Gobi Desert Race in China”

“Sahara Desert Race in Egypt”

“Atacama Desert Race in Chili”

If you complete 2 of the above, you will be eligible to race the last desert, Antarctica.

“Oh my god… The Sahara Race I’ve been longing for was kinda like a middle boss I have to defeat to get to the last boss, Antarctica!”

Indeed, there are many kinds of desert races.

It was like suddenly realizing that the person that I admired my entire life was just a standard guy, and that there are so many other great people who exist around the world.

However, people tend to lose rationality when they get desperate.

“Alright! I am going to complete two desert races in a single year, and get the ticket for Antarctica!!”

After I started running, I acquired this bad habit to “FLASH-CLICK” (meaning randomly registering to races in a flash before thinking about the consequences) to various races.

Although my running history was less than 2 years…

June 2011: “Gobi Desert 250km” FLASH-CLICK!!

And a race only 4 months later…

October 2011: “Sahara Desert 250km” FLASH-CLICK again!!

OMG! I just FLASH-CLICKED two desert races!

Back then, I had just started a business of my own. But I didn’t tell anyone about registering for races.

In fact, I didn’t even tell my wife about it.The more I think about it, more reasons NOT to challenge would come up.

To block any escape route, I should FLASH-CLICK first!!!

So immediately after I FLASH-CLICKed the two races, I announced on Twitter, “Two desert races FLASH-CLICKed!”

My wife replied to me via Twitter, “What??? I am going to kill you!!”

But it was too late.

So next I will talk about the Gobi Desert, which was 4 months before I cried/ran through the Sahara Desert.

June, 2011.

A whole bunch of people came to the pep rally for my first desert race, the Gobi Desert 250km Marathon.

Among them were Yosuke “Kuro” Kurosawa and Shinya “Shin” Sasaki ,whom ended up joining me in running the Atacama Desert as Team “KIZUNA” later on.

I met Shin half a year ago. We were both in the Internet business and also our hometown was Hokkaido, so we had a lot in common.

And I met Kuro through a mutual friend several months ago.

Simply put, both guys were people I had just recently became friends with.

However, they were both active guys.

Although both had a challenging job, they were inspired by my challenges – they started to run as well.

Shin had only a half year of running experience, and Kuro, only 2 months.

Kuro and Shin had met each other only a few weeks ago. And of course, they didn’t have any experiences at the desert.

Yet, the two came to my pep rally through some sort of fate.

“Run 250km through the desert with temperatures passing 40C during the day and less than 0C during the night, carrying a 10kg backpack containing food and supplies to last 7 days.”

“You only have one life to live.”

“I want to see things I haven’t seen before.”

“Only the challenges you create will change your world.”

The two were totally ignited by my presentation speech, emotionally talking about the unknown challenge.

Then, there was this crucial conversation that determined our future.

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Shin: “Hey Kuro, are you gonna do it?”

Kuro: “Ummm….”

Shin: “I’m asking you, are you gonna do the desert thing?”

Kuro: “…(smile)”

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(Left: Kuro, Right: Shin)

Several weeks after I managed to complete the Gobi race, I heard rumors about this “Desert Conference” get-together to be held by Kuro and Shin. This was in July 2011.

“I obviously have to join this!”

Being both a Gobi desert finisher and a Sahara race registrant 3 months later, I was in a very excited mood.

“Hey, your heart is already heading towards the desert. Your only choice is to FLASH-CLICK!”

“Life is short. Let’s FLASH-CLICK right here, right now. Here’s the computer.”

Kuro, Shin and several others were so drunk and excited.

“Sahara Desert 250km Marathon FLASH-CLICK done! 3 months to go!”

What we didn’t notice at that time was that this was the very moment when our fates moved drastically towards the Atacama Desert’s Team KIZUNA.

(Continue to Part 3)