The idea, as usual, came about quite spontaneously.
First, we really wanted to swim together (in the end, #Project Lucha is symbolically associated with swimming), but the turn of January and February, even in sunny California, is not a time for swimming. The ocean is icy and choppy, and the real swimming season begins in April.
Therefore, as 2019 is awash with running races for us anyway, we decided that, if we could not swim, we would run a marathon together.
We had already done a half marathon in Luxembourg together, and found it to be a great experience.
We drew up a shortlist, eventually choosing the ominous-sounding (but intriguing!)… Death Valley Marathon ;-).
Super – decision made, so we sign up! And fast, because the number of places is limited (only 350 people). Money transfer, confirmation, we’re now committed!
And then the concerns began to seep in... The more we read, the more doubts we had...
The insane heat recorded in the Death Valley National Park made it daunting for us to think about how far we would have to run.
Many people in previous editions of the event did not finish it because they found it too hard…
In the end, we decided that we would just treat it as a huge and exciting adventure, and not worry about times, or the distance.
With this new, more positive attitude, we knew we would achieve our goal.
However, just two weeks before the marathon, the whole thing fell under a huge question mark due to the prolonged government shutdown in the US, as there was a risk that there would be insufficient time to restart the park’s operations in order to meet the safety requirements. The Death Valley National Park itself was not shut, but many park facilities were closed to the public.
Then, to add insult to injury, as soon as the government shutdown ended, we got sick (Maria had a throat infection, and I almost broke a toe on my right foot – it was all blue and swollen, and very painful).
But, as we had committed to this, we said that there was no way out – we were running and that was it!