Today I completed  running 245 miles of the NYC Subway System Challenge. No, I did not leave Massachusetts and run between all the  subway stations of the The Big Apple in New York. However, I did at times feel as if I was there. You are most likely wondering why I  would challenge myself to participate in an event that is happening virtually?

When you are accustomed to regularly participating in events there is a certain routine that takes place in in your life. There is of course the events themselves but the larger part is the training, Prior to Covid19 causing the shutdown of major athletic events members of my club, GNRC (Greater Neponsett Running Club) would sign up for marathons and other events and support one another during training running together and motivating one another to get through the workouts. This camaraderie is a major benefit of belonging to a club. Doing a few miles by yourself is fine but when you have to run many miles it’s helpful to have company of others to keep you on track, motivated and focused.

Many of my friends have already put in the training time prior to their events got cancelled. The virtual events allowed some of us to still do something with all the hard  effort we have already put in preparing our physical body and our mind to push harder with each workout session. For most people who regularly participate in any type of race the event itself it the culmination of all what has already been done. For the most part people will login hundreds of miles over 220 weeks just to run 26.2 miles or 42 km in a marathon. It astonishes me each time when people are amazed that you just ran a marathon but no one actually stops to think of all the hours and miles you actually logged in before to be able to do that.

Last summer I trained and prepared myself to run 260 km over 8 days to run around Mt. Kilimanjaro with a small group of runners from around the world. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. On August 12th last year I posted:

“The difficulty in it is what makes it more appealing.”
Today I leave for Tanzania to run next week the Mt Kilimanjaro Stage Run, 162 miles over 8 days ( For the past 188 days I have pushed myself to run 1,543 miles to get ready for this mental and physical challenge. I am grateful to my running friends near and far who have helped me train and also my wife Roberta who inspires me each day with her endless energy to reach new heights.
Currently I am starting to pursue the development of a game design I have been thinking about for sometime. I know that intrinsic motivation is key to create the experiences that will motivate players to become engaged and go past the point of what is comfortable. I did the NYC challenge not necessarily to get this singlet and medal but because the 60 miles Ultra marathon I was training for got canceled. My gameplay was imagining myself running between the stations of our beloved NYC.  Today I will be attending Games for Change. In one of the sessions they will be covering a health app that ( Zombie Run) that has seen exponential growth of use during the pandemic. When I run I find my quiet space to think and clear my mind. Other people I guess like to be scared and imagine they are being chased by Zombies. No matter what excites you to keep your mind and body healthy, at the end it’s a ll about playing along the game of life. I have already started my training to develop the app but until I do not feel I have a team I can develop this app I will not begin my race. In my own experiences running alone is possible but running within a group pushes you to  achieve results you wouldn’t have pushed yourself if you did it on your own.