Last month I participated in The Boxed 12 hosted at Eyman Park. This was a local event to promote a new gym coming to the outskirts of town called Boxed Fitness.
The race itself was straightforward. Run, or walk, as many miles as you can for 12 hours without leaving the course. Leading up to this event I was utterly dreading it mentally and physically. I had run a 50k (31 miles) and a marathon (26.2 miles) the month before. I was feeling banged up and walking around with two strained hamstrings.
However, I had signed up for the race and wanted to support a friend opening their own business. Saying no and backing down from this challenge felt wrong to do. So I showed up and simply began running.
It wasn’t too bad for the first part of the run, but right around that halfway point I started to go through a “low.” In endurance, running a “low” is anytime you absolutely want to give up. It is a temporary, yet intense, experience of a negative mental state.
My goal for the entire day was to run 50 miles. But I was at about the 32-mile mark and sure I was on my last lap. I wanted to call it a day and get to someplace warm. However, I heard word that Harvey Lewis was going to show up and visit a friend of his who was also participating.
For those who are unfamiliar, Harvey Lewis is an Ultra Runner who has won multiple prestigious events in the respective field and holds a world record for running 354 miles over 85 hours at “Big’s Backyard Ultra.”
He also happens to live in Southern Ohio.
Hearing word that he would be around was a big boost and it kept me in the race. I wanted to meet him and give him respect as a fellow runner. I’ve always enjoyed his Facebook posts and feel inspired by his insights.
Harvey showed up as I was getting close to my 50-mile goal. The way that the race was set up was a loop that kept going around. So every two miles or so a runner would return to the checkpoint for a full “lap.” Harvey asked the race directors if he could join me for a lap, and they happily obliged.
During that time I got to run with a respected runner, and he was complimentary toward Eyman Park, Boxed Fitness, and the mere fact that an event like that was being hosted in the Southern Ohio region. He could see it growing to be a big event someday.
We completed a lap together, and perhaps not coincidentally, I met my 50-mile goal. I would go on to run a total of 57 miles that day in the 12-hour time span. Now today, I am back to running and on to new horizons.
For the New Year, I am opening my own business called Horizon Athletic. The aim of this is to develop a training facility geared towards helping youth athletes wanting to improve with their respective sport/s, as well as provide quality personal training.
I feel this to be a great need for our community. Exercise is a gateway to well-being, and developing early, positive experiences for our youth give hope to a bright future. Athletes are at the forefront of the fitness industry. Giving proper guidance and a healthy culture will be my mission at Horizon Athletic.
We often have to “go the distance” in order to breakthrough to our goal, and it’s usually met with both ups and downs. In running, and in developing new business, I’ve found that the right support comes at the right time. This inspires me to chase new horizons!
Trey Tompkins is a local fitness enthusiast who writes columns for the Record-Herald.