Comment

Stage 4 - Racing The Planet - Sri Lanka

Today was a day full of peace. The course meandered through sugar cane fields, a dirt path with butterflies, a stream crossing to my waist and passing through small villages and ending at camp with a short walk to two gorgeous Buddha statues. Today I took a lot of time as I ran alone thinking about appreciating the terrain, people, animals, and my body pushing through each mile. I ran with solitude and peace.

My ankle held up well. Tender but the compression bandage plus cep compression sock did the trick. I took it slow and easy today to be good to myself and knowing it would be very hot and humid again and it was 28.89 miles. I finished 2nd again today which I am totally happy with. With 5 races this year I knew coming in mid ski season that I would in a sense be racing into shape. Jackson Wyoming literally is full of snow and ice.

I do want to share a bit about the LymeLight foundation who I am running in honor of. Their mission is to provide medical grants to children and young adults so that they can heal from Lyme disease. It is the fastest growing disease and insurance companies do not provide aid. My mission is to try to raise funds to be able to give grants on behalf of them to help them heal so they can get back outside to explore. Please join me in this effort at my donation link in my first blog post here. We created fun ways to donate per km run or any amount.

That’s it for now. Time to rest, eat and elevate.

Cheers
Jax

Comment

Comment

Stage 3 - Racing The Planet - Sri Lanka

Holy moly folks, today was a day of adversity and mental muscle but I prevailed.

We had two segments today in the jungle. The first was moody and epic being on watch to not run into an elephant. Epic eh! The next jungle phase was more terrain that was beyond technical. Unfortunately it served up a rolled ankle and my day went from leading lady to perseverance. I was able to trot in to the finish with a minor sprain. We will tape it tonight and it should be good to go and just a bit sore.

I also struggled a bit with the humidity. Coming from a climate of teens and twenties t 6.5k feet and ice and snow on the ground my adjustment has been hit or miss. Today involved getting a bit dizzy and very hungry. I ate into rations coming up but still can adjust around to be fine.

It is a science sometimes out here. Run, eat, take care of your body, stretch, recover, eat, sleep.

Speaking of sleeping, last night our 10x10 tent flew away in the wind. It was an epic 2am moment. We ended up enjoying the night under the stars. It was magical really in the end.

Well as lance said in his message to me today, love your body and appreciate it. Feel appreciative for what it can do and the places it can take you. Today was a perfect example as we exited the jungle into a massive wall with Buddha carvings.

Time to eat freeze dried mac and cheese, tape my ankle and hang with my tent mates. We are one big family out here. Looking out for each other.

Cheers,
Jax

Comment

Comment

Stage 2 - Racing The Planet - Sri Lanka

Day two was Great! I ended up 1st female today and 4th overall. This will move me to 2nd overall and making up half the time on the leader. Strong ladies out here which is epic. The stomach bug is gone! Phew! That aside, I attest today mostly to my husband lance. Today’s note from him was the following…

“A river cut through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence. Be water today baby! Flow around obstacles without effort. Be mindful and positive when confronting challenge. Negativity is wasteful. When you meet and object that you can’t flow around…you will be strong like the water and ware it down. You are powerful. You cannot be stopped. Move swiftly today sweetie. Move with purpose. Loki and I wait for you and cheer you on!”

Everything was smooth, steady, and nutrition and hydration was perfect. Quads will be sore from the down but it’s all good.

The course today was a lot of down and also up ending down at camp. Passing through villages and we saw an epic waterfall.

Need to keep this short to share cyber tent time.

With love and light,

Jax

 

Comment

Comment

Stage 1 - Racing The Planet - Sri Lanka

Hey folks

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope it was full of love and light! LOVE you LANCE!

Gonna cut to the chase here. Today was rough. Every last bit. Not going to sugar coat it. The day began quickly arriving in a jungle. It was Legit. Radical stuff. Loose footing, trees and roots to climb over, and many omg moments. To shed lightly the staff loosely cut a path out in the jungle for the race.

Once out, we traversed through tea plantations, and then a slew of us went the wrong way for 3k. This lead to a turn around and running into other team mates. Placed lightly this lead to a drop from female leader to 2nd. The next portion was to hike up a rocky path and all of the sudden my energy took a plummet. A bonk of some sorts occurred with nausea and I could barely move. I kept trying followed by long moments of breathing and feeling fainty. Moments later I had to run in a bush for a bathroom moment (not the good kind). Moments later I met the medics and I kept having to stop and sit down. All of this in the first 12k. ugh! From equipment malfunctions, getting dizzy and sick and then resting I struggled to mentally turn my situation around.

At the checkpoint I had a Zofran, got fuel and then slowly treaded to checkpoint 2. Another Zofran later at checkpoint 2 and the only item I could imagine consuming was nuts. This section was back in the jungle. It was as epic as the first time. Unimaginable terrain and many low moments seeking strength and tenacity.

Checkpoint 3-4 was the best of the worst. Dizzy but moving faster up a hill for 5k then down for 2.5 to camp. I wanted so badly to get to camp to the reset button. Eat, rest, hydrate and stretch.

So 3 liters later and 3 hours later I finally may be on the upswing folks. So we gain strength back, and my positivity ad sense of humor re-collect and push on.

Unsure if it was the heat and humidity plus the altitude resting  around 1,780 meters or eating something bad. Positive thinking it is the turning point eh!

On a fun note, I luckily did not have any leeches stick to me and although my feet were on fire for half of the day I did not get a blister…phew!

Hoping for a turn of events tomorrow and I can make up lost time. Time for a big serving of freeze dried mac and cheese.

As always, please take a moment to check out the LymeLight foundation. A donation link is in my post yesterday.

With love and light,

JAX

Comment

Comment

DAY 0 - Racing The Planet - Sri Lanka

It is here folks, day 0! Tomorrow will be the start of the Grand Slam Plus journey in honor of the LymeLight Foundation. To see my fundraising page click here.

After 38 hours of travel I arrived at the host hotel (Mahaaweli Reach Hotel) last night around 10:30pm. That shower never felt so good. So did this morning's knowing that I will not have another one for a full week.

Athelte check in went eazy breezy and we are packing up to head out for a 4 hour drive to base camp. I have chocolate, honey stinger, freeze dried spaghetti and meatballs and drip drop.

The training leading up to the race has gone like a charm. Many more pack runs this time to get used to the weight. As well as training in 2,000 (6.5k feet) meters since December. The skimo training will help make any climbs feel seemless for sure. From jungle'ish terrain, hot heat, humidity and wildlife sightings it should be an amazing course.

And last but not least, my pack is around 17.5 pounds (7.9 kilos) instead of 28.8 9 (12.9 kilos) this round for day one! Yea!

Cheers folks. Stoked to have you along cheering.

Jax

 

Comment

Comment

FIRST FEMALE ENDURANCE RUNNER TO COMPETE IN GLOBAL SERIES OF DESERT ULTRAMARATHONS

Jax Mariash Koudele to participate in the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus in support of the LymeLight Foundation and it’s efforts to help children with Lyme heal and get back outdoors for fitness and fun

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Feb. 5, 2016) - In the 14 years of the 4 Deserts race series, an annual event of ultra marathons held across the globe in desolate and challenging terrain, there have only been three men to complete the Grand Slam Plus. The Grand Slam Plus is a series of five 250k (155 mile), multi-day foot races across the roughest terrain in the world. It includes the 4 Deserts Grand Slam plus the Roving Race – in the same calendar year. Jax Mariash Koudele (representing U.S. and Canada and raising awareness and funds for the LymeLight Foundation) will attempt to not only become the first female ever to complete this grueling challenge, but also the female champion of all five races.

Koudele is passionate about raising awareness and funds for the LymeLight Foundation. Koudele wants children suffering with Lyme disease to get the treatment they need to heal and get back outdoors to experience the beauty of nature. The LymeLight Foundation is very special to her, as many close to her have been affected with the disease. She has witnessed, first-hand, the devastating effects the disease can cause.  Koudele hopes to be a beacon of HOPE for all.

“The LymeLight Foundation is thrilled and honored to partner with Jax on this amazing athletic feat. We are grateful that while she is circling the globe challenging herself with each new desert, she will also be raising Lyme awareness and bringing hope and healing to children suffering from the disease,” said Phyllis Bedford, development director for the LymeLight Foundation. “We will be cheering her on every step of the way.”

Koudele invites supporters to show their support throughout the year by donating funds through her fundraising page.

In 2016, the Grand Slam Plus races begin with the Roving Race in Sri Lanka on Feb. 14, followed by the 4 Deserts races on the hottest (Namibia), windiest (Gobi March), driest (Atacama Crossing) and coldest (Antarctica) deserts in the world. Each race consists of seven days out in the desert moving camp to camp each day. The race format starts with four stages (days) in a row with 22-28 miles per day. On day five, racers run approximately 50 miles (known as the Long March) followed by a rest day. On the 7th day, athletes complete the 250k (155 mile) journey with a 10k jaunt to the finish line. 

In addition to the terrain being so challenging, the race is also made more arduous by the requirement that athletes be self-sufficient, carrying everything they need to survive on their backs. The only support from staff is hot and cold water, medical treatment, and a tent space to share with nine other competitors. The race format is so grueling and the terrain so undulating that it is not uncommon for racers to walk away from an event feeling super human. Koudele hopes that through her achievement completing each race, others will find inspiration in her passion for the outdoors and will get outdoors themselves. She is also hoping that her efforts will help make a difference in the lives of those children suffering from Lyme, helping them more quickly get back outside.

Koudele is currently sponsored by Drip Drop , ZEAL Optics, VOKE TAB, CEP Compression, Voile Manufacturing and Stoked Roasters + Coffeehouse. Follow Koudele in this year-long journey on her website, and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

About the LymeLight Foundation:

Lyme disease is the fastest growing infectious disease in the world, with at least 300,000 new cases each year in the United States alone. Lyme disease occurs in all states in the U.S. and is endemic in 63 countries across Asia, Latin America, North Africa and Europe.

Founded in 2011, the LymeLight Foundation’s mission is to help children and young adults struggling with Lyme disease to gain access and pay for proper medical treatment, and to prevent the long-term effects of Lyme disease through public awareness and education.

About the 4 Deserts Event Series:

The 4 Deserts Race Series is widely recognized as the most prestigious outdoor footrace series in the

world. The series consists of the Sahara Race (Namibia), Gobi March (China), Atacama Crossing (Chile) -and The Last Desert (Antarctica). In February 2008, a fifth event, called the Roving Race, was added to the 4 Deserts calendar. Competitors in the 5 races traverse 250 kilometers in seven days over rough country terrain with only a place in a tent and water provided. They are supported by highly qualified staff, all with experience in hiking, marathons and ultramarathons, and medical teams specializing in wilderness medicine.

The 4 Deserts Race Series was founded in Hong Kong in February 2002 by American Mary Gadams. A former investment banker and strategist by day, Gadams was a well-known figure in adventure and endurance sport with finishes in numerous marathons, ultramarathons and wilderness competitions around the world. A list of quick facts on the 4 Desert Race series dives into various facts of the series over the past 14 years.

Event Dates and Locations:

·       Sri Lanka: Feb. 14-20, 2016

·       Sahara (Namibia): May 1-8, 2016

·       Gobi March: June 19-25, 2016

·       Atacama Crossing: Oct. 2-8, 2016

·       Antarctica: Nov. 18-24, 2016

About Jax Mariash Koudele:

Jax Mariash Koudele is a professional ultra runner, entrepreneur and ski mountaineer racer. Recent accomplishments include a marathon win, eight ultra marathons (placed in the top three in six races), as well as podium finishes in various smaller distances. Most recently, Jax was the 2nd female in the world-renowned 4 Deserts Atacama Crossing in Chile, and took 4th female in the 100-mile Javalina Jundred three weeks later.

This challenge is not the first Koudele has faced to raise awareness for causes that matter most to her and her family. Previously, Koudele ran 365 days in a row to create awareness and raise funds for cancer research. Through the successful completion of this challenge in May 2012, Koudele raised $3,572 for cancer causes and inspired her supporters and followers to find their own health and purpose outside.

An entrepreneur of two businesses, Stoked Roasters + Coffeehouse and MARiASH MARKETiNG, Koudele taps into running and skiing to find her zen and has a very humble take on the sport. Her ultimate goal is to inspire the masses to step outside and move with passion as a means to reduce obesity, disease and other health issues.

###

Comment