2,342km, 12 countries, 3 pairs of ruined trainers and 1 very determined woman. From being chased by Yangon’s street dogs to running on the Great Wall of China, Sarah Easton shares her experiences of doing a marathon a month for the past year.
Which countries have you run marathons in?
Myanmar, India, Bhutan, China, France, Norway, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Malaysia. My final marathon is on December 9th in Singapore.
Which was your favourite marathon?
The Great Wall of China was the best, even though it involved 20,000 steps and took me almost 5 hours! The weather was so clear, and I will never forget the views from the top of the wall. It was my first non-road marathon that I managed to win.
What was your hardest marathon?
Sapa, it was 44km and it took me 6 hours and 42 minutes. The 2,000m elevation gain in the Vietnamese mountains combined with the rugged and technical terrain meant I was completely spent at the finish.
What was your lowest point?
After I ran the Midnight Marathon in Norway I had an extremely long solo journey involving 36 hours and 4 connecting flights. When I eventually arrived in Yangon there was a power cut in my flat. Also trying to find vegan options when carb-loading can be tricky.
What are the challenges with training in Yangon?
Running in Yangon is hard, there’s street dogs chasing me, potholes, aggressive traffic, pollution and wading through monsoon flooding. I have to run around 5am everyday, which is when most Yangon runners train. Meeting fellow runners through Yangon Running Club and Sanchaung Striders has been a huge help.
What made you want to take on this challenge?
Having witnessed the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State at the end of November 2017, I decided I wanted to raise money to help. There have been tough times but this pales into insignificance compared to the ordeal these people have faced and their struggle to find a place to call home. My life in Myanmar is so privileged, it’s heartbreaking that these atrocities happen in the same state as the beautiful beach resorts for holidaymakers.
What are the charities that you’re raising money for?
I am raising money for the Centre for Social Integrity and Community Partners International, two organisations working in both remote areas of Myanmar and the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Any money raised will go towards improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations in conflict-affected and hard-to-reach communities.
Sarah’s Year in Numbers
Countries Run In: 11
Hours Spent Traveling: 200
Km Run So Far: 2,240
Km To Go: 102
Calories Burned: 160,000
Songs Listened To: 1,500 songs and 130 podcasts
Ruined Trainers: 3 pairs of Altras
Best Time: 3:22
Funds Raised: $22,790
Vist Sarah’s Marathon Challenge to donate.