Jarmal Richard: 1000 Trail Runs
Back in October 2020, Jarmal Richard set himself a personal challenge to run 1000 Trail Runs. He wanted to complete one trail run each day and finish the task in as few consecutive days as possible. On the 8th July, 2023, he completed his challenge.
I like to challenge myself. I wanted a task that would take me out of my comfort zone, and require sustained commitment and execution.
I also wanted to challenge myself, on my terms. As such, most of the Trail Runs were done solo and were not part of an event.
It has been quite the journey!
Trail Run 1 was on 22 October 2020. It was a 14.35 km run around Winchelsea, Victoria; affectionately known as the ‘Gateway to the Otways’, and where our farm is located.
Trail Run 1000 was on 8 July 2023. It was a 36.52 km run from Breakfast Creek to Moggs Creek, one of my favourite multi-trail routes in the Otways.
On 16 December 2022 I was named by STRAVA as one of the Top 1% of Endurance Athletes worldwide, of the 100,000,000+ athlete subscribers on STRAVA. During the course of my 1000 Trail Run challenge I also managed to break into the top 100 runners worldwide by distance and by elevation gain.
I am very proud of these statistics but is not the reason, nor the focus of my 1000 Trail Runs Challenge.
My whole life, I have enjoyed being in nature and running trails. I have always felt the need to push myself to perform at the highest level that I can achieve.
It’s funny how a physical task can lead you to learn things about yourself and about your environment. I have grown to really appreciate the beauty and majesty of wildlife and wild rugged trail terrain. I do enjoy running in the city, but for me, there is no substitute for the great outdoors and mountain trails.
The connection I have with the outdoors has grown significantly, and in turn has made me a better person and a more appreciative person.
I have learned that my mind and my ability to ‘stay in the right mindset’ of high performance is my strongest athletic tool. At 53 (nearly 54), it may be the only tool left in the shed…
Spending 20+ hours per week for almost 3 years running trails has definitely nurtured a more positive mental focus and in turn has allowed me to develop a more positive life experience.
The 1000 Trail Run challenge has been a ‘lifestyle’ choice for me and has only been made possible by the love and support of my wife, Michele, family, friends and the awesome global trail community. Without them, it wouldn’t have been the same. They have encouraged me to follow my dreams and to just be me, which for all of us can prove challenging at different stages of our life.
I am proud of the consistency I have shown along my trail journey. My trail running numbers are ‘ridiculous’ to some people, but so is avoiding your true connection with nature and pursuing your dreams.
I think it is important to commit to excellence, finishing tasks and challenge yourself. I think that is how you grow mentally and physically.
When you accomplish a goal that you have set for yourself, it completes both the mental challenge and physical challenge, and is a self-confirming stage that fosters your self-confidence, and in turn your future actions and outlook on life.
So what’s next?
Well, I would like to have a crack at a few multi-day events 200 to 300klms (hopefully in the US, New Zealand and Australia) and a few Alpine touring events where I get to run across certain state borders, and of course hitting 2000 Trail Runs... Stay tuned!
I love running! I truly do. I hope you find your outdoor passion, and I hope you go for it!
To follow Jarmal on his journey, you can follow him on STRAVA where you will find 1000s of photos, videos and run maps.
His passion for trail running and the running community knows no bounds.