The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-366 – Nick Kershaw – Impact Marathon Series

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4366.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello my friends, and welcome to episode 4-366 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

366 Podcasts.  If you’re new to the show that means you could listen to one of the old shows every day for a year, even a leap year, to catchup.  And, assuming I haven’t thrown in the towel, you’ll still be 25 episodes behind. 

It’s in our nature as endurance athletes to just keep moving forward.  I do believe there is some innate value in that attribute of dogged persistence.  What do you think?  Are people too quick to ‘Pivot’ in these Silicon days? 

Silicon days.  Kinda sounds like Halcyon Days.  Do you know what that means?  You may have heard that phrase “Halcyon Days” used by people whose parents spent too much on a Liberal Arts Degree as referring to a happier time in the past.

It really means more of a calm time.  It means a time where winds don’t blow.  It’s from Greek mythology.  10 words or less.  Alcyone was turned into a sea bird.  Aeolus becalmed the waves for 7 days each year so she could make her nest.  Ok that was 21 words and a number.

‘Silicon Days’ also makes me think of irony.  Many classic SciFi stories are about humans being devastated by a silicon-based life form.  From where I’m sitting, we may have manifested this already, right? 

Enough rhyming games.  What about endurance sports do we have to share today? 

Today we talk to Nick about his new enterprise Impact Marathons.  He Skype called me from Greece where he was staying with his uncle Nick, his cousins, Nick, Nick and Nicki.  Sorry couldn’t resist. 

Nick has an interesting story.  He ditched a lucrative banking career at an early age and now sets up these experiential, socially impactful marathons in remote and beautiful places.  I wanted to dive into why someone would do that.  Why would you give away all your stuff, live out of a couple duffle bags and lead this nomadic lifestyle in pursuit of a big dream? 

Sounds fulfilling, romantic and terrifying at the same time. 

In section one I’ll address a question people have asked me about what to do when your next training cycle isn’t going to start for a couple weeks or months? 

In section two I’ll talk about anxiety.

Speaking of the old shows, I’ve gone back in time and downloaded a few to listen to.  Those first 80 shows are rough.  I was on a schedule of pushing a show out a week and keeping it under an hour.  The early audio is poor.  I was using a cheap USB mic. 

That being said there was a certain hopefulness and creativity to them that is fun to listen to.  I’m going to start editing up some of them and curating them into the members feed.  I know when I subscribe to a new podcast and see there are 300 shows, I don’t go back to the beginning.  I may cherry pick by topic.  I’m going to do some cherry picking of my own from the archives for my members. 

Members, I truly appreciate you support.  This has never been a commercial endeavor for me.  It’s a passion project.  My favorite thing is when I get a membership notice from someone I’ve never interacted with before and they say something like ‘I’ve been listening for years and you’ve really helped me with my running and my life’.  That keeps me moving forward.  Even when the days are not so Halcyon. 

Teresa and I did end up driving down to CT for that trail race last weekend.  I’ve got my notes down but haven’t had time to write them up.  I will.  I’ll probably push it as a separate piece because those race reports tend to go long. 

Summary is, we had a good day.  She ran the 20K like a champ and I ran the 50k like a stubborn old guy.  Felt fine.  No issues.  My engine is good and my legs are good, I’m just a bit at loose ends with nothing to train for. 

I finished reading a book called “Rebel without a crew” by Robert Rodriguez.  He is a director.  He made one of my favorite movies ‘Desperado’ with Antonio Banderas. 

It’s a really good story.  It is his journals from when he made his first movie El Mariachi for $7,000.  He did it with no crew.  It ended up making him the toast of Hollywood. 

The basic story is that as a kid all he ever wanted to do was to make movies.  So he made movies with his brothers and sisters as actors and videotape.  He didn’t get good enough grades to get into film school, because, he spent all his time making movies. 

He didn’t have any money so he went into one of those research hospitals to make $3,000 as a clinical trial lab rat.  He used that money and figured out how to make a feature length movie as an experiment in Mexico for the Spanish video market.  That was El Mariachi. 

His plan was to make all his mistakes on this movie, sell it to the video distributers for a small profit and make a series of these as he learned that trade.  Essentially throw-away movies.  Then when he had enough experience he would approach the Hollywood crowd. 

Long story, short, El Mariachi got noticed in Hollywood, starting a feeding frenzy that got him a deal at Columbia and won Sundance. 

What’s great about this story is several things.  First, he worked very hard over many years to put himself in a position to succeed.  A splendid example of grit. 

He also had the growth mindset going into this that he would make a movie, learn what he could in the process, not worry so much about failure and just do it.  Take action.  Learn from the results.

It’s a classic Horatio Alger, rags to riches, very American in nature. 

On with the show!

I’ll remind you that the RunRunLive podcast is ad free and listener supported.  What does that mean? It means you don’t have to listen to yet another Blue Apron or Hello Fresh ad.  As a matter of fact, stop being lazy and go shop for your own food.  We do have a membership option where you can become a member and as a special thank you, you will get access to member’s only audio.

I’ll also remind you that I have started raising money for team Hoyt for my 2017 Boston Marathon.  I would appreciate any help you can give.   The fundraiser is on Crowdrise (so I don’t have to touch any of the money) it goes straight to the Hoyts and supports acquiring equipment and supporting others who want to participate like the Hoyts do.

The RunRunLive podcast is Ad Free and listener supported.  We do this by offering a membership option where members get Access to Exclusive Members Only audio and articles.

Yes, we are still working on setting up the separate podcast feed for the member’s content.  Most recently I recorded and uploaded the first chapter of the zombie novel I’ve been writing for 30 years. 

    • Member only race reports, essays and other bits just for you!
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Section one – In between training cycles -

Voices of reason – the conversation

Nick Kershaw

  1. Link to share:


  1. Bio: 


The Impact Marathon Series are races for those who think differently, run for the good of others and dream they can leave an impact.


Founded in 2015 by Nick Kershaw and Matt Fenton, IMS organizes races in four developing locations: Nepal, Malawi, Colombia and Guatemala.


Like many more mainstream marathon companies IMS encourage runners to fundraise beforehand. However they ask runners to raise funds for one of the United Nations’ Global Goals directly relating to the location of their race – for example, charities focusing on Gender Equality in Nepal.


Runners then fly out to the race location a week before the marathon and complete two days of voluntary work directly relating to their selected Global Goal – in the above case, for example, providing support in a Nepalese burns unit. By doing so, participants get to see exactly how their fundraising helps and even get involved themselves via aid-work, thereby making a direct impact.


IMS aims to provide a synthesis between travel, running and voluntary work. By harnessing the power of running they believe runners can make a real difference to the developing world.

City-worker turned Social Entrepreneur with a penchant for travel, running and creating positive impact. He has spent the last living entirely nomadically, with just two bags for company. In this time he founded the Impact Marathon Series: a social business that harnesses the power of running to empower communities, runners and tackle the UN Global Goals.


The Impact Marathon dream combines travel, volunteering and running to bring about social change. In their first year they began races in Nepal, Colombia, Malawi, Guatemala & Kenya. They bring 120 people from all over the globe, representing a variety corporates, NGOs and running clubs to each race. They all live together in the Athletes' Village whilst heading out each day to work at the exact projects they have fundraised for...


They want to create a direct link to your fundraising so you can see, feel and understand the impact you have.


The best bit, on the final day of Impact Week, everyone joins together with the surrounding communities to run a tough trail race, with most stunning backdrops you can imagine!

Section two – Anxiety -


Ok my long suffering friends that is it, you have dug water pipe ditches and built out-buildings for the marginalized 3rd-world poor through to the end of episode 4-366 of the RunRunLive Podcast, and then you ran a slow marathon to celebrate. 

Yes I did run a 50K a couple weeks ago.  Like I said, I have my notes, I just have to write it up.  Other than being slow – took me 7 hours – it was a pleasant experience all around.  I know, you’re all going to divorce me if I don’t start doing something interesting!

We are rolling into June this week and we’ve had the oddest spring weather up here in New England.  It’s been 40’s and 50’s and overcast and rainy like Seattle or London for most of May.  I’m not complaining.  It’s great running weather.  I can’t remember a spring where I was able to get so much use out of my old Boston Marathon running jacket.  Not to run in, just to wear out. 

Usually we go from 45 to 90 and it stays there.  We don’t have these extended periods of cooler weather.  It’s been great for my apple trees.  They flowered and since it wasn’t hot they kept the flowers for more than a week.  Now there are hundreds of little apples on them.  I didn’t get my garden in until just this past weekend. 

I’m starting a new project for June that I’m calling 5 at 5.  I’m going to get up at 5 AM 30 Days and run 5 miles.  The getting up early isn’t the hard part for me.  It’s going to take a while or my body to get with the program of rolling out of bed and hitting the trails.  My body would rather have coffee and oatmeal and a bathroom break. 

I’m taking Buddy with me for the first 2 miles and I’ll try to take a photo every day in the same place to get a time lapse.  With any luck we’ll get to see summer break like a wave over these few weeks.

This will help me stay in shape during June and will take less time out of my week than my normal training routine so I can get more stuff done. 

Let me tell you a couple stories from the past couple weeks.

The first one is my mailbox story.  This winter the snow plows took out my mail box.  I wasn’t able to fix or replace it with the ground frozen and I propped it up with some bailing wire and a metal stake.  Now that it’s warmer I needed to fix it because it frankly looked shoddy. 

But before I could fix the mailbox I needed to fix my wheelbarrow.  So, really this is my Mailbox/Wheelbarrow story. 

I had a great big metal wheelbarrow that I had acquired many years ago.  A few years back one of its staves broke.  That is the proper term for a wheelbarrow handle, ‘stave’.  Me, being the impatient man that I am bought a new wheelbarrow.

I soon discovered that the quality of wheelbarrows has plummeted in the intervening time and this new wheelbarrow was crap.  Very low quality. 

After I worked that new wheelbarrow into the ground I decided to fix the old one this year.  I measured everything up and was able to procure the correct length staves on Amazon. 

I had to spend a few hours getting the old rusted bolts out of the old wheelbarrow and buying the proper inventory of new nuts and bolts. 

The new staves were the right length and of reasonably good quality.  But the holes were in the wrong places.  For the life of me I could not find my electric drill.  And I did end up buying a new electric drill on Amazon.  (I have since threatened my wife and children with painful and horrible death if they touch my new drill)  Change that to the mailbox/wheelbarrow/drill story. 

I was able to find the full set of wood bits that I needed for the drill to drill the holes in the staves so that I could reassemble the wheelbarrow with the new hardware. 

And it’s a thing of beauty. 

Then I went down to see if I couldn’t dig up the roots of the old mailbox so I could drop a new one in. 

It turns out that whoever put that mailbox in wanted it to stay there.  It was clasped on all sides by granite shards that I had to dig around and manually remove with my hands.  You see I had to dig about surgically as to not destroy the well-established lilies, clematis and irises flourishing there.

I got all the pieces of the old mailbox out, measured it up. checked the official postal regulations online and headed off to one of the giant home improvement stores. 

These mailbox posts come as one preassembled thing that you just stick in the ground so I thought I was close to the finish line. 

However when I made my pilgrimage up and down the aisles and to where the post box posts were I was disappointed, ne thwarted.  They had two posts. Both of such poor quality as to be embarrassing. 

Instead I hiked the extra kilometer down to the lumber section and procured a couple 8 foot pressure treated 4 by 4’s.  So, I guess this is the mail box/wheelbarrow/drill/post story…

Anyhow I was able to find my table saw and I crafted a beautiful post box post I set it nicely back into the ground with the granite chunks at the official height from the curb.  I then gave the box itself a new coat of matt black paint. 

I have to tell you, it’s a thing of beauty.  There is nothing as life affirming to your suburban male then to be able to craft something with your own hands and have it actually end well. 

So those of you who have significant others who roll their eyes when you ask them to do some simple task – remember in suburbia there is no such thing as a simple task, but there is a job well done.

I’ll see you out there.


MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4366.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 4:17pm EDT





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