She had only recently completed her maiden 42.195km full marathon race – at the Queenstown Marathon in New Zealand last month. Yet come May 2018, avid runner Heidi Mäkinen, 35, will be taking on twice that distance.
An 84km overnight ultra marathon run
The run that she will be embarking on, will be the Bali Hope Ultra. This is an 84km overnight ultra marathon run across Bali with the aim of raising funds to transform the lives of 100 disadvantaged children in Bali, by funding them through primary school and then connecting them to great jobs through education.
Away from the tourist highlights, Bali has areas of high poverty, with some families living on just $2 per day.
Slots for the Bali Hope Ultra are limited – and the run is only accepting the first 15 runners who register for the event.
A huge physical challenge for a great cause
What had made Heidi, who has never run an ultra marathon prior to this, take on this massive challenge?
Said Heidi, a Manager in the Marine & Energy industry, “A friend of mine suggested that I look into this race, and I got really excited when I saw what it was about. It is a huge physical challenge, but for such a great cause.”
She added, “I am privileged in so many ways and I feel that it is time to give back. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s Degree and I understand how much education means and the opportunities that it can provide us. That is why it compels me to help and to make a difference in these kids’ lives. As Nelson Mandela said – Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Heidi is looking forward to the adventure
The race route at the Bali Hope Ultra will see Heidi beginning her run on the beach in the north coast of Bali, about an hour before sunset. She will then tackle a 5,500ft climb in the first 20km of the run, before traversing the island through the night. The next morning, she will finish her run at Bali’s Seminyak beach in time to witness the sunrise.
Said Heidi, “At this point, I am really looking forward to taking on this adventure together with 14 other like minded people! I’m likely going to get really, really nervous before the run itself. But right now, I am enjoying the start of the fundraising campaign and spreading the word about this amazing event. I’m also pretty excited about working towards the goal of completing two marathons at one go.”
She has not thought much about her training yet
However Heidi admitted that with about half a year still left to go till the race, she has not really thought about her training yet. Said Heidi, “I’ve only really started to think about my training, but I know for sure that it’s going to be about time on my feet instead of speed. As a competitive runner, I will need some different tactics.”
She added, “I am likely going to pack a bag, go out there early on Sunday mornings and run slow, but long. I will have to learn how to take breaks, and eat, drink and be merry! It’s also very important for me to stay strong and injury free, which means weekly gym sessions, massages and lots of yoga.”
Ultimately though she will use her marathon training plan as a basis to prepare herself for the Bali Hope Ultra. Said Heidi, “I think I’m going to use my marathon training plan as a basis… and just going to add some of those picnic runs into it.”
Views the mental aspect of the run to be tougher than the physical challenges
She views the mental aspect of competing the Bali Hope Ultra to be more demanding than the physical challenges of the race though. Explained Heidi, “It’s obviously a huge physical challenge but I anticipate the mental challenge to be even greater.”
She added, “Especially because we will run through the night and it’s something I have never done, and to be honest, I don’t quite know what to expect either.”
Rewards will outweigh any challenges
But the rewards and seeing the ultimate goal of the mission come to fruition though, Heidi stressed, will outweigh any challenges that the run may bring.
She said, “I am mostly looking forward to seeing the impact that I can make through running. I think it will be a very emotional journey yet rewarding.”
Heidi continued “I want to achieve our ultimate goal to raise $100,000 to put 100 local kids through primary school. I also want to have that inner feeling of accomplishment, being part of something that is actually life changing. I also look forward to meeting new people and to live through this new experience.”
Make a change in the lives of Bali children by donating to Heidi’s cause
If you wish to help Heidi to make a change in the lives of 100 Bali children, make a donation to her cause at https://thebalihopeultramarathon2018.everydayhero.com/au/heidirunningtheworld.
Photos are from Facebook / Heidi Mäkinen