Adam Connor is proof that someone with seemingly average running ability, with the right mindset, can achieve amazing things. He’s not afraid to dream big and then find a way to make it happen. In the last 3 years since Adam has been with Mile 27 he’s finished Great North Walk 100 miler, Sri Chinmoy 24 hours, the epic 240km Coast to Kocsoicko and culminating this year by finishing the Badwater 135.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTERESTED IN THE SPORT?
It was a challenge from a mate called Ben. In February 2010 he asked me to join him for a half marathon, City to Surf, then a full marathon. I said no, but the seed was sown. If I had won that race (ok not won- I mean finished in front of Ben) I may never have continued running.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE RACE SO FAR?
Coast To Kosci- there isn’t a race anywhere that has the combination of running with family, incredible sights and extreme suffering.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM A RACE?
Sunday morning race debrief at Coast to Kosci- not a dry eye in the whole room. I think I have something in my eye right now just thinking about it …
WHAT DO YOU FEEL HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ULTRAMARATHON ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR?
Undoubtedly finishing Badwater. When you first learn about ultra marathons that’s one of the races you read about. I really had not thought I could do the race until I crewed last year. I didn’t really believe I could do it until all the training was done. I went from ‘that’s dumb’ to ‘that’s possible’ to ‘I want that’ very quickly.
WHAT IS ON YOUR RACING BUCKETLIST?
My wife isn’t reading this is she? I’m kind of jealous I have 11 friends doing UTMB this year but I’d need new lungs before doing a race like that. I’ll also probably never be fast enough for Spartathlon, or Brazil 135+ but I may be able to get permission for the Tahoe 200. Right now I’m very content, Badwater is totally a dream come true.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM ULTRAMARATHONS? WHAT HAVE THEY TAUGHT YOU ABOUT LIFE AND YOURSELF?
Ultra marathons have made me a better human, worker and father. When a running group says they are going at 7am you’d better not turn up at 7:01am, so I’m more on time. I have more discipline, you’ll never get to the finish unless you do the work before the race. I’ve learned how to ignore pain from world class athletes who just happen to be friends. I’ve learned how to take nothing seriously and focus on outcomes. Be flexible, dedicated, focussed, driven. I learned how to be a finisher!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF TRAINING?
Not training. But seriously- I know this may not be popular, but I don’t love the act of running. I love improving, I love being able to do stuff I couldn’t a few years ago. I love the people and the achievements, but running is only the means to get these things. OK, it’s good for me too I suppose …
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE BENEFITED FROM TRAINING WITH MILE 27?
Easy- in the first 18 months I got a PB in every race. After that I was a bit injured and occasionally I lose the thrill, but a whole bunch of what I’ve done would not have been possible without Mile 27. No joke, I credit Mile 27 for turning me from a hack into a runner- and I got to do less km in training and more specific sessions. I am a very ordinary runner, my marathon pb is 3:46. And yet since 2014 I’ve got 2x GNW100m, 2x Coast 2 Kosci, a sub 24 hour trail 100 miler (You Yangs) and 180km in 24 hours on a track (Sri Chinmoy) as well as Badwater. To do that on my own would be just about impossible.
WHAT IS THE ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE A FELLOW ATHLETE TO HELP THEM ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE OF RUNNING AN ULTRA MORE?
Make pain your friend! OK that might not be very attractive, but TURN UP to the training. I’ve had er, not very good compliance with the program at times, and that results in a very painful race. Seriously Andy wrote to me once ‘well, you haven’t done a lot, but you’ve done enough to finish’. I appreciate honesty and he was right- but doing the training would have made the experience much more pleasant.
WHAT IS YOUR NEXT RACE?
I’m pacing a friend for the Great North Walk 100 miler in September (this is to prevent myself from entering) and we’ll see what happens after that.