Find the energy

Jake Catterall pushes personal limits in 200k run

On 9 August 2020, Jake Catterall pushed his personal limits to the maximum.
An avid outdoor adventurer, Jake was new to running prior to his first ultra-distance project back in June – 30 laps and 100k around Vondelpark in Amsterdam.

Fast forward two months and Jake went many steps (and kilometres) further to both look inside himself and inspire others. Wearing a combination of the Carbon X and Elevon 2, Jake took on his biggest challenge so far of running 200k around his adopted homeland of the Netherlands.

Read Jake’s story in his own words.

“I prepared physically for eight months for this project. I went by the 80/20 training rule: 80% soft and 20% hard. I believe that your body will only take you so far. There has to come a moment when you give the responsibility to your mind to take control when dealing with ultra-distances. I spent a lot of time training my mind too. Daily pain exposures like cold showers or even weekly scolding-hot baths. The objective was never to get hurt but rather to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation and try to turn it into an enjoyable moment."

"I actually felt OK in the weeks building up to the event. I wasn’t worried, not even the night before. My partner and I went to the beach to have a nice dinner together. It was nice. But as I walked to the start line, it all started to sink in. The realisation of what was about to go down, the whole project suddenly funnelled into one place. It wasn’t an easy thing to stay composed in that moment. It was made so much easier that my friends were there.”

“The moment it started to get really tough was at 94km. Everything before that was fine. The team asked me if I wanted to stop for a water break, but I wanted to stop at 100km and celebrate a small win. Until that moment, I really hadn't been looking at my watch for distance. The next 6km ended up being very, very difficult. I made a rookie mistake of looking at my watch far too often to see how many kilometres were left before I could stop. This was a mistake that would haunt me for the rest of the run."

"I thought about giving up during the run. Between 100km and 110km, I was hallucinating, my vision was playing games with me. I was getting lost on roads I knew really well. In my head the run was over at 110km. I even decided that I would tell my team that when meeting them in Rotterdam. But before I could tell them, a whole new crew came to meet us in Roffa. A crew member said to me: “whatever it takes Jake, we are here to make your dream come true, and we'll do what is necessary to get to 200km”. A flood of happiness came over me, but knowing I had 90km ahead of me, really not confident, was a gut-wrenching feeling.”

“I ran the last 30km without pacers. This was my battle I had to take care of, just me and the team. I was hurting badly and needed some space to really look deeper into myself to push through. I was going to finish, but it would take every ounce of mental power to get there. My team was a little worried at this point, but they stayed strong too and did everything to keep me cool from overheating in 38° heat! I surprised myself during that part of the run. I had to stop every 5km to pass out in the van, but somehow found the energy to go back again. Again. And again. This revealed a new mantra I must have repeated to myself 1000s of times: Find the energy."

"Looking back now, I’m really proud of this run. I may have underestimated the effect of the heat, but the distance is still something that doesn’t scare me. I’m most proud of how the last 50km went. I knew I had mental strength but bouncing back so many times and not giving in to the heat was incredible. I could even see it in third person in that moment. I knew it would be something that future me would really respect and I really did myself proud. I stand for giving everything to your passion, and I walk away accomplished.”