Two women on how far they went to fulfil their fitness goals

“Such intense moments make you dig deep and then prove over and over what you are made of .”

Photo: Supplied

How far would you go to fulfil your fitness goals? I mean it literally, how far would you go? Would you travel to another town? Would you travel interstate? What about overseas?

It may seem extreme, but with the rise of travel agencies that specialise in overseas sports events, more and more people are signing up for events that take them well beyond their hometown.

Here, we meet two women who have travelled overseas to fulfil their exercise goals.

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Jen Dugard is the CEO of Body Beyond Baby. She is 35 and lives in Sydney. Jen is passionate about her health and fitness, but her real joy de vivre comes from obstacle racing.

Photo: Supplied

Photo: SuppliedSource:BodyAndSoul

“My philosophy in life is to keep on challenging and learning about myself. Obstacle racing gives me a physical outlet that fulfills this need.

In 2013 I completed my first elite obstacle race and qualified for the Spartan Race World Championships in Vermont.

Spartan Race is what you would call an obstacle race. Think trail running and water crossings, monkey bars and rope climbs, hill climbs and sandbag carries. All designed to challenge you mentally and physically.

I did what many potentially wouldn’t, paid my way and put my body and mind through a hugely tough challenge up and down the ski slopes of Vermont. It was the challenge of a lifetime.

One moment nearly broke me, I was walking up a mountain in the ski fields with a particularly heavy sandbag on my back. There were people sitting on their bags willing themselves to get up. All I could think to myself was: out one foot in front of the other, don’t stop and don’t put down the bag!

Such intense moments make you dig deep and then prove over and over what you are made of and that you can always push that little bit harder no matter where you think you are stuck.

I completed the event in just over six hours. There were tears and fulfillment. It was an amazing experience that I knew I would do again.

In 2015 I traveled to Hawaii to take part in a Spartan Race trifecta that consisted of three races over one weekend. I competed in the elite Sprint Race (7kms) in the morning, the Super (14kms) in the afternoon and the Beast (21kms) on the Sunday.

The camaraderie of obstacle racing is awesome in itself but being part of a huge ‘Aussie Invaders’ team was amazing.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! I’ve got a list of events around the world I’d like to compete in. I truly believe that in taking part in my own adventures and then sharing them inspires others to live their life to the fullest.”

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Steph Deck is a stay-at-home-mum. She lives in Sydney with her husband and their four children. Steph is a keen runner and would happily travel the world in search of her next marathon fix.

Photo: Supplied

Photo: SuppliedSource:BodyAndSoul

“Marathons are a huge physical challenge. I think that if you’re going to put your body through that pain, being in a location far from home is a nice distraction. Running 42km is also a great way to get to know a city.

I’ve taken part in three marathons overseas so far, London in 2014 and 2015 and New York in 2015. The New York marathon was the most challenging so far. I’d had gallbladder surgery four weeks before the race so I was nowhere near my best shape and probably shouldn’t have been running.

But I’d spent so much money getting there and the surgeon said I could even though he didn’t understand why I’d want to.

At 35km I really thought I was going to die. Everything ached with each movement. So I started counting steps. When I’d get to 100 I’d start again. I was just so empty by that point that counting took so much concentration. It was all I could do to get my mind off stopping.

Of course I still finished the race with a huge grin on my face. Going overseas to do an event is a huge motivator. You have to pay a lot of money upfront just to get you there, so you’re committed well before race day. It really helps on those rainy cold days when you don’t want to train! It makes the lead up to the event far more exciting

I’m totally addicted and am going to New York again this year, back to London next year too and hopefully Paris too. I’d definitely recommend it.”

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fitness | body+soul