Inward Bound, Where Legends Are Born

IB is fast approaching and is now less than two months away. For those that haven’t heard of this incredible event here is the 50-words-or-less version of a description to get you up to speed. Inward Bound (affectionately known as IB) is a combination of orienteering, ultra-marathoning and a small dose of insanity. There are seven divisions ranging in length and difficulty but the concept remains the same. Get blindfolded, driven into the middle of the forest in the dead of night, given the coordinates of your destination and told to run! I should mention the only tools allowed are compasses and maps. No GPS is permitted.

We thought it might be nice to catch up with some of the amazing/crazy (take your pick) people who have not only done IB once but are coming back for more this year.

Hugo Lee is a music/physics student with a long history of pounding the pavement and dirt for B&G. When he isn’t running, he is pursuing his music and has just released a new album “Rhythm Of The Machine” which is available now on iTunes

I asked him about how it all began, what running IB last year was like and his approach to training for such a unique event. This is what he had to say.

“Running has always been a crucial part of my life, from racing around the Kindergarten playground to running competitively.

I grew up running the City2Surf (annual 14km fun-run in Sydney) 13 times and always enjoyed a relaxing after-school run in the bush around my home. Hiking and Camping in the wilderness have always been important to me as well, along with the associated map-reading skills.

At 17, a friend and I ran the Six-Foot-Track, a 45km trail through the Blue Mountains from Katoomba to the Jenolan Caves. This was to be the start of ‘serious’ running…that feeling of running until you are completely exhausted, then going some more (and more…and more…).

On hearing about Inward Bound, I was instantly keen to participate. It seemed like the perfect combination of hard work, navigation and a high dosage of endorphins.

The event itself was a challenge on so many levels due to its sheer duration and terrain. I ran as a co-navigator for B&G in division 3, and we ended up covering around 63km over about 10 hours to finish in first place. That’s an average speed of a fast walk, but believe me, it feels like much more!! Everyone in our team hit ‘The Wall’ at different points in the journey, and it was up to everyone else to provide encouragement (and perhaps the occasional “harden up”!).

The feeling of coming into endpoint absolutely blew my mind- coming around the corner to see all our friends charging towards the road to cheer us in, waving and screaming their lungs out (they were up all night, they deserve to let loose!) was something I will never forget.

Everyone from all colleges were extremely supportive of all the teams, regardless of where they were from or what place they finished in. Sure, you want to win it, but the feeling of encouragement from all around just goes to show what a great community we have at the colleges of the ANU.

In training, lots of less experienced runners seemed concerned about the distances, but I feel that if you’re keen to do it, then the only thing stopping you is your willingness to get out there and train! The more puffed you are, the fitter you are getting….

Whether you are new to ANU or an old hand who is still hanging around it is time to get excited. Pull on those runners and start racking up the kilometers. If you aren’t at college don’t worry, both Griffin Hall and Fenner Hall Associates are open to non-residents. Looking forward to seeing you all at endpoint. #IB14

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