I don’t feel like there is any limit to what can be done. You set massive ridiculous goals and yes, you’ll be able to achieve them if you keep your head in the game…I have the belief that I can do that because I’ve proven to myself that it is possible to go over multiple days and to survive on minimal sleep and keep going and keep pushing.
Mel Urie has an infectious personality and mental toughness in spades.
Back in 2017, Mel became only the second woman ever to complete the Epic 5 - a race consisting of 5 Ironman-distance triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands over 5 days.
She joined me on the podcast way back in episode 14 to share her story (you can find that conversation here).
This week Mel returns to the podcast to share what she’s been doing since she was first on the podcast 18 months ago — including her race at the Ultraman World Championships in 2018.
The Ultraman World Championships is held on the Big Island of Hawaii over 3 days and consists of:
- Day 1 - 10km swim and 145km bike,
- Day 2 - 275km ride
- Day 3 - 84km run
Now for a #spoileralert -
Mel missed the cut-off on day 2 by about 8 minutes (after 12 hours of racing) and so this incredible race became only her 2nd DNF (did not finish) of her career.
Fortunately, the Ultraman rules allow participants to continue if they finish with 15min of a cut-off.
And so Mel not only lined up at the start - and crossed the finish lined - on Day 3, becoming an official participant (as opposed to a finisher of the event). However her unique and powerful perspective on it is something we can all learn from and be inspired by.
In this fun conversation, we discuss:
* what her experience at the Epic 5 means to her now (almost 2 years down the track) and how it’s changed how she sees herself,
* the work she does in advance that helps her avoid post-race depression,
* how Mel uses meditation to help with her training and racing,
* what she did differently in training for Ultraman World Champions as opposed to her 2 previous Ultraman races,
* the 20km Rottnest Island swim she completed both to tick the race off her ‘bucket list’ but to prepare for Ultraman and her next adventure,
* her advice to women who struggle with their athletic identity and naming and claiming who and what they are,
* how she found her way through an intense period of experiencing the Imposter Complex in the lead-up to the World Championships,
* how the race at the Ultraman World Championships unfolded including the point at which she realised she may not make the cut-off on day 2,
* why she describes the race as a battle she lost (as opposed to a ‘failure’)
* what she’s learnt from the experience,
* the incredible event she’s decided to tackle next, and
* her experience of being on the Rich Roll podcast (one of the biggest podcasts in the world) and whether her pesky Imposter showed up too.
Notes and resources:
The Queens of Epic5: Danielle Grabol & Melissa Urie - the Rich Roll podcast
Rich's book 'Finding Ultra' that inspired Mel to take up ultra-distances triathlons