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Digging Down Deep Down Under

Third place award - Survival Run Australia 2016

At the completion of a Survival Run, there is no award that can equal the feeling of accomplishment we have with ourselves. The competition is not with the others but with anything within ourselves that can potentially stops us. When someone finishes, he/she can declare: I DID NOT FAIL. I did not fail at being a stand for my dream, and what I believe is possible.

At Survival Run Australia 2016, four individuals did not fail with themselves: Tegyn Angel, Glenn Sedwell, Curtis Pote, and myself. Because I was the third survival runner to pass the finish line, I received a third place overall award. This gesture reflects the world-known concept of a podium, which is recognition to the three first finishers in most sport events.

Curtis Pote, an amazing athlete and beautiful person, came in fourth place in this Survival Run. Him and I first met on the course of the Survival Run Nicaragua 2016. We were both very excited to once again share the course in Australia. As soon as the event was over, we couldn’t stop talking about the race and how it went for both of us. A few unplanned challenges happened in this edition of the Survival Run where some sections of the course have been unintentionally mismarked. It sent almost every runner on extra miles here and there along the path.

Raise your right hand and swear "If I get lost, hurt, or die, it's my own damn fault."

Raise your right hand and swear "If I get lost, hurt, or die, it's my own damn fault."

Tegyn, Curtis, and I, often ended up together as Tegyn, in the lead, would hit a cul-de-sac, and while he would search for the way out, Curtis and I would catch up with him. As we would retrieve the right path, I would sometimes take the lead. Lost in my thoughts while playing back and forth with the guys, I told them that if I happened to reach the finish line before them, it wouldn’t count as a first place; that throughout the course, they probably lost more time than me.

After the race, when I listened to the full journey of Curtis, I found out he did put even more extra millage than me (more than anybody else actually) in one section at night. Even though we will never be able to calculate who lost more time than the others, I am pretty sure Curtis should have crossed the finish line before me.

Top: Curtis Pote. Bottom: Helene Dumais. Crossing the finish line.

Top: Curtis Pote. Bottom: Myself, Helene Dumais. Crossing the finish line.

So looking back at all the events, I am happy to own the title of the first woman to finish this Survival Run. I don’t think any of the guys can argue with this one! But the third place overall belongs to Curtis. Even though, as part of the survival run tribe, what matters to us is not the ranking but how far were we able to push beyond our own limits, fair play matters as well. So Curtis my friend, you better keep an eye on your mailbox these upcoming days, for I am sending you YOUR Survival Run Australia third place overall award.

Congratulations Curtis! TOGETHER, we did not fail!

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