Olly’s Incredible journey
6000km, 142 marathons, thru 8 countries, unassisted!
Name: Olly Woolrych
Age: 27 years old
Background: Olly Woolrych is an ultra runner who is passionate about running, and the positive impact it has on young people’s mental health. He grew up in Avalon on Sydney’s northern beaches
Currently: Just finished his indcredible journey of running across all seven countries in Central America to raise awareness for depression in young people.
From time to time you encounter stories that amazes you, stories that are quite difficult to grasp. Olly Woolrych’s story is one of those. Imagine yourself running five marathons a week, for half a year, with a total distance of almost 6000 km. Running through every single country in Central America, from Mexico City to Panama City, with one message: to help raise awareness for depression in young people. He will thereby be the first person to navigate through all eight countries, unassisted! The first reflection that comes to mind is basically what motivates a person to accomplish such a challenge, and the journey hasn’t been easy. Entering the last country, Panama, as well as the end of his incredible journey, Olly’s feelings are a bit mixed.
-I guess I am very excited to complete that challenge but not so happy about the adventure coming to an end. This will be the 8th country I have run through, I have enjoyed the slight differences to the food, people and politics.
The terrain is Panama is amazing, big mountains run down the middle of the country with two long hot coastlines on either side of the country. It’s going to be great.
Describe your daily routines
-I am up at 5:15am, I generally stretch for 5 minutes and repack my bag. I have become very specific about how my bag is packed at as the trip has gone on. It always needs to be organized and everything has its own spot within the bag. If I have camped, I pack my tent up and like to be out on the road by 5:45am.
I will run until about 8am until I find some food, if there is a little bakery nearby that is perfect or sometimes I will have a sit down breakfast of eggs, rice and beans.
I will then try to finish my days run by midafternoon and then first priority is finding a place to sleep, and some food!
I will usually go for a bit of a walk in the afternoon. Trying to stay out of the sun is also important to me as I am conscious of the amount of sun my skin is seeing over here.
I will do some writing or some work in the early evening, eat some dinner, stretch down and my head is on the pillow by about 8pm.
What has your diet been like the last couple of weeks?
-My diet has improved in the last few weeks. Up in El Salvador I wasn’t allowed to walk the streets at night so I was confined to dinner for a nearby petrol station or some cupped noodles.
But once entering Costa Rica I have made it a priority to eat well. Every meal needs to be real food, real local food. Rice and protein and greens, maybe some lean meat: not too much red meat. I have also resisted from easy energy sources like a can of coke or lollies. I am trying to get all my fuel from good quality food.
Do you ever experience moments of doubt during the journey?
-This run has come down to the mental battle, especially in the second half of the run. I have had to show patience and discipline to stay on task. It has now been nearly seven months of constant running.
The body is in pretty good shape which I am happy about.
I have had a couple a tough times in the last month, but I think about all the work I have already put into this run both on the road but also off it. So yes, there have been tough moments, but I haven’t once copulated quitting.
How has the SUBTECH PRO DRYBAG 45L had impact on your journey?
-The bag has been brilliant. So much about keeping positive on this run is making sure all of my equipment is safe and working.
Being October in Central America it is in the middle of the wet season. Often the afternoon rain beat me to the finish of my days run, so not having to worry about any of my technology getting wet is really nice.
Having the PRO DRYBAG here meant that I could focus on running and completing the challenge. It’s been a very high performing piece of equipment.
Finally, what’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get home?
-The first thing I will do when I get home is go to my favorite Chinese restaurant with my Mum. It is one of those Chinese restaurants that you wouldn’t look at twice usually, full of Chinese.
I am keen to run some of my local trails as well, I miss them.
There is no doubt Olly Woolrych’s journey onwards will influence people, and at the same time continue to raise awareness worldwide. We at Subtech Sports can only wish him good luck on his future challenges!