Andy McMenemy established a new world record by running an incredible 66 ultra-marathons in 66 consecutive days in 2011. At the age of 45, Andy had only run one marathon in his life. He completed his 66th consecutive ultra-marathon on his 50th birthday. Amazing as his achievement may be, what can you learn from Andy McMenemy?
At first glance, you may think that Andy’s skill lies in his ability to run. In reality, the secret of Andy’s success lies in his ability to conceive and TAKE ON A CHALLENGE.
“When I looked back, I realized that I’d gone from nothing, not being able to run 5 miles, to running the Marathon de Sables and then the Namibian 24 hour race. If I could do that, anything was possible”.
“The limit is always self-imposed. When I first ran a 5k race, I wondered if I could run a 10k. Then I wondered if I could run a marathon. Some people start to ask if they could run a quicker marathon. I started to ask if I could run further. Maybe back to back marathons or ultra-marathons? When I did the Marathon de Sables, it was the furthest I’d ever run in a week (151 miles). During Challenge 66, I did my first ever 1000 mile month”.
Andy has learned how to tackle challenges that seem daunting, maybe even ‘impossible’ to some people. He now helps business leaders to understand that the ‘impossible’ may not be unachievable after all.
“My stride is about 1 meter. Challenge 66 was 66 days of 50,000 meters each day, so 3.3 million strides in total. But you can only do them one at a time”.
In taking on ever more demanding challenges, Andy McMenemy has also learned the art of Mental Toughness. On the second of his 66 ultra-marathons, he tore his Achilles tendon. On day 27 of 66, he found himself in A&E with a suspected fractured shin. To many people, these injuries would have become show-stoppers. However, Andy navigated through the pain, the fears and the doubts, to accomplish something that no human had ever done before and establish a new world record.
You can read about how Andy’s mind-set enables him to become successful in How To Shine.
Andy will be also sharing his insights and experiences with leaders from business, sport and education at this year’s Be World Class Conference. His session, entitled ‘On… Mental Toughness’ is being sponsored by BiY, who help businesses overcome their own challenges.