Jordan Running Travel

Why I Have Decided to Run 250KM Across the Desert

I read that if you tell someone of your goals you are 80% more likely to succeed than if you keep it to yourself, something about accountability.  So, here I go…

In October 2019 I will run my first ever Ultra Marathon, across the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, all that ‘New Year, New Me’ stuff is lost on me.  I see January 1st as another day, the same as December 31st and all the days in between.  However, as 2018 drew to a close, I started to think about what the next 12 months might hold for me.  

2018 was a quiet one for me, a few fun times here and there, a couple of trips abroad and a whole load of mundane in between.  I am not willing to accept that this is the way my life will be from now on.  I don’t want to simply exist from one year to the next.  There has to be more.  I have to make sure that 2018 was an exception and not the new rule. Bottom line: I want my life to be filled to the brim with adventure, and as far as reasons for running 250km go, I think that’s a pretty solid one.

So, in December, I started to look for my next challenge.  I wanted it to be something physically and mentally challenging.  I thought about entering a Triathlon, something I have no experience in at all.  So I bought a road bike, joined a gym and then, well, nothing.  I was completely unmotivated.  2 months later, I still haven’t ridden that bike.

Although I knew taking part in a triathlon would be great fun and a big challenge, it just didn’t hold the ‘wow’ factor that I was looking for.   A day of swimming, cycling and running just wasn’t going to cut it.


I have been following Kiko Matthews on Instagram for a couple of years and her challenges are part of what inspired me to get out there and hike the West Highland Way in 2017.  

In January 2018, Kiko rowed 3000 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean smashing the previous World Record by almost a week.  Until she decided to take on this challenge Kiko had never stepped foot into a rowing boat.  There was also the small matter of her recovering from 2 brain tumors- 1 of which was removed just weeks before she started her row.  Basically, she’s a total badass!

Kiko Matthews (Photo by Anthony Ball Photography)

The Wadi Rum Ultra Marathon

In October 2018 Kiko joined Team Like a Girl in the Wadi Rum Ultra Marathon, a 250km run across the desert of Jordan.  Like me, Kiko is not a runner, she was just up for the challenge (also like me!).  Her efforts have inspired me to push myself to attempt what seems like an impossible challenge.  

After speaking to Kiko and the guys at Ultra X I signed up a few weeks ago and started training immediately.  Surprisingly, my training is going pretty well.  Last week I realized that I actually quite like running, which is y’know, good, all things considered!

I’ll be writing weekly blog posts about my training and preparation. I’ll also be posting daily on Instagram as I muddle my way through this journey from non-runner to Ultra Marathon runner (believe me, that sounds more ridiculous to me than it does to you!) Whatever happens I’m sure it will be an adventure!

Wadi Rum known also as the Valley of the Moon

There’s another, just as important reason I decided to do this, but that’s a story for another day.

Until then…. Kat

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