Meet George Philips- Ocean Floor Race 2013 entrant
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family, where you live, profession, hobbies etc etc
I am 47 years old, I co-founded an Asian asset management group, Northwest Investment Management (HK), in 1998 and have 26 years experience in finance. Northwest employs 23 people in Hong Kong, and I live here with my wife and 5 daughters. I am the author/ co-author of 4 finance books. I was a black belt in Kyokushin karate at the age of 13 and fought for England and coached the junior England team for a period. Ultra running has filled the gap left by mental and physical challenges once posed by karate throughout what has proved to be a very long ‘mid-life’ crisis. I simply love the loneliness of running alone in remote areas, removed from the everyday ‘treadmill’ and although physically drained when I return, I am often up for all that life has to offer when I return.
2. What attracted you to enter ?
I was desperately searching a ‘one off’, non-stop ultra distance run. My experience from the Jordan Desert Cup is that it makes for a completely different run from the MDS style ‘camp and run’. I don’t like the administration and constant campfire feel to those races- I just want to get on with the race. Strategically, it makes for an entirely different race.
3. Do you have any ultra running experience?
Jordan Desert Cup
Inaugural Jungle Marathon
Sahara ‘4 deserts’
Nepal ‘4 deserts’
4. What do your friends and family think to you entering the event?
I think they accept it now. My wife’s friends are beginning to get ‘pissed’ with me though- all of their husbands are being brought over to the same mentality. One is now off to Mongolia, another to the Gobi, another to a long run in Japan- it’s like a disease J
5. Do you anticipate any problems during the race?
Of course. Dehydration. Dehydration. Dehydration. Most of the other factors hopefully wont kill me. GPS will take some training…planning out the strategy of how to break down the race into its component parts. The rest I think you have to pretend are not happening to you.
6. Are you or will you be raising money for a charity doing this event? If so how did you get involved with the charity and do you have a fundraising target and a place where people can sponsor you?
Yes. Aspire…a spinal injuries charity. They are fantastic. In the past, I have helped raise well in excess of $50,000 for them, so let’s see nearer the time. It’s wonderful to see it actually make a difference.
7. How will you train for this event ?
Well, there’s over a year, so that’s a good start. Second, living in Hong Kong is an advantage…it’s very hot, humid and the terrain is awesome…mountainous etc. They are all pluses. Miles on my legs will be crucial.
8. What would you say to someone who is physically fit but reluctant to take part in an event like this as they don’t think they have what it takes?
I think it is very much a ‘mental thing’- you have to want to do it. Try one race of say 100km, then another. If you get the bug, well, then you know that you have what it brings out in you.
9. Will you take anything with you that isn’t compulsory but you feel will aid you in the challenge? I don’t know yet.
10.What do you think to the time limit of 94 hours and will moving at night be a problem for you?
It sounds good for all. That amount of time will hopefully entice a whole array of runners, from the elite to those who simply want to do it in their own way. It will encourage all types of racing strategy. It’ll be interesting to see how they play out.