After winning the 120-mile race, the short version of the “6633 Arctic Ultra” ultra-marathon of the North Polar Circle in March this year, for the children of MagiCAMP (a fundraising campaign that helps children with cancer), Romanian runner Vlad Pop is now running for another cause, also related to MagiCAMP.
Inspired by the story of a girl with cancer in the camp, whose dream was to become a doctor, Vlad signed up to the long version ultra-marathon due in February, next year.
“One of the evenings I spent at MagiCAMP in 2018, I got a lesson from a little girl who dreamed to become a doctor and help other kids fighting cancer. After chemotherapy, she was not able to attend school for the family was in huge financial distress. Through the most recent project of the NGO, 100 educational scholarships, worth RON 600,000, destined to 100 children in the MagiCAMP (a scholarship values RON 500 per month and covers one year), I want to prevent school dropout in the case of children suffering of cancer. On February 27,2020 I will run in the 620-km 6633 Arctic Ultra to raise money for the other left 20 scholarships”, said Vlad Pop.
6633 Arctic Ultra takes place in Eagle Plains and will end in Tuktoyaktuk, Yukon, Northwestern Territories in Canada and is dubbed as the toughest ultra-marathon in the world. The 2020 edition is the 12th and covers for 350 miles, meaning 620km.
The route is tough for it crosses the Arctic Circle and comprises 4,000 difference in level. Moreover, each contender is on his own, he has to pull a sledge by himself and has to put himself through the marathon. The organizers only help runners by providing them hot water. Risks are everywhere around the corner, the runners can have severe hallucinations, frostbites, the snowstorms can overthrow their sledges and they can even go blind due to the light reflected in the snow.
“At 6633 Arctic Ultra I rediscovered that you cannot do anything alone, you need the confidence and support of the others. I got my optimism from the MagiCAMP kids, they taught me how to enjoy life, family, the present time, for you might not exist tomorrow. Seize the day, don’t live in the past, don’t dream about the future, focus all your efforts in the present. Be grateful that you can run, that you have a healthy family, that you have a job, these are a few lesson children taught me. They are my inspiration, my force that makes me win. My motivation to run for children is the force that helped me not give up any race and get where I am now”, Vlad also said.
He recounted how, while running in the 120-mile Arctic marathon in March, he heard a voice telling him: “If you want, you can give up, you don’t have to suffer anymore. You can stop and I’ll give you a ride to the village“.
“I closed my eyes and I remembered the times I spent at the MagiCAMP and next to my family. When I opened my eyes, the car and the voice had disappeared. It had all been just in my mind, to test me if I really want to finish the race. I think when a bad though is starring us, when fear and doubt come along, there is a power inside of us to get us through it. After 35 hours and 25 minutes, on March 9, 2019, I won the 193-km race at the 6633 Arctic Ultra for the children of MagiCAMP. The joy at the finish line was overwhelming. The first thing Martin, the organiser, asked me was: < So, are you coming at the 620-km race next year, aren’t you?>“, Vlad told us.
The campaign for the 100 scholarships for 100 children with oncology diseases in the MagiCAMP will end on December 31,2019. With the support of companies and friends, they managed to raise RON 480,000 so far, which will cover for 80 scholarships. Now, in the homestretch, they need more money – RON 120,000 – for the rest of the scholarships.
You can donate any sum in the bank account, RO13INGB0000999905454114, text ”Burse Educaționale” (holder Asociația MagiCAMP)
And you can also donate online here.