Carrying a proud, determined smile, there is no wave of hesitation from Jax Mariash Koudele to undertake that challenge x 4 more. Referred to many as “WonderWomanJax” (fitting, right?), Jax is currently on the quest to become the first female in the world to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus, an annual event of five 250k (155 mile) ultra marathons series held across the globe in desolate and challenging terrain – many will agree this multi-day foot races across the toughest terrain the world.
With the first of five stages of the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus race series successfully completed, Jax Mariash Koudele found herself confronting exactly what it would take on the first day in Sri Lanka with 35 race days remaining over the next 10 months – grit, determination and a will to endure so strong that it sometimes went against her better judgment. Miles in, Jax was already facing adversity that went beyond her worst-case scenario. Dehydration had set in, she was vomiting non-stop, and to top it off she had twisted her knee between two logs in the jungle. “You start to wonder,” Jax reflected, “why no one has ever done this. When you go into adversity and try to figure out how to push through it, you start to see those challenges.”
“During the long march, it was so hot, the screen cracked on my watch.”
It would have been easy – maybe even smart – to drop out of the race on this very first day, but that’s not the kind of person Jax is. Driven on by her goal to be the first woman to finish all five stages, podium at all 5, and her determination to inspire others, Jax stumbled to her feet and continued on. Armed with DripDrop packets at every checkpoint and supplementing with salt tabs hourly, Jax has been able to maintain a strong hydration routine and push through the hottest miles in the desert.
Her determination to finish, not only for herself but to inspire others and raise awareness about Lyme disease, got her through the darkest hours in Sri Lanka. And, she hopes, will push her all the way to the finish the last stage in Antarctica this November.
We will be cheering her on every step of the way, join us!