Steve Major will compete in a seven-day 150-mile footrace in Western Australia to benefit Good for Kids Foundation, a nonprofit that supports youth arts and sports in the Bay Area.
The race begins Sunday in The Kimberly and ends May 1. There are more than 200 participants from more than 30 countries in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010, and the stages of the race average about 24 miles daily, with one stage clocking in at close to 60 miles.
Major has competed in 16 Bay Area races since 2003 to support a number of causes such as cancer research, but he said that Good for Kids is the cause he has “felt most connected to thus far.”
“I believe in the premise of the foundation,” he said.
Good for Kids was founded in 2004 and gives middle school students from low-income families scholarships for arts and sports activities, such as summer camps or one-on-one coaching programs.
Major and Team Good for Kids have raised $12,000 for the nonprofit and hope to raise more money along the race.
Major said his teammate and Good for Kids executive director, Nicholas Wickes, convinced him to participate in the 150-mile race, although he had been thinking about it for a few years.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” he said. “I wanted to put more time in training and see how far my body would go.” he said.
To prepare for the seven-day race, he trained with his race weight — an extra 22 pounds of food, water and camping gear — on his back. He said eight hours of sleep was important for his training and being conscious of his diet and nutrition.
He averaged about 40 to 50 miles a week during training, but said he ran about 95 miles at the peak of his training a week ago.
“It’s a really big leap for me, but I just jumped in.” Major said.
He said he finds motivation to stay in shape because he wants to keep up his general health and fitness, especially for his job. But at times he did find it difficult to get motivated for the longer runs.
“It’s a different kind of intensity level,” he said.
In 2009, Major ran four races — a 5K, 10K, 12K and a 26.2-mile marathon — and competed in two bike races. He placed third overall in the Mountain House 5K run.
He said sometimes he listens to his iPod to find motivation, but other times finds inspiration from his surroundings.
He said he started running at the age of 21, and it has been a constant in his life.
For a change of pace, Major enjoys cycling and will sometimes go for a ride at Mt. Diablo.
A Bay Area native, Major lives in Concord and grew up in San Mateo. He worked for California Fire, Nevada County Fire and East Contra Costa Fire before coming to Tracy. Meet Steve Major
Occupation: Fire engineer in Tracy
Family: Wife, Elizabeth
Follow Major on his race: http://teamgoodforkids.blogspot.com/
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