This is the UN-TOLD STORY of a Man on a Mission. Or rather, Mission after Mission. This is the story of Jake Catterall, an athlete constantly in search of (and meticulously planning for) his next run-trip into that wonderfully addictive and blurry place called: 'The Zone'.
Jake is a guy who stretches boundaries.
Body. Mind. But not in the usual ways you might expect from somebody who lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; a place known the world over for its love and liberal tolerance of all things excess.
In early Summer 2020, on somewhat of a planned-whim, Jake decided to run 100km... around a park. The Vondelpark, in Centraal Amsterdam. A daily, well-trodden loop by Mokum locals and running-inclined-tourists, that's just over 3.5km in distance.
But that wasn't enough.
That was 'just' the warm up. Shortly after, while his legs were still recovering, (and hating on him) he informed them that they'd be doubling their Summer of Madness and run a 200km loop... around the Country... on the hottest day of Dutch Summer.
"I want to know how far the mind/spirit will go. I'm a believer in people. And motivator for everyone i come into contact with. I firmly believe in self-belief, trust in yourself and jump into the unknown."
However, the initial spark that lit the 200km fire was instigated by a friend of Jake's who had also done a 100km run. And so thanks to his 'competitive spirit' Jake's own 100km run was actually 'just' a training run for the real mission... double his mate's distance!
"I wanted to know if my head was truly at a place that could take on a huge mental challenge. It was. But throwing in 42C temperature for a bit of fun definitely tested me to the absolute limit."
"You need a physical level or base that will allow you to run. Then the rest is mental. If you have a strong head then it will more or less take you as far as you want to go. You will just REALLY want to go far haha."
"You need a reason.
An unbreakable reason. Something that's bigger than pain to adopt a strong mind."
"I always seem to have my eyes wide shut when I'm in the zone. A kind of drug-like feeling. For me it's doing something and thinking of nothing all at once. It's reaching a point of absolutely nothing, but still in motion. I think it comes in waves, and takes a while to get into that state."
And that's the thing.
The Zone is an elusive and unpredictable place. You can't just call it up and say you're stopping by. Often you have no say in the matter. It might happen today, and yet most likely, it won't. And that's part of the attraction.
"It goes to places like nothingness."
And of course,
as with many people who find running (or seek it out?) for Jake, the high to be found was a very familiar, and yet very un-familiar one.
"I found myself a WAY less destructive drug with a higher high than my other drugs... endurance gives me a new high. And now I'm high all the time."
And so what's next for Jake Catterall?
Where will he next go in search of the blur and 'nothingness' of the Zone?
"Iceland. I'm going to cycle 1400km in one go. I'm currently training for it on an indoor bike."
The amazing images documenting Jake's UN-TOLD STORY were captured by Netherlands-based photographic and directing duo, together known as: Bill Tanaka.