I have written before about how much I enjoy American Ninja Warrior and the fact that I find the athletes inspiring. I found two more athletes that are, I think, even more impressive the ones the attack the Ninja obstacle. What do they do? They run. And run. And run. Sounds simple, right?
While the obstacle course tests agility, strength and will (something I still love and find inspiring), these guys are running Endurance Runs all over the world. These are multi-day races that can be over a hundred miles.
The races are captured in a series following the runners, Paul Turbo’ Trebilcock and Simon Donato. The series airs on Esquire, although I yet to see a current episode. I found it wandering through the channels in the morning hoping for something to watch.
The first race I watched was in Cambodia, following an ancient path called Khmer. At 142m, it was run in six stages. One runner, a young woman, had to be airlifted out after she went into shock overnight. She had ‘overrun’, far exceeding her body’s ability and not replacing her electrolytes. She had in fact drank a good deal of water, but it didn’t have the electrolytes her body needed. A good lesson for all of us, no matter how far or often we exercise!
what a gorgeous place to run
Endurance running, usually of fifty miles or more, have become very popular. But Simon and Paul are tackling the eight most difficult in the world. One was across the Sahara desert, which had incredible vistas. It was incredible how small these humans looked trekking across the desert.
155m of heat and sand…and beauty
One of the things I love about this series is the attitude of the runners. They are all willing to help each other, it is more about the effort and companionship than being the first to cross the finish line–although they all want that too, of course! But good sportsmanship is the rule of the race. And strength of will the top most need.
“…it’s not the physical side I’m worried about, it’s about controlling your fears, because we are all afraid of things, and tackling these challenges give me a sense of accomplishment, not necessarily for getting to the top, but for actually getting on the wall and controlling the fears….”
Turbo and Paul
In these eight races, they do a bit more than run. Some are bike races, and some are kayaking. But the majority are run, and run over extremely impressive terrain and distance. The two that stand out to me were the Scotland and Mongolian races.
In Scotland the race was twenty-four of the highest mountain peaks in twenty-four hours. The views were breathtaking, but the trails were back-breaking. It was one of the harder races they tackled.
The Mongolian race was a Sunrise to Sunset, racing 100km around the mountain in the length of time it took the sun to ride the sky.
dawn painting the sky as the runners start
Check out Paul and Simon’s travels for yourself on the Esquire channel, or at Esquire.com. Between the personalities and the views, this show is fun to watch even if you don’t plan on running a step.