Ultra-running is one of those sports that takes everything. The training, the diet, the lifestyle, it all requires an immense amount of dedication if you want to compete seriously. Robbie Britton is taking it seriously.
Just what goes through the mind of someone who wants to be best, in one of the world’s most punishing sports?
At 76 years old, Dag Aabye is a living legend. Existing entirely off-the-grid in the mountains near Vernon, British Columbia, and without the trappings of modern day society. He has no cell phone or email address. Yet he is closer to freedom than most could ever imagine. If that isn’t enough, Dag dedicates his life to living out his greatest passion, training for a 125km Ultra-Marathon aptly named the “death race, for which he holds the record for the oldest person to ever complete the race.
“Never die easy,” Aabye says. “To me, there is no age. Age is something other people put on you. You put a person in an old folk’s home, and this person’s gonna die pretty quick because you tell them, ‘You’re old now—you’re ready to go.’”
On March 1, 2018 , National Geographic announced its 2018 Adventurers of the Year, an annual list that honors extraordinary achievements in the fields of exploration, adventure sports, conservation, and humanitarianism within the past year.
The list this year includes daring climbers, hardcore ultramarathoners, resilient mountain bikers, inspiring photographers, and incredible philanthropists.
‘Trailblazers’ was the guiding theme of this year’s list, meaning each honoree has achieved something unique, groundbreaking and game-changing in his or her field.
This year, honorees were nominated by past Adventurers of the Year, prominent members of the adventure community, and National Geographic Explorers and photographers. The National Geographic Adventure editorial staff reviewed all of the nominees and selected the final eight.
The Barkley isn’t easy. But then that’s the point. It’s not your average ultra marathon. From the sign-up process to the completion of the course. The vast majority who attempt it never reach the finish line.
The race was conceived by Lazarus Lake (Gary Cantell) and Raw Dog (Karl Henn) as a mocking homage to a 1977 prison escape. The course, which changes every year, always traverses a tunnel under the prison.
You can view the madness on Netflix (and probably elsewhere).
A famous prison escape sparks the idea for a cult-like race that has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. This award-winning, oddly inspiring, and wildly funny documentary reveals the sports world’s most guarded secret.
In September 2017, I stepped up to the starting line of the Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, alongside my friend Jayson Sime. The race is a 102.9-mile ultramarathon with 20,000 feet of elevation gain, which is no small feat for a couple of guys who don’t know what they’re doing.
Jayson had talked me into it, and if I were to be completely honest, I’d say we were there to test out his life philosophy, which is basically that you can do anything you dream up, as long as you put in the work and refuse to quit. That ethic has worked for him in almost every other area of life, despite growing up in poverty, one of six children with no father, and dyslexia.
In the six months leading up to the race, we figured since we weren’t naturally talented runners, the best thing we could do is work hard. So we ran 50- to 70-mile weeks all summer, and went through a full range of feelings: fear, regret, sadness, FOMO, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, pain, and joy. And gluttony, which is not a feeling, but what happens after you run 20 or more miles.
If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.