Saturday, August 22

Tough Human on Tough Race - La Ultra The High 2015 Edition

La Ultra - The High 2015 Edition - 333km distance

There are runs. Then there are long distance runs. And then there are brutal, cruel runs. Imagine running 333 kilometers across three mountain passes in the Himalayas at over 17,400 feet in three days. Unthinkable? But that is what some incredibly tough humans accomplish at the La Ultra, the cruelest run on Planet Earth.

Meet the elite athletes who participated in what seems to be an impossible race. How do they do it? Why do they do it? What lessons have they learnt? I hope I can listen to them and learn on the things that they will on how high performers live and work.

Sean Maley
Winner of 333 km at the 6th edition of La Ultra - The High in an time 64 hrs 3 min 35 seconds. Sean is an engineer who has taken year off to run some amazing races around the world. Earlier in the year he also won Joggle 2015, covering 860 miles (1384km) over 17 days. That’s averaging 50 miles (81km) each day! The route follows the classic journey from John O’Groats to Lands End and is all road.

Ferenc Szonyi
Ferenc is the first runner at La Ultra to have finished the Race Across America (RAAM) and Double Deca Ironman (20 Ironman Triathlons in 20 days). He started his ultra-running and ultra-triathlon career at 43, and has already run over 20 ultra-marathons and extreme endurance races.

William Sichel
William at 62, has run over 90 ultra-marathons, won 14 of them, and holds 153 world records in ultra-running. He recently ran the Sri Chinmoy 4,960 km race in New York. He has run 100 km in 7 hrs 7 min.

Mark Woolley
Mark has attempted La Ultra - The High twice before. He finished 222 km in 2012 and had to stop agonisingly 15 km short of the 333 km finish line last year. He's run Spartathlon thrice, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc seven times and more than 20 other ultras like Badwater, 100 km, 24 hour races etc. In his spare time he’s a schoolteacher who holds a PhD. He has unfinished business at La Ultra.

Darek Strychalski
After an accident left him partially disabled, Darek had to learn to write, walk and talk again. Today he is one of the finest ultra-runners in Poland and one of the brave few to take up the challenge in the Himalayas. He has completed over 34 marathons and tough non-stop ultras such as Badwaters 135 and the Spartathlon.

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