Andrew Skurka on his Alaska-Yukon Expedition
The world is truly filled with an incredibly diverse group of people. It is really astounding to see, now in the internet age of instant sharing, what people are capable of and what people are attempting. It's almost like the internet, in some unintended way, has led so many people to "one up" each other. With satellite photos, maps of all areas in the world, it would seem that the world is already discovered. Yet is it? Maybe "discovered" is all relative to the respective person doing the discovering?
Hearing about some of these adventures these people are doing out there you realize that the world is NOT discovered and fully mapped and these adventures are revealing so much more. Maybe not entirely about the geography of the land they are walking on but more so what the human body is really capable of. Whether it is Andrew Skurka's multiple first time routes across North America, Jenn Phar Davis breaking the Appalacian Trail speed record, Ray Zahab and his epic trips across continents or a 61 year old Australian woman who decides to swim across shark infested waters from Florida to Cuba. It doesn't matter the distance but rather the incredible drive it takes to even tackle such an undertaking. How do you just sit down and say, "I want to swim across the ocean to Cuba. 60 hours straight. Sharks all the way." I'd normally say that's crazy. But is it? I used to think running 50 miles would be crazy but maybe everything is just a little bit crazy but only based on your particular perspective.
Ray Zahob - Impossible to Possible- I2P
This website really sums up Ray. http://www.monumentaleffort.com/ray-zahab-canadas-karnazes-and-more (by the way this is a really cool website. Love this kind of stuff) He really is quite extraordinary. He's passion and enthusiasm for what he is doing and striving to do is inspiring to say the least. I have a lot more to say about Ray but I'll get to it later.
The last couple years since I've been running ultras I have a much harder time watching the ESPY's and hearing the word "hero" and "best athlete on the planet" being said over and over again. I'm not trying to take away anything that Kobe or Derek or some $50 million dollar a year soccer player is doing in their respective sport. They are incredible athletes, no question. Yet when I "watch" Geoff Roes come back from the dead to overtake Anton at mile 88 of the Western States 100??? Hands down one of the greatest races ever run. The guy killed it, broke the record and beat two of the best runners on Planet Earth, from behind, dropping his pacer in the process. What was the "Best Record Breaking Performance for 2010" at the ESPY's? Ok...it was the 1st Round 11 hour tennis match Isner vs. Mahut at Wimbledon. That's pretty impressive. I remember watching that but my point is ultrarunning isn't even considered and if ultrarunning isn't you have to know that so many other sports and new crazy adventures that people are doing are not being considered that have nothing to do with running. It's interesting how focused the ESPY's are on the main sports but in reality they are not nearly as impressive as some of the feats being done all the time, under the scope of the cameras. Maybe that's what makes them so great. The lack of attention from mainstream media. Maybe if it was covered by the major networks a lot of people would be shying away from ultrarunning and adventure sports. I don't know.
Either way, there are some pretty incredible feats being done every day. You just have to keep your eyes out for them. If you haven't set your eyes upon this preposterous feat...here you go. Ueli Steck powering up Eiger. Beyond Impressive.