Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Running the Sahara

Documentary: Running the Sahara
Like/Don't Like: If you like watching crazy people, sure

I've never really understood runners (she types as she puts another Sour Patch Watermelon in her mouth). Even casual joggers seem slightly off balanced. Unless you're being chased by a bear, or possibly zombies, I don't really see the point in running. I also don't see the point in pushing yourself to the ultimate physical and mental limits to achieve some sort of enlightenment. Couldn't you just read The Secret?

So you can imagine my confusion when I came across this documentary of three men who decided to run across the Sahara Desert. Let me state that again - in caps, because I'm screaming it - RUN ACROSS THE SAHARA DESERT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you have any idea how big the Sahara is? It's BIG. It's more than 4000 miles across. They ran from the Atlantic Ocean in Senegal across the desert to the Red Sea in Egypt. It took them 111 days to run the equivalent of 170 marathons. They did not take a day off. In fact, once they reached the pyramids which were about 120 miles from their final destination, they decided to not take any more breaks and just jog to the end. CRAZY TOWN! There isn't much to the story but it was pretty interesting seeing the mental toll waking up every morning and running 40-60 miles through the desert every single day takes on a man. It caused them to have some jerky moments and there were a few break-downs. But there were some really legitimate moments of camaraderie and the old team spirit. And I was really impressed by the lack of whining. I can guarantee you that were I to be on a similar expedition I would be an enormous baby even riding in the support jeep and the team would be looking for the nearest oasis to dump me at.

There was one point in the middle of the run when they were in Niger and their view was literally nothing but hundreds of miles of sand dunes and one of the guys (who had lost 40 pounds by that point) wanted to quit and the team leader said to him, "Alright, if you want to quit then quit. If you want to live your life with no excitement just go run a marathon where they hand you the water and give you a medal at the end." Pansy.


The Sean said...


Andrea said...

As a casual runner, I'll willing to bet they've got some ugly toe nails (or lack of) going on. I'll stick to running indoors on a treadmill while I watch Gilmore Girls episodes.