“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ― Jack Canfield
If there is one thing I’ve learned about the Survival runners in the Fuego y Agua, it is that they live beyond fear. I marvel at their fortitude, their strength, and their…well…craziness! This year, the survival runners ran about 60 miles, up and down both volcanoes, stopping to complete obstacle challenges that included 20 ft. bamboo poles, climbing trees, diving into the lake to get a bracelet attached to a rock, sleeping on top of Maderas volcano, carrying 50 lbs. of firewood on their backs, and other unimaginable challenges that tested them to their limits.
Their mantra was “Adapt or die.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 4th, they thought they were only doing the packet pick-up event and the official race would start the next morning at 4:00 am. They registered, received a raw egg, displayed their list of required items for the race, and waited at the start to run, swim to a small island, pick up their race packets, and return to the finish line with their raw egg intact.
The obstacle challenge at Tersoro de Pirata the next morning was to swim to the dock, dive under the water, and retrieve a bracelet attached to a rock. They were in their 16th hour and beyond.
Notice the feet of the top three survival runners.
Next stop: Santa Teresa beach bamboo pole carry. They balanced the bamboo pole for miles…even swimming in the lake with it when there was no path along the beach.
Nearing the finish line at Finca San Juan, they swam to an island, gathered 50 lbs. of firewood, swam back to the beach, and ran to the finish line at Santo Domingo beach with the firewood.
Nick hauled his firewood over the finish line after 26 hours of racing. Ben relaxed with a beer after a second place finish. Johnson, arrived next…still smiling! Out of 40 racers who started, there were only four who finished.