Don't Know When to Stop
Endurance Athletes
in Everything harder than everyone else
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This chapter talks about Charlie Engle's crack-addiction years, before he pledged his life to endurance races, the six-day benders in which he'd wind up in strange motel rooms with well-appointed women from bad neighbourhoods, and smoke until he came to with his wallet missing. Charlie has already completed some of the world's most inhospitable adventure races. He's been chased by crocodiles, hung off a cliff tangled in climbing ropes and had a tarantula squat in his sleeping bag, although none of that comes close to the actual running component in terms of endurance. Endurance cycling is ultrarunning's lycra-clad cousin, so hardcore that as far back as the 1880s and 1890s, racers were experimenting with cocaine, caffeine, nitrogylcerin and strychnine for energy and pain relief. The chapter discusses Luke Tyburski's horrible feats of endurance, which have been immortalised in a documentary, The Ultimate Triathlon, and his memoir, Chasing Extreme.

Everything harder than everyone else

Why some of us push our bodies to extremes

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