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Episode #27 Summary:
Charlie Engle is one of the most accomplished ultramarathon runners in the world and author of the riveting memoir Running Man. Engle has a track record of winning or placing in many of the toughest endurance foot races across the globe. He has raced in jungles, summited high ranging mountains and volcanoes, and traversed large expanses of deserts through sand storms.
Among his most notable races in the United States is the Badwater Ultramarathon. This is an annual race that stretches 135 miles through Death Valley, California in July. This punishing race ends after a steep climb of Mt. Whitney. In the world of Ultramarathons this race, often reaching temperatures around 130 °F is frequently coined "The Toughest Foot Race in the World." Beginning in the 1990s into the early 2000s, Engle competed in the Eco-Challenge series put on by Mark Burnett (the creator of the wildly popular CBS television series, Survivor). The Eco-Challenge took Engle to Borneo, New Zealand, and Vietnam. The list of Engle's international races is long, but he is most well known for running across the Sahara Desert, from coast to coast, in 2007. Engle's historic and record setting journey was documented in the film Running the Sahara, narrated by Matt Damon. He was joined by two other runners: Ray Zahab of Canada and Kevin Lin of Taiwan. This transcontinental run through deep sand and politically unstable countries remains one of the premier accomplishments in the ultrarunning sport. The runners completed over 4,500 miles, averaging over two marathons per day, for 111 consecutive days.
Engle's motivation to run and tackle adventure to such extreme lengths stems from his battle with addiction to drugs and alcohol. Sober since July 23, 1992, he has credited a large part of his sobriety to the purposeful devotion and emotional release he experiences while running. Engle says that the sport, along with 12 step recovery meetings, yoga, and family and friends, has been a corner stone of not only his sobriety but of his quest to be a better, more-authentic and empathetic person.
Charlie is awesome that shows through actions, not words, that limits are only those we put onto ourselves. Charlie is kind and humble, yet adventurous and very driven. Just wait to hear what his next adventure is going to be! You don't want to miss this one, a he discusses the next big challenge he is looking to undertake starting in January 2019.
Here we go, enjoy this week's conversation with Charlie Engle.
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Quotes from the Episode:
"Mindset in one word: adaptation."
"I did a meeting everyday and a run everyday for 3-straight years."
"It takes 100% full-on commitment to extract yourself from a bad situation."
"Where it came from isn't nearly as important as what you're going to do about it."
"I believe in the idea of attraction rather than promotion."
"Running is a way for me to scrape away the daily scum that builds up, and get down to the good stuff."
"The only way to accomplish something big, is to do all of the small things one-step at a time."
"All of the best lessons come from the hard things that you fought through."
"There's no guarantees, sometimes you just gotta go for it."
"There isn't something so bad, that there isn't a lesson worth learning."
"Standing next to that pyramid, my smallness is what I felt, and my role is continuous forward movement."
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