On a Tuesday afternoon in New York City, Olof Dallner is training for the Fuego y Agua Survival Run – an obstacle course set in Nicaragua – more than 70 kilometers long.
“I want to finish really badly, full finish, that’s what I want to do really badly,” he says.
Last year Olof won the Spartan Death Race, a three day obstacle course, but is ready to take on more of a challenge.
“How do you train for running through the jungle when you’re in New York City? I could try to go to the zoo and break in but I don’t think that’s going to work,” he says.
This ultra-marathon meets obstacle course involves climbing trees, carrying firewood, and running up a volcano nearly 1400 metres high.
But it’s not just the volcano standing in the way of Olof winning. His friend and rival, Junyong Pak, is also competing in the race.
“Junyong is all around strong like I haven’t seen any weaknesses in him,” says Olof. “He’s definitely a better runner than me.”
But Junyong – who trains two hours a day, seven days a week – thinks it’s Olof who has the advantage.
“If it comes down to who’s grittier and tougher, he certainly has a big advantage because that guy is about as tough as you get,” he says.
Junyong and Olof were handpicked by the race organizers to participate in the race.
“I’ve certainly never done anything like that before,” says Junyong. “I definitely do want to win, I don’t like losing.”
On race day, racers have 20 hours to complete 16 obstacles, run more than 70 kilometres, and climb a volcano twice.
“It’s a brutal race,” says Olof. “It’s a little bit intimidating.”
Of the 37 athletes who started the race only two completed all the obstacles and made it to the finish line. Don’t miss the full story Friday, April 5th to find out who crossed the finish line.