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Manitoba runner proud of gruelling 53-hour trek through Amazon jungle

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg man runs grueling race through national park in Amazon' Winnipeg man runs grueling race through national park in Amazon
Dalip Shekhawat was one of 20 finishers of the Jungle Ultra in Peru's Manu National Park — a five-stage race through the heart of the Amazon – Jun 16, 2022

A Manitoban who is back home after a five-day ordeal in the Amazon jungle says he’s scratched and bruised, but proud of his experience.

After all, Dalip Shekhawat signed up for it.

Shekhawat was one of only 20 finishers — of 42 entrants — in the Jungle Ultra, a 230-kilometre race through Peru’s Manu National Park.

“You have to fight through the pain and suffering,” Shekhawat told Global News.

“I wanted to test my limits to discover how far I can push myself. My life mantra was, ‘Not all of the physical and mental limitations are real. Through self-discipline and commitment to the goal, we all have the power to pull off the impossible.'”

“Impossible” may be an apt description of the event, which bills itself as an exclusive race through “5 stages of suffocating jungle undergrowth, river crossings and cloud shrouded mountain valleys.”

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“I managed to crawl through the slippery and steep climbs. There was shin-deep mud, knee-deep wastewater, which busted my legs,” Shekhawat said.

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Dalip Shekhawat. Submitted

Despite the challenges, he called the gruelling race a “purifying” experience.

“There were times when I felt weak and vulnerable, yet very fortunate to pause in the middle of the chaos and admire the beauty of the Amazon,” he said.

“After all the scratches and bruises and pain, I think I got all of this as a gift from the jungle and will always be proud of myself.”

This kind of physical limit-testing is nothing new for Shekhawat, who has previously embarked on other ultramarathons through extreme conditions all over the world, including a race across the Sahara Desert. He’s also climbed Mount Everest.

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In Peru, Shekhawat finished with a time of 53 hours and 1 minute, and was actually one of two Manitobans who not only started the massive race, but managed to complete it — along with Johann Oyolfson.

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