Wow – They Did It Again!

I have written about some pretty determined people over the last couple years.  People who ride bikes for thousands of miles, over deserts and mountains.  People who swim in the coldest waters on Earth or run across the Sahara Desert.  They leave me shaking my head in disbelief of their incredible feats.  Recently I came across news articles about two of the people I wrote about back in October 2014.  It was interesting to read about their latest adventures.

First there is Reza Baluchi.  Back in 2014 he was trying to “run” in a bubble from Florida to Bermuda, a distance of 1,033 miles.  His bubble looked like one of those balls you can put a hamster in to run around the house.  From what I read it sounded like he wasn’t well prepared for this adventure.  It didn’t surprise me that 3 days after he departed, he sent up a signal to the US Coast Guard (USCG) to rescue him when he was 70 nautical miles off the coast of Florida.

Reza is one determined man.  He spent the last 18 months redesigning his bubble and training.  His training plan consisted of jumping rope in a sauna (it gets very hot in the bubble – up to 120 degrees) and running 20 miles a day.  A couple weeks ago he announced that he was ready to head out again.  This time his goal was to trace the Bermuda Triangle – Miami to the Bahamas then south to Puerto Rico and then back to Miami.  I have to hand it to him.  Reza dreams big.

The USCG warned him not to start his adventure.  They don’t want to spend a lot of time and money plucking people out of the ocean when it can be avoided.  The USCG deemed his “hydropod” unsafe.  While Reza planned to be rolling around out in the Bermuda Triangle for five months, the USCG picked him up 3 days after he started.  I hope that Reza picks a new goal but maybe he believes the third time is the charm.  Time will tell.

One of the other people I wrote about in October 2014 was William Trubridge, a New Zealander who free dives (diving unaided).  Free diving is one of the most dangerous sports I have come across.  Deaths are not uncommon.  I had watched a documentary about his attempt to break his own world record free diving to a depth of 300 feet.  For his dive, William went to Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, the deepest blue hole in the world at over 660 feet deep.  William can hold his breath an astonishing 7 1/2 minutes.  I still cringe when I watch him prepare for a dive.  William contorts his body in ways that seem totally unnatural.

William is another person who isn’t ready to quit.  He recently broke his own world record with a free dive to 122 meters (over 400 feet).  Two days later he decided to have another go at it.  He broke his own world record again by diving 124 meters (almost 407 feet).  He admitted later he struggled a bit coming back up on the second dive.  He was having trouble focusing on his ascent and was worried whether he would blackout when he came to the surface.  I wonder if the water pressure from being down so deep is doing something to his brain.  It can’t be good.

If you look at marathon runners next to people like Reza and William, what we do looks pretty tame.  Running around some city’s streets for a few hours?  Mere child’s play.  When I am done running the 50 States and the 6 Major Marathons, I will want a new adventure.  I can guarantee you it won’t be running around the ocean in a ball or free diving.  There is plenty of adventure to be had other ways.

Interested in learning more about Reza Baluchi?  Check out his website (runwithreza.org) to learn more about him.  According to his website, he has completed several marathons and a few ultra marathons.  In 2007, Reza ran around the perimeter of the United States, a distance of over 11,700 miles in 202 consecutive days. 

Here is a YouTube video of William Trubridge’s 122 meter dive.  You can also visit his web site for more fascinating videos.  http://williamtrubridge.com