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Posted: 10:52 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

Ultra Marathoners test survival skills in Hunter Gatherer race 

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Ultra Marathoners test survival skills in Hunter Gatherer race
Chris LeBlanc
Competitors in the Survival Run: Hunter Gatherer 100K and 50K Ultra Marathon made and wore their own sandals as part of the race.

By Pam LeBlanc

I'm fresh back from Rocksprings, where I communed with spiders, centipedes, lizards, cactus plants and a bunch of tough athletes who apparently have rhino hide for skin.

The humans were racing in the Survival Run: Hunter Gatherer at Camp Eagle. I was just watching (and enjoying some time in a tent.)

I've never seen anything like it.

People voluntarily covered 50K or 100K, tackling obstacles based on the Native American culture along the way. The course wound up hills, through a river, into dry creek beds and over rugged, rock and cactus-studded terrain.

The sun was three hours from rising when the race started at 4:30 a.m. The first thing the competitors did was make a pair of sandals that they had to wear for the duration of the race. Over the next day or so, they waded neck deep down the Nueces River, towing logs. They harvested cactus pads and fashioned them into drinking vessels. They started fires using only sticks and a length of cord. They hauled 90- to 100-pound loads of rock miles through the woods.

And they filtered their own water along the way.

Look for a story soon...

Pam LeBlanc

About Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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