Next time you feel like pulling the “I’m too tired for the gym” card, consider this.
You might be familiar with the Inca Trail – a rocky, hazardous marathon-length track through Peru, finishing at the historic Machu Picchu. It’s usually done as a four-day trek (which is hard enough) but some very brave people opt to take on the trail as a single day marathon. Including a blind athlete, who just ran the 42 kilometre track with three teammates and a lot of optimism.
45 year-old ultramarathon runner Dan Berlin, with the help of Intrepid Travel, had to quite literally put his life in his teammates’ hands to complete the Inca Trail in such a short time. They began running at 4:30am, and had to cross the checkpoint before the cut-off time of 4pm – otherwise it would have been too dark to complete the track. In true style, they made it at 3:58pm, even despite being told that it was near impossible even with full sight.
Berlin was also the first legally blind athlete to run the Grand Canyon’s gruelling Rim-To-Rim trek. “[My teammate] told me, ‘Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as the Grand Canyon,’” Berlin said, “And we get out there, and there are probably 10,000 steps on the trail. It’s crazy.”
There’s a video of Dan and his team zooming along the precarious trail – and it’s a bit of a tearjerker, TBH. What an inspiration.