Eco Challenge Fiji

Eco Challenge

I think when asked the question, “Why the Eco Challenge?” everybody’s got a different answer. You have got to be crazy to want to go at it non-stop for fourteen days through the ocean, the jungle, across different mountainous terrain breaking down your body the entire time. All things considered, it’s clinical lunacy.

Eco Challenge New Zealand

It all started when as a high schooler I watched the Discovery Channel Eco Challenge with a sense of grand awe and wonder. For me, I think a lot of that drive and motivation to do it comes from the early days of Eco Challenge when Mark Burnett produced it. Just watching these foundational teams navigate truly inspirational challenges and terrain—absolutely gorgeous vistas—in this large-format production was simply awe-inspiring. For me, that was an extreme motivation; it incited a sense of adventure in me.

You have got to be crazy to want to go at it non-stop for fourteen days through the ocean, the jungle, across different mountainous terrain breaking down your body the entire time. All things considered, it’s clinical lunacy.

After getting out of high school having watched that whole thing unfold for the past six years, then moving on to collegiate running and in turn graduating from college—during which time the Eco Challenge ended as Mark Burnett moved on to create Survivor—I thought, “Oh, it’s never going to happen again.” So throughout my adventure racing career after college, I had given up hope that the Eco Challenge would ever be a possibility for me. When I heard it was announced last year that there would be an Eco Challenge—the very thing I had yearned for in my youth—I dropped everything. The race a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you just cannot pass those up. Ever. Period.

When I heard it was announced last year that there would be another Eco Challenge—the very thing I had yearned for in my youth—I dropped everything. The race a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you just cannot pass those up. Ever. Period.

There is a rich history of Eco Challenge that as a fan and an adventure racing participant and Race Director that I bring with me. I am inspired by all of the greats that came before me—the Jon Howards and the Mike Klosers, the Jane Halls and the Robyn Benincasas of the adventure racing communities that raced so many before—they are personal idols of mine. And then you have Mark Burnett on top of this massive undertaking and all of his staff and crew that makes it happen—that’s just crazy to me. Having directed races on a smaller scale before, I can attest the organization that goes into mastering this kind of chaos is unfathomable.

Mark Burnett and Bear Grylles

It started with a ‘Why’. And like all things that start with a Why, there quickly became a Way. Ours was simply. The way our team came together was basically through a Facebook post. I had been training to climb Mount Everest for the past two years and when I saw that Mark Burnett and Bear Grylles were producing the Eco Challenge again, I dropped everything. I put the word out and said basically that I was 100% financially ready and willing to dedicate the next year of training to Eco Challenge, and three people immediately answered the call. Those three people are now my teammates—and together we applied to participate in the toughest race on the planet…and were accepted.

To learn more about the team and our quest to compete in the legendary Eco Challenge, check out the website I’ve set up:

http://www.TeamUSMilitary.com