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Perseverance: ‘The Death Race’ Experience

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Justin Avioli has participated in The Death Race in the past and is hopeful that this year, he will be successful.

Justin Avioli has participated in The Death Race in the past and is hopeful that this year, he will be successful.

Editor’s Note: This content is strictly the opinion of the writer, Bellaire resident Justin Avioli, age 26, and not necessarily of The Buzz. We hope you enjoy his perspective on the experience of participating in a physically and mentally challenging event. 

“Do you want to quit?”

Race directors of The Death Race will ask this question repeatedly. Nothing is off limits for a race that wants you to fail. In fact, it encourages it.

The Green Mountains of Vermont offer a spectacular backdrop for one of the strangest, most difficult races ever imagined. The Death Race is a mental and physical challenge presented by the creators of the Spartan Race Series. It is billed as 48+ hour adventure race, in which 90 percent of people who start the race will not finish.

No race is ever the same and details about the race are non-existent. That unknown around the race is on purpose. Any details we do know are inferred. We know that last year, finishers were off the course in roughly 70 hours. We know that in the past, participants faced 3-mile swims, 4 hours of rolling, and thousands of burpees.

Surprisingly enough, writing this blog post is my first challenge. We have been tasked to contact a local media source to “tell the world” that we will be racing. The penalty for not completing the challenge is roughly 4 hours of burpees with a weight vest to be assessed at the start of the race. It’s as if they are already trying to get in racers’ heads.

There is an old saying in the endurance community that “Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will. Feel the fear and do it anyway!” The race is about testing limits. It forces you to the point where deep down, every fiber of your being tells you to quit, but for some reason you persevere. It’s enlightening.

I have previously attempted to complete the challenge and I have failed. It is for this reason, and a strange disregard for my parents’ sanity, that I plan to attempt this challenge yet again. This year, with experience on my side I plan to conquer this challenge.

In 2 weeks, I refuse to quit. I am doing it. I am going to finish.

Curious to see what The Death Race is like? Watch this video to get a taste of the experience. Have you ever had a similar experience? Share your stories here.

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