A few weeks ago, during the Polar Vortex, Ryan Wanless was the baddest man in North America. Or, at least he was the coldest.
Ryan endured what most people would deem impossible, surviving 56 hours in brutally cold -30 degree temperatures while running 135 miles from the border of Canada deep into the Northern Minnesotan woods.
In ultra running, last place is its own special honor. DFL is not considered the “slowest”, rather he or she is the person who withstood the elements and battled the course longer than any other racer. Ryan got 13 out of 13 finishers in a race where 80% of participants called it quits. A race where newbies generally do not make it. He battled the odds, the extreme cold, frozen water, hallucinations in the deep, dark woods and , yes, he even conquered his candy packages (which he had to figure out how to open with only his mouth).
All to call himself a finisher of the Arrowhead 135- “the Coldest Gosh Darn Race Anyplace”. A race that was intentionally scheduled to traverse the coldest place in the United States through the coldest part of winter. One that only people tough as nails even attempt and one that only frozen outlaws fulfill.
In this episode, Ryan shares it all: How he trained for this beast, what foods refuse to freeze, how he copes with fear in dangerous situations, how he overcame his lowest moment, and what it takes to stay warm when it’s -60 with windchill!
Enjoy the episode! Ryan really is a shining example of someone making the impossible possible!
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