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Local Man to Enter the 'Spartan Death Race'

Yahoo Contributor Network

What do you get when you combine Fear Factor, The Amazing Race, Survivor, and the triathlon? You get something called "The Spartan Death Race".

That's right, a 'Death Race.'

"It's called a death race because you may die." founder, Joe DeSena told the New York Times.

If you've never heard of it, It's a race that consists of very strenuous tasks, from very outlandishly tough physical tasks, to very tedious or redundant mental tasks. Often times, the two are combined.

Usually, It takes place over a 24-hour period and is designed so that it's very difficult to finish--if anyone finishes, that is.

An ESPN article speaks of one woman who entered, Michelle Roy, but ended her particular race (which took more than 45 hours for the finishers to complete.) falling just short after slipping on a muddy incline, and banging her head 27 hours into the race. Her limp, unconscious body, had to be rushed to the hospital.

That's only one of many ways folks leave a grueling event such as this. The majority end up quitting.

A section of one of last year's races involved the participants crawling on their belly under barbed wire through a watery/muddy, rocky, insect-infested sink-hole. When the participants reached the other end of the ditch some 200 yards later, they were to find a tree stump labeled with their name, dig it up out of the ground (roots and all), and drag it back the opposite way through the ditch another 200 yards.

Quite a grueling series of tasks, eh?

DeSena told the New York Times, "The kind of person who signs up for the death race is the kind of person who has no limits; they're just basically a lunatic. The kind of person that finishes, they're an extraordinary person."

The local Pennsylvania man who will test the level of his extraordinary physicality, goes by the name of Jeff McBride.

He used to be a full-time personal trainer/boot camp instructor and nutrition coach in West Chester, PA, but currently holds a position as a systems engineer and wants to keep his physical activity up.

"Sadly [I'm] sitting behind a desk all day, every day." McBride said to me in an email. "So instead of a career, fitness is now my passion and hobby."

So why not take a jog around the block or shoot a few hoops instead of enter a race that threatens your life, if you want to stay fit?

"I want to verify that I have the mental strength to successfully complete a course that unknown." McBride told me. "This way I have no way to prepare for it and the mental aspect will be all I have to keep pushing forward."

Quite the warrior, if I must say so myself.

Kudos to you, my friend. May you have the best of fortune.

Visit the Spartan Race's website at youmaydie.com.

Vincent Heck is a life-long resident of the Philadelphia area, a featured ' Yahoo! Sports Contributor , and author of the novel, betterHALF. Follow him on Twitter: @HeckPhilly.

Email Vincent at: vheckphilly@yahoo.com.

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