There is something about working in the outdoors that lends
itself to endurance sports: ironman races, marathons, biathlons, triathlons, tough mudders, and
beyond (dogsled races anybody?).
Kale Poland, AMC Backcountry Caretaker of 2011, takes all
that to a whole other level as an ultra endurance athlete. A few days ago he
completed what’s known as a DECATRIATHALON!
Yup. That’s the physical equivalent of doing ten triathlon
competitions. This translates into 20 hours in a pool, grueling hours running and cycling,
and more than anything else, a pure joy and love of the challenge races like
this require. It is 14 days (or less) of constant physical competition, and very little sleep.
When Kale interviewed for us for the caretaker position in
the winter of 2011, he downplayed his interest and experience in endurance
sports. It was only over the course of the season as a caretaker that we learned
more about what kind of athlete Kale was (and also his humility at his own athletic gifts). He would ride his bike to and from
Pinkham to the trailhead for Garfield, with his full pack of gear, and often he
would beat the caretakers who had cars. He was a trail runner, an excellent
trailworker. And, of course, he never really let on about his super athleticism
(even during our annual MidSummer kickball game, although we did see his competitiveness manifest). He mentioned his interest in
training for the deca-triathlon, and I personally could not (and still can not) fathom the physical
challenge and rigor of such an event.
We are proud of Kale’s accomplishments as an endurance
athlete. This year he was one of three competitors in this (insane) event, and
is one of the few competitors under the age of 30 to have completed the event.
Read more about the reporting on Kale’s progress here
And you can find Kale’s own website portal here
Labels: Backcountry Caretaker