Brave LA firefighter enters 'Death Race' for noble cause
Anyone who has ever had the audacity to compete in the annual Spartan Death Race enters only if he or she has already lived a full life and is not concerned about compromising it.
The event is a true testament to how much the body, mind and spirit can tolerate over a 48-hour period.
Just how dangerous this ultimate test of human endurance can be is indicated boldly by the organizers' website at YouMayDie.com.
Regardless, an estimated 300 men and woman have signed up, including a Los Angeles firefighter and paramedic who thinks he's got the right stuff to compete against some of the toughest and strongest athletes on Earth.
The local hero's goal is more than reaching the finish line; his focus is all about supporting a noble cause.
Steve Stern, a 39-year old professional triathlete who works at Fire Station #62 in Mar Vista, has been training relentlessly for the 40-mile race to help raise needed funds for the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Fireman's Fund, an organization that provides emergency aid to families of firefighters who have been injured, disabled or killed in the line of duty.
The first person to finish the obstacle course in less than 24 hours will walk away with a $100,000 reward. The 2012 Spartan Death Race runs from June 15 to June 16 in Pittsfield, Vermont.
In previous competitions, athletes have had to carry 20-pound, splintering tree stumps for hours on end, chop thick wood non-stop for 120 minutes, worm their way through filthy mud beneath the cutting teeth of barbed wire and negotiate a treacherous 2,200-foot climb to a mountaintop.
"The key things are the endurance, the difficulty of the challenges and the mental component," Stern told the Venice-Mar Vista Patch. "It's more like a survival-type challenge with a number of tasks."
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