SufferfestSep 18, 2018
Peanut butter and chocolate. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito. Suffer and festivals? Yes, Sufferfest.
Sufferfest is a bi-annual gathering that brings together middle-aged men from across the country for a day of nearly unimaginable pain (suffer) and outdoor adventure & comradery (festival). The most recent excursion was to Bryce National Park in Utah. 45 miles and 10,000 vertical feet. All of it. In one day. I did it. I survived. It was great and it was awful. And, if they let me, I’ll do it again.
Sufferfest is a creation of two close friends, Rick and Ben. As you might suspect, these are not normal people. In the late 90s, they competed together in the Eco-Challenge in Argentina, an adventure race that spanned multiple days of straight racing involving trekking, canoeing, mountaineering and more. Their stories of joy and pain are bountiful. One might think that now – being in their mid-40s – they moved on from this chapter in their lives. They did not and, instead, they have decided to make ridiculous adventures mildly accessible to others. They’re like a good virus that is a little bit pernicious.
The crazy thing is that it’s getting popular. What started out modestly a few years ago with a few guys hiking the Pacific Crest Trail has now grown into a thing. With each successive trip, the list of interested parties grows. Twenty four of us traveled to Bryce in the spring. Over thirty people are signed up for a trip next month to the Great Range in the Adirondacks.
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