by Carrie Adams

227408_10150184271901024_623631023_7018251_2063561_nGrad student Eric Skocaj tried the Death Race two years ago and “failed miserably.”  The now 25 year old from Illnois explains, “I wasn’t training for it, I was talked into it by Andy [Weinberg] and so this time… well, I was talked into doing it again.”  Eric seems conflicted before beginning the event, “I’m not entirely confident I’ll finish it if I’m really honest. I’m going to give it my all, you know, go as long as I can.”  In the fist attempt he didn’t make it too far into the race before his race was over.  “I was under-prepared. I went in with the wrong mentality. Rather than go in and have a good time. I went in angry.”  On one of the first grueling tasks, the river run he continually fell and slipped his way down the river and the trauma to his legs and the frustration made him miss the time cut-off.

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by Carrie Adams

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” -Oscar Wilde


Ray Morvan

Recently, Spartan Race has been covering profiles of the awe-inspiring individuals taking part in the Spartan Death Race.  An endurance event like no other on the planet that has been taking place every year in Pittsfield since 2005.  It’s an event aimed at giving competitors the ultimate challenge in the Green Mountains of Vermont and an opportunity for those brave enough to sign up the chance to find themselves and redefine their lives in a backdrop of unforeseeable challenges.  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show that overcoming is worth the effort required to achieve it and being alive is a state of being where death is just a state of mind.

Ax in hand, Ray Morvan, now 48, hacked away at the stump in the ground for over an hour, using his hands at various points to dig and pry at the roots of the stubborn stump to extract it from the ground.  He’d removed his bib already that was previously pinned to it and now he worked at the stubborn, heavy stump expertly with his ax.  His reward for the task – to carry the heavy piece of wood for the rest of the day.  He would DNF that race at the 11 hour mark – his first attempt at the race in the summer of 2009.

In the winter race the following year, he was told to put together a wheel barrow and then cart 12 logs of firewood up the mountain in deep snow.  With no easy way to push the wheelbarrow in the drifts of snow, he had to improvise in order to navigate the trail with  the heavy logs and cumbersome wheelbarrow to reach the summit.  It was a daunting task.

This summer marks the fifth race for the veteran Death Racer, a mortgage banker from Springfield, VT.  His first attempt, he weighed in at just about 240 pounds and had recently left rehab for treatment of a drug and alcohol addiction.  He was admittedly not ready and when he left at the 11 hour mark, a spark had been ignited.  For a man who nearly died in 2002  from appendicitis and has endured more than a dozen abdominal surgeries since, he’s no stranger to death and he plans on competing in the race until they won’t let him anymore.

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