By Carrie Adams

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Bryan Selm with his Death Race Finisher Skull, 2010

When I met Bryan Selm, 31, back in March for the Winter Death Race, he left an immediate first impression. In his distinctive Jersey accent (he denies having an accent), he was constantly joking and even admitted openly that he’d never been on snow shoes before.  That would be okay, except that a snow shoe marathon while carrying heavy blocks of wood and a loaded backpack of supplies was one of the first challenges he’d face. I figured that he wouldn’t last very long. As it turns out, I was wrong. Not only did he finish the Winter Race – in 22 hours 41 minutes– but I learned later that he had also completed the Spartan Death Race the previous summer with an impressive 10th place finish of 35 hours and 26 minutes.

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by Carrie Adams

“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.” – Albert Schweitzer

nbI met Nate Brown, 31, at the Winter Death Race this past March. He was holding a rope over his head and I was holding the stop watch that would tick off the brutal 60 minutes he and the other racers would have to keep the rope suspended in the air as part of their first task. Brown and his Albert Einstein School of Medicine classmate Daniel were up from the Bronx for the weekend race. Over the next 28 hours and 5 minutes, Nate’s finishing time, I would see him several times, his demeanor consistently relaxed, unflustered, and calm. He was seemingly unfazed by the physical tasks, sleep deprivation, and mental stress the race is designed to evoke.

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