More than 100 athletes are testing their endurance this week in a unique sporting event in far northern Minnesota.
Competitors set out Monday from International Falls for the Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon. Over the next couple of days, they will travel the 135-mile course by ski, bike or on foot.
Stephen Regenold writes the syndicated Gear Junkies column. After competing a few years ago himself, he found out the grueling event is not for everyone.
"You don't have anyone cheering for you, you have no help, there's no one to melt the snow for your water, there's no one there to help you with anything, you're on your own, it's a wilderness experience, it's sort of a survival experience," Regenold said. "When you're out there in the middle of the night and it's twenty below zero and you're on a dark trail, the physical side of it kind of takes a back seat to the mental edge."
Regenold said not everyone finishes the race. He says in 2007, only ten people completed the full 135-mile course during a period that saw temperatures drop to 35 below.