The why and how of endurance athletes

Minnesota has one of the oldest and, potentially, coldest endurance competitions. The Arrowhead 135 race, which sets racers on a trek from International Falls to Tower, Minn. Like the name says, it’s 135 miles and is known as one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges. It takes place in January so temperatures are often well below freezing.

On the “easier” side of things is the Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Ultramarathon, from Carlton, Minn. to Duluth and back. It’s considered one of the oldest trail ultramarathons in the nation and is happening on July 27.

So, why do Minnesotans put themselves through such rigorous tests of endurance? And what does it take?

Guest host Dan Kraker spoke with three guests about the why, and the how—what is happening in the body during these feats of endurance?

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Ken Krueger is the director of the Arrowhead 135 race.

Alexandera Houchin, Minnesotan and winner of the 2019 Tour Divide, an over 2,000 mile bike even from Banff, Canada to Mexico. She set the record for women’s singlespeed.

Dr. Michael Joyner, a Mayo anesthesiologist and physiologist with a special interest in pushing the limits of what the body can do.

Use the audio player above to listen to the program.