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RunningMan 2023

by: Colby Harris

This past week, I found myself on a whirlwind adventure in Kingston, Georgia. It all started in September when I got wind of an event called RunningMan, a running and wellness festival hosted by the legendary Jesse Itzler. The event caught my attention but I was not going to be able to attend - that was until my friend Sean Poynter called me just 16 hours before the event started. Sean was no longer able to attend and offered me his ticket (I could write a whole blog about Sean and his influence on me but that's another story). So, with 16 hours to spare and a 7 hour car ride to North Georgia, I decided to take a chance and go full send. What I experienced there was nothing short of extraordinary. It was a gathering of like-minded individuals who share a passion for wellness and adventure. Jesse created an environment that I have dreamed of!

From the moment I arrived, I was welcomed with open arms by the incredible people who were as spontaneous as I was. The highlight of the event was undoubtedly the world's largest sauna, a massive wood-fired party that challenged my limits and sparked incredible conversations. For those brave enough, there were cold plunges nearby, providing an exhilarating contrast to the scorching heat. The camaraderie among participants was truly heartwarming, and we bonded over shared stories and newfound friendships. I arrived alone, but after just 36 hours I felt connected to every person there. Day 2 was race day and a chance for every person to thrive in this incubator of motivation and discipline.

One of the most memorable moments of the weekend was deciding to run a half marathon with zero training. When I say zero, I mean ZERO - I have not been on a single run in 2023. While it was physically demanding and pushed me to my limits, it was a sensation I have not experienced since my 100 mile cycle in May of this year. I was there to talk about grit, therefore I had to walk the walk after talking the talk. It felt incredibly liberating to be surrounded by people who didn't care about your past achievements or lack thereof. Everyone just wanted to see you fulfill the goals set for ONE DAY. At RunningMan, it was all about the passion and enthusiasm we shared for pushing our boundaries and embracing new challenges. I came away from the event with a profound realization that in a world where people often judge based on accomplishments, this unique gathering proved that what truly matters is the spirit of adventure and the willingness to chase your dreams, regardless of the odds. RunningMan was a testament to the power of passion, and it's an experience I'll cherish forever.

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