End of the Road: Beyond the Pavement
|Spartan Winter Death Race|
Boone wasn’t a lost hiker on an expedition; or a damsel in distress on an unfamiliar mountain. In fact, she wasn’t even new to this kind of situation. She was 18 hours into what would be a 33 hour race, a Death Race to be exact that she had paid for and traveled to just days earlier. It was an endurance challenge that when all was said and done would involve 3,000 burpees, wood chopping, over a marathon on the mountain, two grueling rounds of Bikram yoga, and submergence under ice-covered water. Boone, who had just acquired her first axe weeks earlier, battled through the snow, fatigue, and exhaustion of the race alongside less than 50 others, roughly 10% being female before she finished. While lost, she ate snow for hydration and followed existing, unmarked trails until some snow mobilers directed her back towards her final destination. Despite being off-course for nearly an hour, she would ultimately emerge as the third place and only female finisher in the race.
|World's Toughest Mudder|
Boone was making a name for herself. Just two months earlier in December, she finished World’s Toughest Mudder in New Jersey in as the second place female – one of only two female participants to not drop out of the over 24 hour challenge. The staggeringly low temperatures and high winds made the course especially painful to navigate for al who braved the conditions. Boone spoke of frozen wetsuits, painfully wind-burnt faces and hands, and hypothermic bodies dropping frequently as the race wore on and the conditions worsened. Starting with a field of over 800, the event would see only 10 finishers. Taking home no prize money, but a 25lb official finisher Kettlebell it rounds out a growing collection of finisher awards she keeps in her downtown Chicago apartment.
The Death Race earned her a skull with her name (the first time her name was spelled incorrectly) scrawled haphazardly across the forehead with a Sharpie. “In my sleep deprived state, I didn’t even realize until I got home to Chicago that they had written “Amanda” instead of “Amelia” on the skull.”
|Death Race Finisher Skull|
|S.E.R.E. Challenge, January 2012|
Not for the faint of heart and in many cases with low finishing rates, Boone says its right up her alley. “I like to constantly push to find, and then expand, my mental and physical limits. These races strip you to your core, and in those moments of utter exhaustion, you gain a new sense of self.”
February March 2012
She plans on continuing her racing with several more challenges in 2012. The Spartan Death Race in June, a notable race on her list, is considered of the toughest endurance challenges in the world and has attracted less than 300 participants annually since 2005 because of it’s reputation for breaking competitors and it’s extreme level of challenge.
Spartan Death Race founder Joe DeSena says, “The Death Race is an event like no other on the planet. The kind of people who come to this event, who actually finish this event have something special, something most people don’t have and we don’t make it easy on them. They keep coming back for more and believe me when I say, they are exceptional human beings.”
Boone is preparing for the June 15th race with her gym training and distance running along with her recent addition of CrossFit. “Call me crazy, but I look forward to my 4:30am wake-up time to hit my training sessions. It’s a stress relief for me, and training for these races is always an experiment in the non-traditional, especially when you live in downtown Chicago.”
|Sunrise at S.E.R.E. Challenge|
[Author’s Note: The End of the Road Series featuring athlete’s in non-traditional endurance sports and events will be a regular feature of Leaving a Path along with other trends in female endurance challenges. Stay tuned.]