Surviving the Death Race

Surviving the Death Race

Who will win the surreal 24-hour endurance marathon that's described as a cross between 'Survivor' and 'Jackass'? (NYT)

Veterans of triathlons, adventure racers and self-proclaimed “lunatics” travel to Pittsfield, Vt. to navigate a grueling course that challenges both mind and body. Strenuous and often absurd tasks face 49 starters — only 10% will finish.

As colorfully depicted in this New York Times video, racers crawl through a muddy trench under barbed wire, excavate a tree stump, and then crawl back dragging it behind. That same muddy stump and a wheel-less bicycle are toted along for most of the event, providing a visually disconcerting montage. Wheels and a bike chain are only obtained by completing other nasty tasks. You can’t help but feel sorry for these guys.

But that’s not all. Other challenges test fatigued brains, such as reciting a list of U.S. presidents from memory. It takes a Marine — in fact, two of them — to win.

CHANNEL: New York Times

Length: 10:00

Erik Olsen, Jacob Templin and Michael Brick