Endurance racer Ben Bolitho loves pushing his body to extreme limits.
The 37-year-old Nelson man recently returned from the 2018 Enduro World Championships in Sydney where he competed in a 24-hour obstacle race.
Ben ran through the Blue Mountains in Lower Portland from midday on Saturday June 9 till midday on Sunday June 10, averaging a lap time of 2 hours 13minutes to win silver in the men’s 30-39-year division.
He managed 11 laps of the 11.6km course which included more than 30 obstacles.
“They varied from walls, to rope climbs, traverses, carries, pretty much any kind of military-inspired obstacle you can think of.”
Ben says he had a feeling that the longer it would go the better he would do, but did not expect to finish just one spot behind German Fabian Sinning.
“I was pretty pleased with the result, but I definitely surprised myself with a podium finish.”
Ben says he went through some life changes a few years ago and his affinity for obstacle racing began at The Wairua Warrior.
He has since competed in some of the world’s most gruelling endurance events including the Coast to Coast and the Inca Trail in Peru.
However, he says he enjoys obstacle racing most because “it gives you more to do than just running.”
Ben’s training regime can include up to seven hours a day of exercise.
This includes a 50km run, which takes Ben about five hours, followed by a couple of hours of climbing training.
Ben says the body held up well after the 24-hour ordeal.
“On Monday I probably looked a bit funny when I walked, but I’m pretty happy with how it’s come through.”