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Local veteran and teacher heads to Vermont for Death Race

Local veteran and teacher heads to Vermont for Death Race

Luke Kovacs, a Physical Education teacher from Bethesda, MD, plans to tackle the unknown on June 26, 2014 when he competes with 300 other athletes in a race designed to challenge the mind and body - the Death Race.

It might sound funny, but this race is no joke. Each year, fewer than 10 percent of participants finish. And that is exactly what race organizers Andy Weinberg and Joe Desena want to happen.

"During the Death Race, competitors may be asked to chop wood for 2-hours, carry a 20-lb stump around for hours, lift 10-30 lbs rocks for 5-hours, build a fire, cut a bushel of onions, crawl through mud under barbed wire, or after 20-hours of racing, memorize the names of the first 10 U.S. Presidents or a Bible verse, hike to the top of a mountain and recite them back in order."

Although this will be his 15th extreme challenge, Kovacs does not underestimate how difficult it will be.

"The Death race is the type of physically and psychologically challenging event you just hope to finish in one piece," said Kovacs.

A typical training day for this type of event consists of various calisthenics, followed by an intense run and maybe a rock or log carry. Among the more unusual items participants are instructed to bring, you will find four yards of Buckskin and porcupine quills. Earlier this year, Kovacs competed in a 100-mile race in West Virginia, one of his most extreme challenges yet.

"There is no perfect training regimen when you're talking about a Death Race. All you can do is prepare to work hard and be pushed beyond your limits - all in the name of pride," he said.

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