Robyn Benincasa’s Amazing Race

By Matt Swenson, October 18, 2018

On IRONMAN

I was OK. I got to Kona four times and placed in my age group a couple of times. I wasn’t good enough to go pro because I couldn’t swim well. I was not a great runner either, honestly. In a way, I am glad I was never good enough to be pro because then I never would have left and become an adventure racer, and that was what I was meant to do.

On Adventure Racing

It’s not thrilling at all. It’s just gnarly all the stuff you have to get through: fever, bacteria, leeches, mud, wearing the same clothes for six days, not brushing your teeth. But it’s crazy how fun the game is. You have to outthink and outstrategize the competition. It’s like 4D chess on a physical level; it’s fun to be the best in the world at it.

On Racing Nonstop

It’s not hard to race for 24 hours. It’s harder to race six or seven or eight days. It gets real on that second or third day. That’s where the real teamwork has to come in because you can’t do it alone. It takes months to recover and feel normal again because you were so far down physically and emotionally.

The Toll It Took

I did 40 six- to 10-day nonstop adventure races over 17 years. I was just wrecked—but don’t think I’d have it any other way.

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