Moose is a guy in Italy I sort of know, if hanging out with someone on the interwebz counts as sort of knowing him. If there’s a World’s Coolest Guy contest, he’s going to at least make it to the swimsuit competition at the end of the show, although he will refuse to wear the white Speedo.
He lives with the Countess FiFi and pretends to be a chemist of some sort. But mostly he runs. Ridiculous, mind-boggling, crazy-climb ultramarathons.
Which brings us to the Tor des Géants. It’s a 330km race with about 14 miles of elevation gain. Look up at the sky. Draw a line 14 miles up. That’s where he went. The cutoff time is 150 hours. Pause there. 150 hours? To me, that’s a red flag for “DON’T DO THIS RACE YOU IDIOT IT’S TOO HARD WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING!!!!” Lots of events throw out the “world’s hardest race” label. These guys don’t need to. It’s a Beast.
Which, of course, is undoubtedly the reason he did it. And spectacularly well.
If you know Moose, you know he’s always smiling no matter how much he’s suffering, and his photos tend to have snowcapped mountains or some other postcard setting behind him, and all of his running compadres are disturbingly attractive in that vaguely European sense. So you get used to Moose photos being amazing in an “oh, these aren’t real people this is a shot staged by some Italian fitness magazine” sort of way.
But with this image, the contest for Greatest Finish Line Photo Ever is over.
Why do I run? Why do I go out day after day to log pointless miles in an endless quest to get somewhere I don’t even know exists? Because of that feeling of giving your absolute maximum effort, and going beyond that, and then going beyond that, and then some more, and then a little bit extra, and then dying, and then being born again, and dying, and coming back as a ghost, and hitting incredibly lows followed by spectacular highs and and then even greater lows and more soaring highs and then finding the meaning of life out on some singletrack and then losing it somewhere between aid stations and then finding it again in the bottom of your pack and finally oh my god finally seeing that finish line and knowing your life will never be the same if you can just live long enough to cross it. And then lifting your arms and looking to the heavens. And then it’s over and you get to sit down.
That’s why Moose runs. That’s why I run. That’s why we all run.
Well done, Davide. Today’s run is for you. My legs will be running at 0 feet of elevation. But my head will be in the clouds.
p.s. Someone asked him what he was thinking as he crossed the finish line. His response: “First thought … let me think … “I really need a tinkle.”
Life is all about priorities …