An Adventure Racing Addict

Charlie Engle Can't Stop Competing

Charlie Engle admits he's addicted to adventure racing. And he knows something about addiction. Eight years ago ,Engle kicked drugs and alcohol for good. "To me adventure racing is challenging, but not nearly as challenging as staying sober." he says.

Engle, 37, was one of the stronger racers in last year's Eco-Challenge. But this year, he and the rest of his team found themselves in last place after the first leg of the race.

But their goal was simply to finish the race, not to break any speed records. And, after days of foregoing sleep to make up time, Engle was reaching his physical limit.

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Eight days and 250 miles into a race that had already been won by another team, Engle's feet were ripped to shreds. He was in severe pain, and the only way he could continue was to take a painkiller.

As a recovering addict, he hadn't taken narcotics in eight years. But this time he took the shot. Over the following three days, Engle and his team struggled through tests of hiking, swimming, rock climbing, rappelling, canoeing, and even scuba diving, before crossing the finish line in 34th place.

Of the three teams 48 Hours followed, Engle's team was the only one to finish. Afterwards, Engle was proud, but also relieved to be done: "I'm glad I did it, but glad to have it done."

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