Jarmo Pitkanen, a 31-year-old from Denmark, is attempting this week to complete his third multiple-day endurance footrace. This one, the 132-mile Manaslu Mountain Trail Race, is taking him across the Himalayas over seven days, starting in Katmandu in Nepal and traversing snow-capped mountains near Tibet.
In addition to a pack of about 45 pounds of provisions, Pitkanen is carrying extra weight. He is obese. And that is a part of the challenge.
A burly salesman with a round face and belly, Pitkanen is on a quest to be one of the world’s rare obese endurance athletes.
“I think the most interesting part is it’s mind over matter,” he said before setting out on the Himalayan race. “That it’s a challenge to do something that no one else has done before.”