Several weeks ago I had the great pleasure of meeting Eric Delahaye when he attended a trail run event I had organized. I knew Eric via Facebook, but this was the first time meeting him in person. Eric is absolutely someone I consider to be a superhuman. His participation in events such as The Worlds Toughest Mudder, as well as other OCR's was impressive. However what's most impressive is his résumé before all of that.
Here is some of the highlights of the life of Eric Delahaye.
French born on 11/29/1965 and raised in South France on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Early on Eric was interested in hiking and running through the woods as well as boulder fields and shore cliffs. He also participated in the more team oriented game of rugby which lead, eventually, to join the French Navy and volunteers for the Commando De Marine ( Navy S.E.A.L )
Eric graduated second in his class and spent the next 2 years with Team Trepel. in the service he traveled most of North Eastern Africa and the Middle East during the events of the mid 80’s in Lebanon. After falling over 150 feet with a blown up parachute and spending 6 months in the hospital and 3 surgeries later, Eric was discharged honorably after a parachute accident. Astonishingly, he took a year of therapy to come back into running and opened up with the famous 5 summit race in Switzerland of 31k with over 35000 feet of elevation gain and loss. Finally back on track, back to rugby and all other activities tied to be extreme skiing, stand up jet skiing, free falling,orienteering, mountain biking.... and good living.
Eric lived in the Caribbean for 11 years developing new sets of skills like night apnea fishing on reefs, apnea hunting at over 30 feet. cliff diving, off trail running and down hill running. as well as some paint ball which caused the fearless Mr Delahaye to jump in an empty elevator shaft of a five story building and 5 broken ribs later ended up skiing in Vail for 3 weeks.
In 2010 Eric lost feeling in both legs as well as huge amount of pain in the lower back that put him in bed for over 2 months. After treatment Eric realized he had 5 bulged disks, one of them broken in 3 pieces. Surgery isn't an option but rebuilding core strength and conditioning was the option. Two weeks after starting to walk again Eric signed up for the TM Jersey in November and, with no training, finished in the top 5 % of participants! How amazing is that? From that day on, it never stopped, not always successfully, but always trying, pushing the boundaries... TM’s, WTM 2011, WDR, Spartans, Boot camps and ultra running.... what a great new experience to run with no ends 50k, 50 miles or even 100 miles. Eric is a Superhuman.
Eric's story amazed me, what an incredible journey so far. And it's only getting better. Eric has created The Wissahickon 12 Hours Challenge.
This event is a all out endurance challenge in which you will be facing all kind of natural obstacles on a 13.1 mile loop course for 12 hours.
The race is limited to 250 participants due to parking space and organisation space.This isn't a Beginner's or weekend warrior' s race !!! Think twice before registering, join us on the training run and be prepared to push harder than you ever had !!!
From Eric- Running, natural obstacles, time, distance, weather condition, challenges etc.... The perfect combination for an old warrior wanted to feel alive... I then did my first run in Wissahickon and came across the Native American Indian statue and read some about it as well as the Native American all over the US. and then I connected the dots that, those guys were doing what we are doing for fun but they were doing it for a hunting, communicating and just proving themselves as warriors. running amazing distances and just going through what was in front of them challenged by wild life and natural terrain, weather, time and distances.... this is what I would like to bring back in the fore front, this is what I am bringing with the Wissahickon 12 hours challenge this is what my logo is... a naked running warrior..
Register or learn more about the challenge here.http://www.active.com/running/shawmont-pa/wissahickon-12-hours-challenge-second-edition-2012