Friday, April 1, 2016

Meet Your Neighbor: Ken Herzog Tackles SISU IRON

 2015: Ken won the IRON award,voted by the
staff & peers as most inspirational racer
One of our Clairemont neighbors is participating for the third time in an incredible endurance event, the SISU IRON.  It's a 30-hour extreme endurance event that includes a variety of challenges for both individuals and the team. Here, in his own words, is Kenneth Herzog to explain why he chooses to participate in such a grueling event.

I am participating in the annual SISU IRON, a 30+ extreme endurance event held in the mountains of Monrovia. I was first introduced to the IRON by being involved with TEAM SISU, a group of people of all walks and types that push themselves to be better. SISU is a Finnish word that roughly translates to overcoming adversity by reaching deep inside and exhibiting great perseverance and fortitude.

I will be tested in many mental and physical tasks. Hiking, swimming, running, and archery, to name a few, and various arduous tasks during the non-stop event, like carrying cinder blocks a long way. In addition, participants do community work during the 30 hours, like clearing brush for the Boy Scouts at whose camp the event takes place.

The IRON is a unique life-changing event in which you get what you put into it... just like life. There are times where you must work by yourself and times when you must work as a team. No matter what you must give your all. In doing so we learn more and more about ourselves along our journey.

My least favorite part by far is the cold. I'm born and raised here so the cold does not suit me well and the event usually starts off in Frog Pond, a man-made moss-covered pond that does little to warm the bones.
Carrying cinder block for 3 miles
My favorite part by far are the people and working with those people. As the African proverb goes.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far. Go together."  Although many times we have to overcome adversity by ourselves, we are never alone.

Every year it is inspiring to watch people struggle, persevere and overcome obstacles and hardship in which they also learn more about themselves and what they are capable of. I aspire to inspire and to teach others and my daughters that you truly can overcome anything even in some of the darkest times.

Sponsors are always welcome, as the need for shoes and gear can be pricey but it is mainly self funded event. Yes, we pay to put ourselves through extreme conditions.

I personally will run for my buddy in the I Run 4 Michael program. An inspirational program where athletes and racers such as myself run for those who cannot.

This will be my 3rd year participating and every year my hopes in doing this event are to inspire others and let my 2 daughters know that really anything can be overcome and achieved thru hard work and perseverance. Through it all If I learn a little bit more about myself then that's always a plus. :) 

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