Adventure is something that Chicagoan Denise Sauriol is passionate about. She’s run 30 marathons and recently an ultra marathon. So it came as no surprise that instead of contently passing her 40th birthday with a party as most adults do, Sauriol decided to celebrate the occasion by giving herself a trip to Antarctica to run the Antarcica Marathon.
Conquering her fear of open water, Sauriol hopped on a boat and spent two and a half days at sea on her way to the icy shelf.
“Everyone should visit there, it is the most beautiful place I have ever been,” says Sauriol. Beautiful, but dangerous. During the marathon, runners had to scamper up a 16 percent inclined glacier. The icy course caused concussions, broken hips and a broken wrist. “I fell five times. We had to run up and down this thing two times, it was so slippery, people were falling all over the place.”
Sauriol ended up finishing the marathon in third place, although she led the race for a major part of the time.
Todd Lewis was an average guy. He went to college in South Chicago and settled into a sales job after graduation. He had a nice, normal, average life. That is until the night former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz spoke at a sales meeting Lewis was attending. Holtz’s message that night was simple “do the things that you want to do by having a plan.”
Since that chance encounter, Lewis has run with the bulls in Spain, climbed to the Everest base camp, run 15 marathons in one year and taken his mother on a surprise trip to Dublin, Ireland.
“When we were kids, my mom always talked about going to Ireland. So, one day I surprised her with tickets and told her to take some time off of work. She watched me run the Dublin Marathon. She was so happy,” Lewis said.
Within the next five years, Lewis hopes to summit Everest, a far cry from “spinning his wheels” at a sales job.