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Radiolab: Limits – Fantastic Podcast Episode about Endurance Athletes

I’m a sucker for a good endurance sports story, and more often than not, when it involves people demonstrating incredible perseverance, I tend to get a bit emotional (think NOVA Marathon Challenge or Spirit of the Marathon). The other day a friend of mine on dailymile posted a link to a podcast episode from WYNC’s Radiolab that told several stories of people testing the limits of human the human body, both physical and mental. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to getting a little choked up while listening to this. Here’s the episode description from the Radiolab website:

Jad and Robert talk to two Ironman competitors, Julie Moss and Wendy Ingraham to find out how they do what they do. Physiologist Dr. David Jones tells us how to trick the voice in your head that tells you you’re exhausted. Then we follow two men, Patrick Autissier and Jure Robic, as they bike across the country as fast as they can in a crazy race called The Ride Across America. Producer Lulu Miller brings us their story and New York Times writer Daniel Coyle walks us through the process of physical and mental breakdown RAAM competitors face.

This is an absolutely amazing podcast episode, and one that I would highly recommend that you listen to – I will never forget Julie Moss’ recounting of how her mind told her to “Get Up” when her body was breaking down at the end of her Ironman. Pure inspiration.

You can listen to the audio via the embedded player below:

Alternatively, you can download this episode of Radiolab from Itunes:

Finally, here are some links to videos and races referred to in this podcast episode.
Julie Moss’ legendary 1982 Ironman Finish
Bicycle Dreams–The True Story of the Ride Across America


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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Yancy Lent says:

    Thanks for the overview. I heard about it on the radio this morning (maybe a NPR rebroadcast in the Boston area). Can’t wait to listen.

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