Ah, spring! Here at last. That glorious season in which birds chirp, trees bud, and nearly all New Year’s resolutions (like, say, exercise more) are officially, cheerfully forgotten.
Unless, of course, you’re Mike Stemple. This Glee Gum-chewer will be celebrating spring with a 155-mile footrace across a desert.
That’s right, gum chews. 155 MILES! Across a DESERT!
In addition to being an artist, technologist, inventor, entrepreneur, and enthusiastic Glee Gum fan, Mike Stemple is an adventure runner. This Sunday, March 29 he begins the Atacama Crossing, a seven-day race across the Atacama Desert in Chile.
The Atacama Crossing is considered one of the top endurance competitions in the world and takes place on some of its toughest terrain. For starters, the Atacama Desert is 50 times more arid than California’s Death Valley. Temperatures can exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, then dip dramatically in the evening. Though provided with water and a communal tent for sleeping, competitors like Mike must carry all their own equipment and food. In his case, that includes 3 packs of Glee Gum!
We first became acquainted with Mike a few months ago, when he emailed us to share a story about Glee Gum and dentistry. One of his molars had broken while biting into trail mix (there was a pebble in it!) When his dentist couldn’t see him right away, he tried to reduce the discomfort with dental wax– but to no avail. Then he thought of Glee Gum! He chewed it up, pulled off a chunk, and molded it into his broken tooth.
Mike claims his quick fix worked like a charm, stayed in for two full days, and even impressed his dentist! “Regular gum does not work, only Glee Gum,” he adds. Since then, Mike buys Glee Gum for both chewing and first aid kits!
To learn more about Mike, check out his website at IAmNotAfraid.com. You can also see an interactive picture of his race pack here, track his progress once the race starts here, and follow general race news here.
Stay tuned later this week for an exclusive Q & A with Mike about adventure running. Maybe he’ll inspire you to give it a go!