At the end of the three-day Ultraman 520K Canada competition in Penticton, Langley athlete Jason Manning decided to celebrate by staying up late, until 10:30 p.m.
That happened to be very late after six months of going to bed as early as 6 p.m. to train for the Penticton contest— preparation that featured a 5,000-calories-a-day diet and 25 hours-a-week workouts.
The effort paid off. The 28-year-old Manning finished in fourth place with an overall time of 25 hours, 43 minutes and 11 seconds.
The gruelling ultra-distance event drew 32 competitors from as far away as Guatemala, Spain and Australia. Two did not complete the race.
The event was won by course record holder Dave Matheson of Penticton, 47, with a time of 21.37.27, beating the record set in 2013 of 21.47.47.
Manning, who adopted a “plant-based” raw food diet after he began taking part in extreme distance races, estimated he consumed 24,000 calories over the three days.
“It’s a journey like no other” Manning said.
The first day, Aug. 4, began with a 10-kilometre swim in Skaha Lake followed by a 150 km bike ride through the South Okanagan, over the Richter Pass, and ending back in Kenyon Park in Okanagan Falls.
Day two featured a 276 km bike route from Penticton to Osoyoos.
The last day ended with an 84.4 km run from Princeton Memorial Park in Summerland.
The event will be dedicated to the memory of Penticton competitor Bruce Schoenne, who recently passed away after a battle with liver cancer.
The day after the race, following his “late” night, Manning said he was “sore” and found stairs a bit of a challenge, but had no problem getting around.
Manning is no stranger to extreme distances.
His website, jasonmanning.org, notes that he has cycle-toured over 30,000 kilometres worldwide, including New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and Iceland.
And hiked the Annapurna Circuit and the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal.
And he competed in the Fat Dog 120 race in B.C’s Cascades mountains.
Manning said the appeal of extra-long races is the way they takes him past mental, physical and emotional limits.
“It becomes more of a spiritual journey than a physical journey,” he said.