SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - While many San Diegans are trying to escape the brutal heat wave hitting the region, a local ER doctor is embracing the heat and using it to his advantage.
Doctor Russell Reinbolt has been training for a grueling 135-mile endurance race that will have him running in triple digit temperatures.
Dr. Reinbolt, who works at Sharp Memorial Hospital, will take off on the Badwater Ultramarathon – 135 miles in 48 hours.
For most of us it sounds insane, but Dr. Reinbolt said it’s all in one’s head.
“I like to have something to work towards. I just love making self-sacrifice and challenging myself. [For] Ultramarathons, you set a goal, you train. You make sacrifices. You get stronger. You get fitter,” he said.
For the 52-year-old father and doctor, this will be his fourth Badwater Ultramarathon, although, every year he has said it will be his last.
Dr. Reinbolt over the years has saved motivational messages and keeps a graveyard of all the shoes he has gone through.
“I go up often a half size about every 50 miles because your feet swell,” he said.
Dr. Reinbolt will run from the lowest elevation in North America, Badwater, Death Valley to Mt. Whitney in 48 hours – without stopping.
In relentless 120-degree heat, he said he uses “the analogy of two hair dryers being blown in your face the whole time.”
To train himself, Dr. Reinbolt ran 125 miles from Santa Monica to San Diego to mentally prepare himself. He also trained in saunas.
“Everyone has adversity in life, but how you deal with adversity is what defines you,” he said.
Some call Dr. Reinbolt crazy and insane. He calls it “extreme.” An extreme goal he hopes will be encouraging to others.
“If one can tell themselves to stay positive and keep pushing and keep pushing eventually the goal will be accomplished.”
After finishing the race on Wednesday morning, Dr. Reinbolt plans to travel to Tahoe with his family to relax.
The run also donates to charity. Dr. Russell Reinbolt is donating to San Diego’s Down Syndrome Action. They are a partner with Rady Children’s Hospital – which created the first down syndrome center in southern California.