BOISE, Idaho — There are some people who are able to pull off amazing feats of endurance, perseverance and willpower that just might make people ask, 'How did they do that?' Ben Blessing's feat is one of those.
The band and choir director at Compass Charter School in Meridian just completed the Badwater 135 Ultra Marathon in one of the most hostile places in the world - Death Valley.
Blessing finished the race in 39 hours, 12 minutes and 21 seconds. He has also run dozens of ultramarathons before, but this time he did it to raise money to make sure all of his students can learn to play a band instrument - even if they can't afford one of their own.
On this Sunday's Viewpoint, Blessing sat down with KTVB's Doug Petcash about the grueling challenge he conquered.
"A number of factors. One, it started at 11 p.m. When you're doing these really long races, just staying awake long enough to finish the race can be extremely difficult. I had to run through two nights," he said. "And on top of that, when I started the race at 11 p.m. it was 100 degrees outside already. Full moon which was really nice, I didn't need a headlamp to see, but the next day got into the real heat of the race. It was 115 degrees outside, and that was at mile 70. By the time you've run 70 miles already, you're tired."
Blessing says the race starts at 282 feet below sea level, crosses two mountain ranges and the finish line is at 8,500 feet above sea level.
Tune in to KTVB Idaho's News Channel 7 at 6:30 a.m. to watch Viewpoint, where Blessing explains why it was so important to him to run this so his students can also enjoy a passion for music.
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