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3rd Place in the World in What? The Deca Man!

Loli Arosemena
Kale Poland just after finishing the Deca Man.

In Mandeville, Louisiana this past weekend a New Hampshire man placed third in the world in a grueling endurance competition known as the Deca Man. NHPR’s Sean Hurley has the story.

One of the most difficult races 36-year-old Kale Poland of Moultonborough ever endured was a 500-mile ultramarathon – but that was nothing, he says, compared to the Deca Man, which Poland says is “one of the hardest things in sports and there is no question.”

Simply put - the Deca Man is a triathalon a day – 10 days in a row. “And that means that it’s a 2.4 mile swim. 112 mile bike ride. And a 26.2 mile run,” he says, “every day, 10 days in a row.” 

Credit Sean Kelly
Eating during the Deca was never too relaxing, Poland says.

But all those miles aren’t really the point, he says. The punishing 13 to 16 hours a day - running, swimming, biking – are only part of the story. 

For Poland, endurance events like the Deca are more like spiritual pilgrimages. “There are a lot of different states of consciousness that you go through as well,” he says. “I like kind of riding those waves of emotion and consciousness…confronting kind of I guess your physical boundaries. Seeing where those are and then kind of just moving with curiosity past them. You know what happens when you think you're done but you're not really done?”

Kale Poland says he hopes to continue to explore that mystery – after a long, long rest.

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam. An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio. When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at
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