By Vernon Felton
“Hello, my name is Jay Petervary from Victor, Idaho, 40 years old. I’m heading out tomorrow on my fourth and final Tour Divide Run.”
That’s how this video starts and if that intro is a bit understated and lacks the oomph of, say, a back flip or massive gap jump consider this: the Tour Divide route travels from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Total distance is over 2,700 miles with over 200,000 vertical feet of elevation gain. Damn. Oh, and Petervary is shooting for a record of 15 days and several hours.
This is a hard man and if the sheer numbers don’t convey that fact, consider this statement, which Petervary makes without a trace of irony while discussing his preparations for the trip.
“I’ve changed a few pieces of equipment….this time I’m actually going to use a sleeping bag as opposed to a quilt.”
Wait. Let’s back up a second. You’ve done this three other times, which amounts to 10,800 miles and 800,000 feet of elevation gain, in the wilderness, dodging grizzlies and thunderstorms and, doubtless, the Grim Reaper on his holiday travels, and you’ve never afforded yourself the “luxury” of a fuckin’ sleeping bag? You just wrapped yourself in a blankie every cold and bitter night?
Check out the clip.