I hadn't planned to write a followup column to my June 12th story on Paul Habenicht, the former active Marine who now holds a desk job in Charlotte and had entered a bizarre endurance race in Vermont.
There was such an outcry among readers, however, to follow up on whatever happened to Paul that the result was this column about Paul's trials and tribulations in last month's Death Race.
The short version: Paul didn't finish the race. He got 40 hours into it and then, basically, he felt like he got tricked by organizers only a few hours before the race was going to end (although no one knew that at the time). He did quite well in those 40 hours, considering -- he wasn't going to win, but he was in the Top 20 (out of a field of 156) for most of the way.
Mind games are all part of the deal at the Death Race, however. I'd never, ever want to do it, but some people are wired to want to test their personal limits constantly. Paul is one of them -- a great guy who, I bet, will at one point return to the Death Race again, thinking of it as unfinished business.
6 months ago