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By Clare Morin

Stan Lee sits by the campfire on the long rest day and considers what it is that pushed him though seven 250-kilometer races in one calendar year. It began in March 2010 and included the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. Then he did the Roving Race in Australia, a 100-kilometer race in North America and a 70-kilometer one in Scotland. He has managed to complete six RacingThePlanet events in the past 12-month period. The man is nothing short of an enigma.


Lee explains that he had turned 50 in 2010, and felt the need to push himself. “2010 was a mid-life crisis of sorts,” he admits. So he went on to experience the most extraordinary year of his life. “The biggest thing was all the traveling,” he says. “I really enjoyed going to all of the different countries and seeing all of the different cultures. The Gobi desert was one of my favorites!”


Lee was born and raised in Vancouver Island, Canada, and he still lives there today. He was a 20-year old in search of a challenge when he first took on a marathon. That led him to his first ultramarathon in 2007. But what makes this Ozzie’s story all the more compelling is that he also has a job amid all these adventures: Stan Lee has his own practice as a dentist.


“I’m not sure how I’m able to work with all these races,” he admits. “But I’ve been able to pull it off. One bonus is that I’m my own boss, so can take off as much time as I need. I love being a dentist!”


One would imagine that his patients also thoroughly love having him as their dentist. He must make a wonderful storyteller as his captive audience lies there, mouths clamped open, as he entertains them with stories about his adventures out in the wilds of the world.


“They always assume I must be racing cars, no one quite understands that I am racing on foot through amazing countries,” he says of his patients. “I always have to explain what it is I will actually be doing.”


Yet, despite his extensive experience, Lee says he is having a challenging time here in Nepal. He says it’s the hardest race he’s ever competed in, second to Australia. “The climb, the terrain, it’s all been quite intensive, but I love all the kids,” he adds, ever the positive thinker.


It’s the cultural aspects that have made this race the most memorable for him. “This race seems to be more cultural, we are running through more towns and the people are more involved, coming out to support and cheer the runners on throughout the race. This has been a very fun race in a sense of all of the local support.”


But like all endurance athletes, Lee isn’t quite ready to stop. When asked about his future plans, he says he’s “just taking everything one step at a time,” but admits that he’s already got his eye on Jordan 2012. Those patients of his had better be eating their greens.

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