Sudbury runner Kris Cacciotti crosses Death Valley National Park in exhausting Speed Project race

Death Valley National Park. Image credit: X/@DeathValleyNPS

A Sudbury runner, Kris Cacciotti from Ontario reportedly participated in a secretive Speed Project relay race from Santa Monica, Calif. to Las Vegas, Nev.

Kris was able to complete the 540-kilometre relay race with a team of sixnners, each taking turns running as the others followed in an RV.

“I just instantly wanted to be a part of it…such a challenge…adventure…team relay part of it is what really drew me,” Cacciotti was reported saying

Neither having official website, nor an official route for the Speed Project, Cacciotti said, an established main route takes runners from the Santa Monica Pier to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, passing through scorching desert heat in Death Valley National Park.

The runners were given a choice to take any other route between both points as long as they don’t run along an interstate highway.

For his part, Cacciotti ran around 87 kilometres, generally covering 11 kilometres each leg.

Mental challenges were more significant, he said, than the physical difficulty of the race as his team had to deal with the desert heat during the long run incuding rain, sun and even snow.

They also had to avoid dogs, Cacciotti said and there were some who tried to run them off the road.

He said that before joining the team he only knew one of the other runners but after the race, they became family to him.

Cacciotti said that even though he has completed the Speed Project, he has more challenges on the horizon, including a CrossFit competition in June and race in Mattawa, Ont. later in the summer.