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AFTER HOURS: Roughing It

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Mark Anderson’s childhood vacations often involved backpacking or camping and instilled in him an early love of the outdoors. As an adult, his zeal for open-air adventures led him to extreme activities like parachuting and cliff diving.

But a growing family (he’s married with four children) swayed him to try less intense exploits. “I’ve had to curtail some of my crazy activities,” he says.

Now Anderson is into running major marathons and trains alone as early as 4 a.m. five days a week. He’s currently prepping for a 50-mile race in February in the Everglades, followed by a 100-mile run in May.

Anderson sees the marathons as a way to push his limits. “I like to test myself,” he says. “No matter how much you are hurting, if you can push through the current pain you can see your goal through.”

Stagnating is not an option. If he gave up on his outside adventures, he says, “I don’t think I’d be living as full of a life. … I think I’m a better dad and husband because of it.”

While Anderson’s spirited lifestyle is something his family can appreciate, he says his wife is happy that his days of extreme escapades are over. “She’ll take the ultra-marathons over skydiving,” he laughs. GB 

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