Forget sleep: Mississippi woman headed to Fiji to compete and survive ‘World’s Toughest Race’

Published 7:16 am Sunday, August 25, 2019

Teams are made up of four racers and one member who will be helping their team from base camp, the news release said. At least one member of the competitors must be of the opposite sex.

No stranger to adventure racing, McKnight started the extreme sports in 2002. Since then, she has traveled across the globe — to places like Alaska and Australia — to test her limits and get out of her comfort zone.

In Australia in 2017, McKnight and her teammates finished the 10-day course in eight days, placing 32nd out of 100 teams, McKnight said.

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In each race, McKnight said she has learned so much about herself and what she is capable of under extreme stress.

“I love the push you give yourself and the things you learn about yourself when you are scared and are forced to get out of your comfort zone,” McKnight said. “On the race, you don’t have friends to comfort you; you don’t have 911 to call.”

“You have to depend on yourself and your skills.”

As an adventure racing veteran, McKnight said she expects one of the biggest challenges to be sleep deprivation.

“It’s a 24-hour-a-day race,” McKnight said. “The race doesn’t stop.”

A lack of sleep, McKnight said, could affect the team’s alertness and decision making along the race.

McKnight said her team has decided that to clear the course, they will try not to push sleep deprivation to the limits. “When we feel like we need some sleep, we will.”

Burnett said in the news release that the drama and the challenges are what make the race so compelling.

“It’s the ultimate test of the human spirit, teamwork and honoring our planet,” Burnett said. “I can’t wait to see the drama unfold as these teams test themselves beyond what they ever thought possible.”