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Sharp hospital ER doctor trains for world's toughest, coldest Ultra Marathon

Montane Arctic Ultra begins Thursday
Marathon Doctor
Posted at 8:03 AM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 11:40:30-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An emergency room doctor at Sharp Memorial hospital is doing something he'd never advise for his patients. He's training for the Montane Arctic Ultra Marathon.

"Most people, their reaction is that's crazy," Dr. Russell Reinbolt says. "I'm not crazy. I'm extreme. And extreme is good. The greater the risk, the greater the reward."

The race goes 300 miles through northern Canada; an area race organizers describe as an unforgiving, frozen tundra. Participants have to carry all of their equipment with them, pulling it on sleds tied to their waist. Temperatures rarely climb above zero degrees.

Dr. Reinbolt tried running it last year. He made it 86 miles before hitting his panic button to be rescued.

"For me, that was the ride of shame," he says.

That memory fueled his training this year.

He runs 7-12 miles every day, and once a month runs 120 miles from LA to San Diego. He also does cross-training and weight lifting to build endurance, both mental and physical.

He says it's impossible to train for the cold in Southern California, but he simulates the snow by running with his sled on the beach.

"I'm very disciplined, very structured, very organized, very committed to accomplishing my goals," says Dr. Reinbolt.

Part of the run for Dr. Reinbolt is philanthropic. He's hoping to raise awareness for the Little Footprints, Big Steps foundation, which helps orphaned children in Haiti.

While he'd never recommend this kind of race to patients, he says they can still learn from his example of perseverance.

"As doctors, we make a lot of sacrifices to help other people," he says. "But we also have a way to show them the value of hard work and discipline.

To follow him along the route, go to the race website.