Running In Place
He has run across the Sahara Desert. He has run to overcome drug and alcohol addiction, and to help others. Most recently, he ran smack into the law. ...
Photos by Tamara Lackey
It sounded like a fun weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a 5K or 10-mile run through a beautiful greenbelt park, but there was one strange twist. The e-vite also promised a Saturday-evening presentation by the renowned adventure racer and ultrarunner Charlie Engle, known for his epic 111-day, 4500-mile run across the Sahara. "The Main Event," however, invited attendees to caravan to Engle's Monday-afternoon sentencing, in Norfolk, Virginia, for a recent felony conviction.
On a crisp January Saturday morning, I arrive at Engle's Greensboro residence (clued in that I was probably at the right place by the "XTREMIST" license plate on an older model Suburban in the driveway), where Engle lounged, watching a classic John Wayne Western Fort Apache, awaiting the arrival of weekend guests from across the country.
"I have to get my weekly dose of The Duke," says Engle, as we sit on the white L-seat couches of the nicely appointed suburban house, in which he lives with its owner, Chip Pitts, a fellow runner and close friend.
Within 10 minutes of watching, I quickly realize Engle, 48, possesses a commanding, penetrating voice not unlike Wayne's. And, I would discover, he had a similar likeable swagger and arresting presence.