Modesto runner Robert Root said he survived over 50 hours in brutal weather conditions by rationing out his athletic energy supplements over a couple days and eating snow. But he says the biggest survival strategy came from inside.
“I decided I wasn’t going to die. It just wasn’t going to happen,” Root said.
He said the experience he’s had pushing his body through running 50 mile races and marathons helped him stay alive.
“Your body can do a lot more than you think you’re capable of,” Root said.
He got lost when he was running between two groups of runners and tried catching up to the first group, but took a wrong turn. He tried finding his way back the first day and failed. On the second day, he realized he made a complete circle and landed in the very same spot he started at one point.
“I go out and I think, ‘I gotta go out to the river,’ and I see an Evian bottle and I go ‘Whoa- people have been there before,’ and then I realized, ‘This is where I started!” said Root.
The long-distance unner was able to stay in ultra-endurance mode for much of his time in the wilderness. He was still walking when he saw search teams on Tuesday.
“I came down and I was walking across the El Dorado Bridge and I saw some guys and ladies standing around in red jumpsuits,” said Root.
He said what he wanted the most when he returned home was an In-N-Out hamburger, which he soon got. He also said he plans to continue running and hopes to run a 50-mile race in July.