Meet Pete Ripmaster, winner of the 2018 Iditarod Trail Invitational 1000, the longest winter ultra-marathon in the world. It was Pete's childhood dream to compete in this race. A dream which got deferred after starting a family, but not forgotten. And now Pete is using his story to inspire others to fulfill their childhood dreams. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook and YouTube.
I was introduced to Pete by our mutual friend Susan Poor who saw my call to action on Facebook to help me find inspiring individuals who had accomplished incredible feats. Pete's unwavering tenacity towards accomplishing his childhood dream was just the kind of story I was looking for. I could tell right away that he was someone I'd love to know from the first time I called him and heard his voicemail message which said, “You've reached Pete. My only rule is that if you leave me a voicemail, you've got to sing it!” I'm not much for leaving voicemails (I usually just hang up and send an e-mail or text), but I felt inspired by his message, so I sang Pete my request to profile him in a video. Already I was inspired by Pete and I hadn't even met him yet.
One of the hardest parts of telling Pete's story was deciding which parts to LEAVE OUT. The 1000 mile foot race through the Alaskan wilderness is a story in itself, and Pete can talk to you for hours about his adventures during the 26 days 13 hours and 44 minutes it took him to complete this year's race. Then there's the fact that this was his third attempt, despite having almost died on his first race in 2016 after falling through a sheet of ice into a freezing cold lake. Although any one of those individual stories could lend itself to the making of an incredible video, what inspired me most was learning about his lifelong determination to reach his childhood dream.
Pete doesn't expect you to go out and run a 1000 mile race through Alaska. That was his dream, not yours. Instead we hope that his video reminds you of what your childhood dreams were so that you can put your excuses aside and make them happen! Thank you Pete for sharing your time, your energy, and your story, and thank you to Kyle Durand and the Iditarod Trail Committee for lending me some of your footage of the race to create this video.
Ready for more inspiring stories?
Check out these amazing individuals who I've met during my travels and watch their stories via the links below.
If She Can Do It – Meet Andrea, a school teacher who's traveled to 72 countries and counting! She doesn't come from a wealthy family and her work doesn't pay for her to travel. So what's her secret?
La Casa de Rafa – This is Rafael Wild. He runs a restaurant in Quito Ecuador that's run by the blind and serves meals inside a cave underground in absolute darkness!
Anthony Bourdain: The Legend – A memorial video I created after his passing to honor the life and career of legendary traveler Anthony Bourdain.
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