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Jack McBroom Speed Climber

Sept. 23, 2002
Sept. 23, 2002

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Sept. 23, 2002

Jack McBroom Speed Climber

On Aug. 14 Jack McBroom of Hemet, Calif., bagged all 15 of
California's 14,000-foot peaks in a record four days, 11 hours
and 19 minutes. We caught up with the 45-year-old high school
teacher, who had scarcely caught his breath when computer company
executive Russ McBride, 34, announced that he'll attempt to set a
new mark later this month.

This is an article from the Sept. 23, 2002 issue Original Layout

SI: When did you first realize you might be crazy?

JM: About two years ago, when everyone told me I was insane for
running the 135-mile Badwater Race in Death Valley. It was
130[degrees]. I realized then that my perception of fun is
really different from others'.

SI: What's so fun about dry heaving and throwing up your stomach
lining?

JM: I get a strange pleasure from pushing my limits. It's
fascinating to see how your mind and body react to that.

SI: Is that what you teach your high school chemistry class?

JM: Something like that. Kids love quirkiness in teachers. It
helps them feel more comfortable about being weird.

SI: Did you have any hallucinations along the way?

JM: When I was in the Palisades, I climbed for 31 hours straight.
It was pitch-dark. I was at high altitude, and I had a feeling
there was this other person with me. I started talking to him and
telling him we missed the flat rock we were supposed to stop at.
I realized I was losing it.

SI: Have the sponsorships been pouring in?

JM: Surely you jest.

SI: So, are you the next Ed Viesturs?

JM: You serious? I think you're the crazy one.

--Yi-Wyn Yen

COLOR PHOTO: JACK MCBROOM