There is something of Reza Baluchi in all runners, we suspect. While most of us do not strap ourselves to tires of ever-increasing weight before trudging ceaselessly through the desert, something about Baluchi’s experience (seen through this excellent video by Quill Entertainment) is universal to the sport. Running is not fun (except in that bizarre way brought about by a rush of endorphins), nor is it particularly entertaining to most — how many runners have comparable sponsorships to, say, LeBron James? Yet what running lacks in bravado it makes up for in primal simplicity.
The runner takes part in a battle occasionally with his fellow man, often with the elements, but always with himself. Running is a tool for self-exploration — it demands it, and the longer the distance, the deeper the journey inward. As Baluchi slogs through Death Valley, smoothing a path behind him with his tire, he also chips away at the jagged terrain of his soul. The heavier the tire, the smoother the path.