For Matesi, the event was as much psychological as it was physical. He said keeping his spirits up was a serious challenge as he tackled unforgiving obstacles such as a steep, 25-mile team hike in which racers carry a water-filled plumbing pipe over their heads and a 2-mile log roll through a sheep paddock.
This year's theme was "betrayal," which encouraged racers to quit when organizers fabricated a story that contestants wouldn't be able to finish because of technicalities. Those thinking of quitting also were cruelly tempted with beer, burgers and pizza at times. And there were racers secretly planted by organizers with the task of getting others to cheat and be disqualified.
You can read the full story in the Daily Herald's edition from Sunday, July 29, 2012, or online at dailyherald.com.