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Alec Merlino is always ready for a challenge. From reality television to ultra running, he inspires people to do hard things.
I’m from San Clemente, California Merlino participated in soccer, swimming, water polo, surfing, cycling and skating during his formative years. And this shaped a drive and ambition that is woven into all aspects of his life.
In 2018, Merlino was cast by CBS to take part in the Season 37 of Survivor: David vs. Goliath. He quickly became a fan favorite but ended up finishing tenth.
After returning home from the show, he set his sights on his next big challenge: running.
“Running became an addiction”
Running began as a way to push yourself while spending some time alone thinking about life. Merlino has set out to run 5 km per day for 30 consecutive days. After completing the challenge, he became addicted.
“It became an addiction,” said Merlino. “I felt better when I ran. And things in my life began to improve – my relationships, my work, and my general wellbeing. Both physically and spiritually. “
Always one of the best, Merlino started following endurance events. Months after his running career, Merlino entered the Zion 100k, where he finished 11th. Then he ran the Elephant Mountain 50 Mile Run, where he finished 15th.
Additionally, he has completed the David Goggins 4x4x48 Challenge, where he ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, as well as the Calendar Club Challenge, where he Run 541 miles in one month.
“Survivor didn’t spark my interest in running,” says Merlino. “However, in a lot of my runs or races I definitely take on the challenge that Survivor should help me get through the tough times.”
Photo credit: Robert Voets, CBS
Building a community through social media
During his time at Survivor, Merlino has built a fan base on YouTube and Instagram in addition to his running endeavors. He uses the platforms to show what he’s doing.
And he hopes through his efforts to inspire people to live healthier and happier lives. He regularly offers his followers challenges such as walking 100 miles in a month or running 30 minutes a day for 30 days.
“It’s great to build a community,” says Merlino. “I was inundated with messages from people saying they were inspired to get up and run and have a better life. If a picture of my daily runs inspires people to get out and start their journey, then I am happy. “
Alec’s go-to gear: HOKA shoes, Rabbit running clothes, and TruWild supplements.
To follow Merlino’s journey and keep up to date with upcoming challenges, visit his Instagram (@ alec.merlino) or his Youtube channel.