Shop: Halter's Cycles
Yeah this is pretty big topic of discussion on the Endurance Forums over at MTBR. They're all insane.
Every time I look at that site i get a knot in my belly from all the mud slinging and shit talking. There are many whining asses who hide behind their screen names..
Anyway.. A ride like this has to break you body down such that you will do more harm than good.
The sickest i have been has been after solo 24 hrs events. These guys are animals for sure but they might be killing themselves slowly.
GDR is the only race I badly want to do. Singlespeed, of course, since that's what I ride. The SS record (22 days) while an excellent time and a great first attempt, doesn't seem out of reach. Average 114 miles per day and it's yours.
As far as this race being unhealthy, I doubt racing at a high level is ever healthy. It's surely a lot healthier than being a couch potato(e).
The biggest danger in the GDR is probably nerve damage in your hands/wrists. The former record holder reported that 3 years after he raced he still has some lingering effects.