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The Power of Being Small: Dalip Shekhawat

At Mt Everest in 2019, Dalip Shekhawat believes in the Power of Being Small
Dalip Shekhawat
Year started: Early 2000s
Next race: Nijmegen March 100 Miler in July
Favorite gear:

Salomon Trail Runners, Mountain Hardware Gear

Dalip Shekhawat developed a passion for the outdoors and adventure early in life. With a father in the military, Dalip had opportunities to explore nature and saw it from a unique lens. This set the stage for a lifetime of endurance challenges. Dalip believes in the power of being small and simple in the vastness of nature. This is his endurance sports journey. 

Fueling his Motivation

After getting his first job in the lower Himalayas in India in the early 2000s, Dalip led hiking groups and pursued advanced mountaineering training. He methodically climbed 15 peaks over the years, gaining skills and perseverance that would later translate to endurance races.  A move to Canada in 2010 slowed things down temporarily as Dalip adapted to a new culture, balancing life, and work. But he soon bounced back after joining Canada’s Alpine Club, training a disciplined two hours daily with big goals fueling his motivation. Reigniting his fire, Dalip worked two jobs and balanced his responsibilities until he finally secured enough funding to climb the world’s tallest mountain. 

Wells of Mental Strength 

Dalip sumitted Mt. Everest in 2019, but it was not without its challenges, as he lost a friend along the Everest journey. Despite the challenges, Dalip’s interest in extreme endurance events only grew. He reflects, “I’ve now been to an extreme environment atop Everest. What else is there to test my limits?” The answer laid in some of the toughest ultra races. Dalip targeted the infamous Marathon des Sables (MDS), a 150-mile race across the Sahara Desert for his first extreme endurance event. Committing fully to heat training to prepare, Dalip dug deep into his wells of mental strength learned from years of mountaineering to finish the MDS in October 2021.

The Pull of Wild Places 

Feeling the pull of wild places, Dalip set sights on the Jungle Ultra through dense rainforest in the Amazon in Peru just 8 months later. The technical terrain and humid environment once again tested his endurance, as well as his spirit. In 2023 Dalip toed the line at the inaugural Mountain Ultra in the Tian Shan Mountains, set at high altitude with only 15% runnable terrain. Battling altitude sickness, hot exposed ridges and a final 20-hour stage, the race epitomized finding inner strength when all external conditions scream to quit. Dalip persisted one step at a time to the finish.

The Vastness of Nature

Having chased limits from mountains to deserts to jungles, Dalip explains his hard-earned philosophy: “Through my adventures, I’ve realized the power of being small and simple. We are tiny compared to the vastness of nature – the endless mountain ranges, the poles – yet when we embrace our humility, we can accomplish remarkable things by recognizing our limitations and expectations.” He continues, “When you’re in a brutal struggle, you discover who you truly are. Get uncomfortable, take risks, train when others hide away. What worse thing could happen when you’ve already pushed your body to extremes time and again?”

Endurance Crucibles 

As Dalip Shekhawat soldiered through endurance crucibles in environments very foreign from his mountain origins, he uncovered the strength within to persevere. Simple principles anchored his journey: establish your foundation through meticulous training, align all actions to your ultimate goal, prepare by training outside comfort zones, and maintain humility when confronting external challenges. Dalip built off his efforts in extreme environments to complete expeditions in the North and South pole. With Everest checked off his list, Dalip now sets his sights on summiting the other six summits, starting with South America’s Aconcagua. He also has his sights set on the Ice Ultra in 2025, an ultra foot race in the Arctic Circle. Dalip continues to channel the power of being small.