Happiness is Completing the Seven Toughest Long-Distance Races in the World
When Italy’s Simone Leo, a long-distance runner featured on the Scientology Network in an episode of I Am a Scientologist, finished the Brazil 135—a 48-hour race through mountains and jungles—he became the first athlete to complete all “Seven Sisters” 135-mile ultramarathons.
After more than 48 hours nonstop, Simone Leo reached the finish line of one of the most arduous running races in the world.
The race begins in São João da Boa Vista in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. After climbing 35,000 feet through mountainous jungles and forgotten villages, those who complete the ordeal arrive in Paraisopolis, in the state of Minas Gerais.
Leo carries the Italian flag through the entire course in every race he runs. In the center of the flag is the logo of The Way to Happiness, the common-sense moral code written by humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.
“The book contains a simple, direct and universal message,” says Leo, who presented a Portuguese copy to the former Brazilian military police officer who organized the event. “I set foot in Brazil for the first time when I arrived for the race. It is a magnificent and wonderful county. But it suffers from serious situations I had not even imagined before I came. The Way to Happiness forwards universal values of respect and brotherhood and provides practical guidelines anyone may use to improve their life.”
Leo completed the legendary Badwater—known as “the world’s toughest foot race,” in July 2018.
Ultramarathoners run its 135-mile course nonstop from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney through temperatures as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Brazil 135, Badwater and the following five races are known as the Seven Sisters:
- The 221-km Ultrabalathon circles Hungary’s Lake Balanton
- The 202-km Nove Colli Run beginning and ending in Cesenatico, Italy
- The 285-km Ultra Milano San Remo from Milan to San Remo
- The 246-km Spartathlon from Athens to Sparta
- The 490-km ASA Philippides Run from Athens to Sparta and back
A native of Novara now living in Milan, Leo’s passion for running was ignited just over 10 years ago. He describes how he was looking at some photos of a wedding he attended and noticed one man who looked tired and overweight. When he suddenly realized the photo was of him, it inspired him to get going.
Simone Leo tells his story in an episode of I Am a Scientologist on the Scientology Network.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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