BYU professor on the run in Animal Planet series

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Matt Galland answers his phone, and it’s his wife asking him to pick up the kids. “Honey, I’m in a cave with a lion right now … can I call you back?” he says.  BYU adjunct professor Galland has always had a love of adventure and of running. Starring in the Animal Planet’s new series, “100 Miles From Nowhere,” Galland and friends Danny Bryson and Blake Josephson team up and explore some of the world’s most picturesque but precarious views while trail running.

The series follows the three friends on adventures in eight separate locations. They take on four-day, one-hundred-mile runs in some of the most remote places in the world. Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Oregon, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and Patagonia were featured in season one. The trio film everything themselves with GoPros or handheld cameras.

Galland has a long history of running. He completed his first 20 miler in Provo’s Rock Canyon by himself at the age 10. Through the experience he realized he had the stamina to run long distances and a love of exploring the outdoors while running.

Matt Galland takes epic selfie at 11,000 feet. Galland is a BYU Adjunct professor that stars in his own series on Animal Planet.  (Matt Galland)
Matt Galland takes an epic selfie at 11,000 feet. Galland is a BYU adjunct professor who stars in an Animal Planet show. (Matt Galland)

Galland continued to train and work hard over the years through his morning runs. He started a YouTube channel in 2010 called “Matt in the Wild.” Galland documented his adventures by filming the scenery and animals seen on his runs. As the channel increased in popularity and exceeded 1 million views it caught the attention of production companies.

Animal Planet approached Galland and asked him if he had any friends who would want to be a part of the show. He immediately thought of his two best friends and running partners, Bryson and Josephson. They are hardworking family men, married, with 11 children collectively, who love the outdoors and were up for the challenge.

“I didn’t really want to do the show,” Josephson said. “I always thought that the cameras were an annoyance and would distract us from the actual beauty of the places that we ran to. But I’ve made a goal to never pass up an opportunity such as this.”

Galland and friends could choose wherever they wanted to visit in the world, but often they were allowed to film because of restrictions by the Forest Service Agency. They were denied permits to Yellowstone Nation Park, Zion National Park, Mount Rainier and other national parks.

“The agency believed that a film crew would be too intrusive, but it’s three guys with GoPros and tennis shoes,” Galland said.

Galland, Bryson and Josephson have run more than 800 miles in the past six months. Each day the men run an average of 25 miles and use skiing, biking, rafting and other sports to get to their destination if running is not an option.

Every day they run to a specific destination where a bear box is dropped with necessary food and supplies. These bear boxes contain high-calorie foods such as hot pizzas, burgers, fish, lobster and crab. They also contain the necessary supplies to protect Galland, Bryson and Josephson from the elements.

“It’s not your average survival show … it’s a thrival show,” Galland said.

Each adventure has brought new challenges and terrain to conquer. The friends have experience with white-out snow storms, killer bees, poisonous snakes and near drowning.

“I want to give up every 15 minutes,” Josephson said. “I think about quitting all the time. These adventures are really hard. Sleeping in a tent, not being able to shower and being away from my family makes me want to quit all the time, but I stay motivated by the possibility of what I might see the next day.”

Josephson said at times they are hungry, fatigued or face possible injury or death, but nothing deters Galland and friends from reaching their goals and seeing beautiful places across the world.

“God created the world to be seen by human eyes,” Galland said. “I think it would be really really sad if you were to leave this earth without seeing places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon or South America.”

Currently four of the eight episodes of “100 Miles From Nowhere” have aired on the Animal Planet. Past episodes are available to watch on both Animal Planet’s website and Youtube.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQzcxSjq_lM&w=560&h=315]

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