You're going the wrong way
June 29, 2013 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Eric Strand finished this year's Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in 6 hours and 15 minutes. But before he got to the starting line that day, he had run the entire course backwards.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (30 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Eric is apparently training for the Leadville 100
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:11 AM on June 29, 2013


The marathon's name refers to a local sponsoring restaurant and not to the type of people running the race--a source of momentary confusion when I first moved here.
posted by smrtsch at 10:27 AM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Huh, I was expecting him to have run it facing backwards, a la the DC Backwards Running Man.
posted by drlith at 11:08 AM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really loved that. The guy's attitude and enthusiasm was just awesome. I wish I had a running partner like him.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:22 AM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


The ultrarunners I know are all exactly like that - not sure if the sport attracts that personality or if people shape themselves to a norm of upbeat good humor as they participate in it. But yeah. Ultrarunners keep their chins up no matter what, and encourage you to keep yours up too.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:46 AM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love this, the dude is so achingly midwestern.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:01 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


My husband is an accomplished runner; I am a back-of-the-pack walker/jogger. When we do the same race, he will finish then run backwards through the course, find me, and accompany me the rest of the way. This amuses people during 5 and 10ks ; during the Chicago Marathon, people flipped out.
posted by Fig at 12:27 PM on June 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


"Look! These port-a-potties are clean! I'm going to use them all!"

This guy is a madman.
posted by psoas at 12:40 PM on June 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


mad props for this guy. i love this sort of attitude and i try to hold on to it as best i can. running is HARD. anytime someone is new to running and i see them struggling i just sort of want to jump in and give them that same type of encouragement. i remember my first few laps and how i felt like dying, but you CAN do it and it DOES get easier! sometimes when i'm running up a really steep hill i imagine an entire crowd of people cheering me on... it really gets the adrenaline pumping and helps me out in that really tough time.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 12:56 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


This guy is a madman.

Genius. I used an actual bathroom in Central Park this morning, thus avoiding the race potties. It was awesome.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:57 PM on June 29, 2013


That's what I'm talking about! This is the best way to prepare for the Leadville 100... the crowd propels you through the second half of what could otherwise be a very lonely run. "Burn the ships" indeed.
posted by ph00dz at 12:57 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So cheery - his attitude is awesome!
posted by leslies at 2:19 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


The ultrarunners I know are all exactly like that - not sure if the sport attracts that personality or if people shape themselves to a norm of upbeat good humor as they participate in it. But yeah. Ultrarunners keep their chins up no matter what, and encourage you to keep yours up too.

I've met Dean Karnazes a bunch of times because of a show I was working on that was doing a tie-in with a big running project he was doing. I was trying to characterize to a co-worker how sort of relentlessly positive and upbeat and midwesterny he was just as we were preparing a live cut-in for an interview via satellite. The reporter asked Dean before the interview how he was doing, and he said in all seriousness "super fantastic, thanks!" We both almost passed out simultaneously.

I don't know the formula either, but if running really far quite often puts you in that sort of mood all the time, I have to sign up soon.
posted by nevercalm at 2:33 PM on June 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


The race potties were the cleanest I've ever seen them today, roomthreeseventeen.
posted by gaspode at 2:37 PM on June 29, 2013


This makes me miss Duluth, 43 degree weather in June and all.
posted by starman at 2:47 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh, you mean he ran the route in reverse, not that he ran it backwards.
still, pretty cool feat
posted by mulligan at 4:50 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


So is this not, in fact, a marathon for Grandmas?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:28 PM on June 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


For all of you who want inspiring running Grandmas, here's one:
http://www.athleta.net/featured-athletes/harriet-anderson/
http://www.athleta.net/2010/05/11/enduring-beyond-barriers-the-harriet-anderson-story/
posted by mollymayhem at 8:37 PM on June 29, 2013


Usually just an occasional lurker, but chiming in to thank you for posting that! Totally made my day, brought back memories of the CA AIDS Ride, which I did twice in late 90s.

Especially, reminds me of the day I rode the “quadbuster” 3 times.

There were 2500+ riders. 7 days, 575 miles, from SF to LA. I wasn’t a particularly fast biker – most riders would get back to camp around 2-3pm, but I never got in before 5pm. Most days were 75-100 miles, except day 5, which was sorta a half-day at “only” 55 miles. It included a killer uphill, starting with a long gentle slope and ending with a steep stretch affectionately called quadbuster.

My first year, I did the quadbuster, continued on my way, and enjoyed getting into camp earlier than usual.

My second year, I got the top, and stopped to cheer people on. Then…I noticed someone riding back down to do it again. Wow! Me too! I coasted back down, slowly, cheering the folks on the other side of the road. It was great fun! I rode uphill again, encouraging bikers around me. All in all, I did the quadbuster 3 times that day. And it was one of my highlights that year.

The energy of those around me made it easier than I would have guessed. There’s something totally energizing about doing something extra at endurance events like this…IMO the enthusiasm of those around the doer helps cultivate that positive energy seen in the video.

To be honest, it was actually easier than it sounded…when I got to the top, I had taken a break and cheered people on, so I wasn’t as worn out as those who hadn’t had a break. A short hill is easier than the many miles of grueling gradual uphill, and I only re-did that steep intense part. And though I’m slow, I was relatively strong on the hills, thanks to all the hilly bay area training rides. Plus, my recumbent has more low gears than upright bikes. But mostly, it was easier than I expected because encouraging other riders (like this runner picking up and running with two newbies) really made a difference in my own energy.

What great memories…I gotta do that again someday.
posted by quinoa at 8:51 PM on June 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Grandma's Marathon: downhill all the way, ends at a bar" we used to say.

I still say Duluth's premier endurance race is the John Beargrease Sled Dog Run.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 4:03 AM on June 30, 2013


There is a whole group of guys who do this in Boston every year. I know one of them and his time even after having run the course backwards early in the morning is still pretty decent by many peoples standards.
posted by caddis at 8:21 AM on June 30, 2013


Thanks for posting and for the comments, it was a complete blast! I ran the first 26.2 in 3:58 and ran back with my son and a friend who had taken a much more "relaxed" approach to their training . . . it was a slow return trip but turned out to be very enjoyable and fulfilling.

Yes, I am training for the Leadville 100 in August. Ran it for the first time last year, if you are interested in seeing what that experience is like, take a look at the vid from that roundtrip.

Headed out there next weekend for a 50-mile training run. God, I wish I had natural talent.
posted by leadfeet at 7:42 PM on June 30, 2013 [38 favorites]


Hey! Welcome Eric! I loved this, thank you for bringing such a positive, fun attitude to endurance running, a sport that is easy to complain about.

By the way, Mefi is a place full of cynics and smart asses. The fact that you charmed us really says something.

Good luck!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:29 PM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Good post, good runner, good run.

The ultrarunners I know are all exactly like that - not sure if the sport attracts that personality or if people shape themselves to a norm of upbeat good humor as they participate in it. But yeah. Ultrarunners keep their chins up no matter what, and encourage you to keep yours up too.

I'm an ultrarunner, and I know a lot of ultrarunners. Not to put things into action too starkly, but many of the ultrarunners I know are not like this. They are particularly not like this about Dean Karnazes, who is a self-promoting fraud and liar who has abused a public unaware of deep ultrarunning traditions to sell himself falsely.
posted by OmieWise at 5:09 AM on July 1, 2013


Eric may have just inspired me to pick up my runners again. Good work, chap!
posted by arcticseal at 8:55 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


leadfeet: welcome to metafilter! also: great username!
posted by el io at 11:29 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


leadfeet: What I really like about your video (aside from your charm and cool attitude) is that you really captured how fun and funny it is to root for people along a road race route. I live down in the Twin Cities and haven't ever made it up for Grandma's, but I try to cheer along the TC Marathon route and a handful of other road races through the year.

For the Minneapolis Marathon, we have an NFL Hall of Famer turned State Supreme Court Justice who plays tuba at the 2.5 mile mark, and I can't really top that, but I love people who bring signs and cheer really loudly for every runner. It just makes me happy to be human.

Thanks for making me think of how great it feels to be along a marathon course with a bunch of other people shouting and cheering for people.
posted by elmer benson at 11:39 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I do some long distance stuff on the bike, but ultra runners have my respect. People may get a little shocked to hear that I ride 25 miles to the start of the group ride, do the ride and go home and clock a 120 mile day, but that is nothing compared to running 50+ miles. My long bike rides are fun and my body is functional when I finish, but I can't for the life of me comprehend building the skeletal-tissue endurance required for endurance running.

So, I'm going to keep on riding my bike.
posted by dgran at 2:11 PM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey leadfeet, welcome to MeFi! Thanks for the fun video and good luck with your training for Leadvile.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:13 PM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Leadfeet, you are completely crazypants! :) My husband runs marathons, I think I won't mention you to him, lest he get Ideas.

Best of luck with your training! It's obvious that you're having a great time.
posted by MissySedai at 9:37 PM on July 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older Jimi Hendrix and Dusty Springfield’s duet of “Mock...  |  Five Ants - Forward and Backwa... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments