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Marathon a day for 100 days
April 14, 2008 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Running a marathon a day for the next 100 days, across Africa.

Two students, Erin and Ruben, from the University of Victoria will be running 26 miles a day to raise money for Athletes for Africa in Namibia, Zambia and Tanzania and "to demonstrate that Africa too is a place where real people live real lives, and where, if you want to go for a 4,200km jog, you are more than welcomed to."
posted by joelf (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
In flip-flops?
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:32 PM on April 14, 2008


Original idea.
posted by Pendragon at 12:44 PM on April 14, 2008


Original or not, it is pretty fucking bad ass.
posted by josher71 at 12:57 PM on April 14, 2008


Oh god this makes me want to go hit my treadmill. My cubicle feels like a prison. I wish I were more altruistic; god bless anyone that runs for charity!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 1:13 PM on April 14, 2008


Is it possible to run 100 consecutive marathons?
posted by ersatz at 1:16 PM on April 14, 2008


I heard on NPR (I think) a couple years ago a story about a guy who ran seven marathons in a row (one each day of the week) and his toenails fell out by the fifth day, so I don't know what these kids are thinking. Any actual long distance runners out there that can inform us whether, like ersatz has asked, this is possible?
posted by Falconetti at 1:34 PM on April 14, 2008


Is it possible to run 100 consecutive marathons?

Yes. How about finishing almost 143 consecutive marathons, with only one leg?
posted by Adam_S at 1:41 PM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


his toenails fell out by the fifth day, so I don't know what these kids are thinking.

This is completely possible, although quite difficult. It'll be interesting to see if they pull it off. This kind of running takes quite a toll, physically and mentally. At a certain point those two things meet, and it's probably pretty fucking hard to go on of a morning. 100 days is a long time to do something like this. It's arguably better to run farther each day (when you're going for a set distance) and cut down on the number of days.

They may, or may not, lose toenails. I've run ~four marathons in a row and not lost any toenails. I've run ~two in a row and lost a couple. A lot has to do with terrain and how your shoes fit. Lots of downhill running, with your toes jamming into the toebox, is more likely to result in lost toenails.

Interesting post.
posted by OmieWise at 1:53 PM on April 14, 2008


Is it possible to run 100 consecutive marathons?

This guy did 63 in 63 days.

Which astonishes me. The marathon is a hell of a race. It's no problem to run 15 miles a day or even 20, but the thing with the marathon is the last 6.2 miles when your body has run out of fuel and starts burning itself. It's the worst feeling. One minute you're striding along, the next, you're working it. Really working it.

You break the distance up over a morning and afternoon run you could do 100 days - but that wouldn't even be a challenge - no, these guys have to run the full distance without a break to call it 100 marathons in 100 days.
posted by three blind mice at 1:53 PM on April 14, 2008


but the thing with the marathon is the last 6.2 miles when your body has run out of fuel and starts burning itself. It's the worst feeling. One minute you're striding along, the next, you're working it. Really working it.

This is completely a function of relative effort. If you run a marathon well within your effort, and take in some calories, there's no reason you'll run out of glycogen and hit the wall.

Even breaking this up morning and night would still come out to ~183 miles for 14+ weeks. That's a lot of distance, even for runner used to putting in 100+ miles a week (and I can't find where it says what their training volume has been). There are a lot of aches and pains in 183 miles/week.
posted by OmieWise at 2:30 PM on April 14, 2008


Without any firsthand knowledge of Africa, Reuben is excited to both learn and explore the African culture.

Which one was that again? Sigh.
posted by honest knave at 3:20 PM on April 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


while I'm admittedly not a runner, I cannot fathom how someone could muster the willpower to punish themselves like this. it really would take the motivation of Pheidippides to get me to try and run a single one. and I being a lapsed classicist, I couldn't escape the idea that he'd dropped dead after finishing. what's wrong with relays, anyway?
so...good for them? it's undoubtedly an impressive accomplishment.
how they're going to top this later on in life is beyond me, though. or are they content to be able to look back and think of what they did when?
posted by Busithoth at 3:38 PM on April 14, 2008


where have I seen this before... ah yes, the water issue. National Geographic.

Even Charlie Engle (see link) agreed that it was a bit self indulgent. sort of like if I wanted to raise awareness about lung cancer by having someone buy me a car that I could drive around, with a sign on the back that says "cancer or something." But the story is a good one. and it will sell. again.

The resources involved to do this are not insignificant and could be used for more direct, productive things, but bully to them raising awareness for a good cause.
posted by ilovemytoaster at 4:31 PM on April 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Didn't Terry Fox do this across Canada back in the 80's? I remember that HBO movie, anyway.
posted by zardoz at 4:43 PM on April 14, 2008


Ugh... I'm also a pretty serious distance runner and have often wondered how far I could cover if I wasn't interrupted by work and whatnot. I dunno... it's gonna take real patience for them to work through this. There's a reason that the ultra running scene tends towards older folks -- a run like this is going to take a looooooooooong time.

(Side note -- I've never lost a toe-nail running, although I've never run back to back marathons. Jesus. Should I be?)
posted by ph00dz at 6:20 PM on April 14, 2008


I've never lost a toenail from running back to back marathons, although I have from running some longer distances. It's not so bad.
posted by OmieWise at 6:51 PM on April 14, 2008


Didn't Terry Fox do this across Canada back in the 80's? I remember that HBO movie, anyway.

Look up.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:33 AM on April 15, 2008


Thanks for the info and the Fox story.
posted by ersatz at 6:25 AM on April 15, 2008


Is there some sort of time limit for each daily marathon? Most marathons require you to finish within five hours in order to count as a finisher. If not, then it's more like a 26-mile hike--strenuous, to be sure, but if they don't have to carry anything then walking that distance in a day isn't what most people think of as a marathon.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:56 AM on April 15, 2008


Well, Dean Karnazes has run a few marathons in a row, and at pretty decent times. Of course, the guy can also run 300 miles without stopping. A marathon runner myself, I consider that to be a bit nuts. I've yet to lose a toenail, although I do have a few black ones, and I've only run three marathons. The more downhill there is, the more likely you are to bang a few toenails up. Also, most marathons have a cutoff time of 6 hours, but you have to wonder if these people are running in formal marathons or are just running 26.2 miles in each day (not that that's a small feat [no pun intended] by any means).

I have a friend who ran 5 marathons in 4 months and while he can run a 3'43", he was conservative, running between a 4' and a 4'45" to save energy and his knees. And consider physical strength: some people are built in such a way that all that banging on their joints doesn't affect them whereas it would affect my body (especially my knees) pretty drastically.

And I am a bit nervous about that young man's major...he's studying Anthropology and yet, as Honest Knave mentioned, he's excited about learning about "the African culture." I'll second you, Honest Knave. *sigh*
posted by cachondeo45 at 2:14 PM on April 15, 2008


Dean Karnazes is kind of a cheating hack. His accomplishments are moderately impressive by ultrarunning standards; his marketing is amazing. His 50 marathons in 50 days was a pretty nice accomplishment, bettered at the same time by a guy who ran 51 50ks in the same amount of time. The other guy didn't work for North Face.

Just to be clear, when I've lost toenails it's been in races longer than 26.2 miles. I've lost toenails in both 50 and 100 mile races, but I've also run both without losing any. In the many marathons and marathon-distance runs, per se, that I've done, I've not lost any toenails. Some of those were on consecutive days.
posted by OmieWise at 3:01 PM on April 15, 2008


Sorry, it was 51 marathons. Sam Thompson was the guy who did it, and it appears that after he was well underway, well before DK started his media event, North Face did sponsor him. It seems pretty likely it was a buyout.
posted by OmieWise at 3:26 PM on April 15, 2008


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