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OmieWise (2)

A test for the mind as much as the body

The Self-Transcendence race starts today. It's a run around the block, 5,649 times around the block. Runners cover 3,100 miles, running 6 am to midnight over 52 days, at least 60 miles a day over concrete. The best runners average 75 miles a day. All the runners seem to have the same mantra. The first race was in 1997, “The first couple years, the kids threw things at us.”
posted by Smedleyman on Jun 16, 2013 - 35 comments

Fog Count

In the false American imagination, West Virginia is a joke or else it’s a charity case; but more than anything it is unseen, an invisible architecture of labor and struggle; and incarceration shares this invisibility, hidden at the center of everything; our slipshod remedy for an abiding fear, danger pinned to human bodies and then slotted into bunk beds you can’t see from any highway. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 7, 2013 - 31 comments

“The important thing,” he said, “is moving.”

Becoming the All-Terrain Human: [New York Times]
"Kilian Jornet Burgada is the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation. In just eight years, Jornet has won more than 80 races, claimed some 16 titles and set at least a dozen speed records, many of them in distances that would require the rest of us to purchase an airplane ticket. He has run across entire landmasses­ (Corsica) and mountain ranges (the Pyrenees), nearly without pause. He regularly runs all day eating only wild berries and drinking only from streams."

posted by Fizz on Mar 23, 2013 - 24 comments

Rocky Mountain High

Inside the 100 mile ultramarathon run from America's highest incorporated city.
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 12, 2012 - 12 comments

The Barkley Marathons

In June of 1977, James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee. 54.5 hours later, he was captured, "driven and exhausted, covered with mud and sand," (Large PDF) just five miles away. In 1986, accomplished ultrarunner Gary Cantrell (AKA Lazarus Lake) decided to hold an ultramarathon in neighboring Frozen Head State Park. The world's toughest 100 miler, the Barkley Marathon and Fun Run, was born. There have been 13 100-mile finishers since that time.

In 2012, three people finished the 100 miler, and a new course record was set. Here are some before and after shots of runners. Here are some shots of the course and the fun.
posted by OmieWise on Apr 9, 2012 - 35 comments

The loneliness of the long-distance rider

News from the world of ultramarathon cycling: 1. Peter Heal recently rode the ~15,000-km perimeter of Australia in 48 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes; 2. The 3005-mile Race Across America recently concluded, with veteran Jure Robic winning the men's solo in 9 days, 1 hour, 1 minute, and Barbara Buatois winning the women's solo in 11 days, 19 hours, 48 minutes. [more inside]
posted by adamrice on Jun 23, 2010 - 17 comments

Toenail removal is not for the faint of heart

Getting serious about a sport can mean doing the previously unthinkable. Swimmers shave their bodies sleek. Cyclists take blood-boosters. And ultramarathoners have their battered toenails surgically removed — for good. Want pictures? (I can't imagine why you would, but still...) Here's one runner's surgery and recovery photos. [NSFWeakStomachs]
posted by dersins on Oct 21, 2009 - 68 comments

Just don't do it!

"At Stanford University two sales representatives from Nike were watching the athletics team practise. Part of their job was to gather feedback from the company's sponsored runners about which shoes they preferred. Unfortunately, it was proving difficult that day as the runners all seemed to prefer... nothing" - from Christopher McDougall's forthcoming book "Born to Run" which looks at the story the growth of the $20 billion running shoe industry. Starting form Bill Bowerman's Cortez in 1972 onwards runners have seen a steady flow of innovations to improve performance and reduce injury rates. Only it would appear they may not work. By way of contrast the book includes coverage of the Mexican Tarahumara tribe who run ultramarathons with shoes made from car tyres on their feet.
posted by rongorongo on Apr 20, 2009 - 38 comments

Ted Corbitt, "the father of American distance running," dies.

"In 1968, I received an invitation to the hundred-mile run at Walton-on-Thames, England, scheduled for October 1969. I pulled out all the stops for this one, running every marathon possible and enduring unheard-of training mileage when not racing. In July alone I ran a thousand miles, two hundred short of my goal[...]My only goal was to break the existing American record of 16:07:43." (Which he did, finishing in 13:33; still the U.S. 45 to 49 100-mile record.) Ted Corbitt, Olympian, American Record holder at 100 miles, died yesterday. NYT obit. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Dec 13, 2007 - 13 comments

We're sorry, this portmanteau device is currently out of order. Please coin a new word.

Believe it or not, there was a record for running the fastest 50 mile ultra marathon while juggling. And this guy just beat it. I present to you: joggling. [more inside]
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Nov 5, 2007 - 11 comments

How long would it take you to run 135 miles? In more than 120 degree heat? Up more than 8,000 feet in elevation? Every year some very determined people run the Badwater Ultramarathon from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney in California. It almost makes the Everest Marathon and Ironman Triathalons look easy.
posted by euphorb on Oct 11, 2001 - 12 comments

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