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
race was in 1997, “The first couple years, the kids threw things at us.”
Inside the 100 mile ultramarathon
run from America's highest incorporated city.
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
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]
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
"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
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
"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]
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]
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.