1000 Miles in 1000 Hours
December 20, 2002 5:59 AM   Subscribe

1000 Miles in 1000 Hours - London Marathon organizers plan to reproduce the feat achieved almost 200 years ago by a legendary sportsman and gambler called Captain Robert Barclay. Five contestants will run 1000 miles in 1000 hours and then compete in the London Marathon to decide the winner.
posted by Frank Grimes (15 comments total)
1 mph hardly seems like running.
posted by jeblis at 6:09 AM on December 20, 2002

Yeah, jeblis, but I think they might have toilet breaks.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:27 AM on December 20, 2002

That really is incredible. To put yourself through that - well, I can't imagine a person who would find that the pride and accolades outweighed the horror of the task itself.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:37 AM on December 20, 2002

Isn't there a point where "Extreme" sports just become extremely stupid? There were people in the past who used to test the limits of human endurance, then the war ended and they had to flee to Argentina. You know its possible for me to drive a steak knife through my leg and come out fine, I don't because that would be stupid, why run this thing just because you can? Growing up in the south we used to call contests like this a "short dick" contest, "Let's see just how stupid we can be!"
posted by Pollomacho at 6:42 AM on December 20, 2002

Man, I once did 90k in 12 hours and that just about killed me - still, I don't think this is as insane as the death valley ultramarathon - go running 100miles across Death Valley and then up a mountain. Yay. Although of course, all that sleep deprivation will make all the contestants completely insane.. Roll on the pro plus..
posted by Mossy at 6:47 AM on December 20, 2002

I was thinking that too, Pollomacho, but then I remembered that I've never objected to the Tour de France or to people swimming the English Channel. I'm not sure there's a qualitative difference here. I know that some will follow this event in the same spirit that they slow down for a car wreck, but that can't be helped.
posted by Bryant at 6:59 AM on December 20, 2002

I seem to remember, but can not find, a thread here about a method of going with only a couple of hours of sleep every 24 hours. It involved precisely timed power naps every 3 or 4 hours, I believe. This would seem to be one way to try handle this thing. The other way, running a mile at the end of the hour and the next mile immediately following at the beginning of the next hour, would mean getting up three times during each nightly 8-hour sleep period to run/walk for maybe 20 minutes. Which doesn't seem impossible, but apparently nobody has tried it for 200 years.
posted by beagle at 7:12 AM on December 20, 2002

Gah. Just read the link, and saw that they can't run 24 miles at a stretch then rest up for the remainder of the day, but really run one mile each hour. If they use the method beagle describes, they'll only be running 2 miles at a time, with hour-and-a-half rests between each run (if I figured it correctly). That's not a test of athleticism, but of sleep deprivation. Sounds more like a freak show than anything else.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:34 AM on December 20, 2002

Why do I have a feeling they'll make a movie out of this called They Shoot Runners, Don't They?
posted by mathowie at 9:34 AM on December 20, 2002

If you can find it, Peter Lovesey's novel Wobble to Death is extremely pertinent reading. The first of his Sergeant Cribb detective novels, the well-researched setting is a six-day Go As You Please Contest or Wobble - a six-day ultramarathon held on an indoor track - "instituted in 1878 by Sir John Astley ... and popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1880s ... An Englishman, George Littlewood, set the record of 623.75 miles in 1888, in spite of his foot being burned during the race when his alcohol bath caught fire".
posted by raygirvan at 10:50 AM on December 20, 2002

The need Uberman's sleep schedule. That way they may not go mad from lack of REM by getting a 20-30 min fix 6 times a day. Apparently you feel completely refreshed after getting up from one of these, so walking/joggin mile would be no problem - and you'd have plenty of time to read the newspaper, walk the dog, do whatever..
posted by Mossy at 11:17 AM on December 20, 2002

Interestingly, one of the characters in Wobble to Death adopts a similar schedule: four half-hour 'power naps' each 24 hours. I assume, given the high quality of Lovesey's research in general, that it's historically accurate.
posted by raygirvan at 12:40 PM on December 20, 2002

you guys have read the long walk right? only a matter of time people
posted by jcruelty at 2:19 PM on December 20, 2002

Thanks, Mossy, that is the system I was referring to.
posted by beagle at 2:29 PM on December 20, 2002

Bring on the TV coverage! Come on, we are the Roman Empire of this millennium, it's about time the real bloodsports started, isn't it?
posted by rusty at 2:46 PM on December 20, 2002

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