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April 29th, 2004


I’m not a distance runner. I quit high school track in two days. Nevertheless, I’ve been running more this year than I ever have before with the intention of participating in a 5k (~3.1 miles) at the end of May. I can already run the distance, but I’m not in the race to win it… I just want to cross the finish line without dying and finish ahead of anyone over 70 or under 12. While I can see myself being able to finish a 10k by the end of the summer if I keep at it, that’s still only just over six miles. It baffles me how people can run a 26.2 mile marathon.

Then you have the “ultramarathonners.”

An ultramarathon is loosely defined as any race longer than the standard marathon. At the extreme end are the 100 mile races through mountainous terrain, like the Western States 100, a brutal race from Squaw Valley, CA to Auburn, CA. The winner for the last five years has been, a 29-year-old vegan named Scott Jurek that takes in between 5000 and 8000 calories a day, has finished the race in as little as 16 hours, 1 minute, and 18 seconds (that’s averaging a 9:37 mile, only slightly slower than I’ve been averaging for three miles!). The endurance, discipline, and training required for running this type of race is beyond my comprehension.

You can find out more about ultramarathon running on various Internetting web sights. And if you feel like, just for fun, you want to run an ultramarathon, go ahead and train for one.

Posted in Sports

FROM: Greg C.
DATE: Thursday April 29, 2004 -- 1:11:01 pm
sight n.
1. The ability to see.
2. Something seen; a view.

site n.
1. The place where a structure or group of structures was, is, or is to be located: a good site for the school.
2. A website.

FROM: Mike
DATE: Thursday April 29, 2004 -- 3:11:39 pm
If you're into ultramarathons, here's a guy who's done them--Ben Saunders. His most recent project is skiing solo across the north pole from Russia to Canada. You can follow his progress at

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday April 29, 2004 -- 3:46:07 pm
I never knew that vegan was a profession. If it is, it's a lame one at that.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday April 29, 2004 -- 8:10:54 pm
sight... site

I know, Greg. :) 'Twas an attempt at humor while also using Paul's favorite phrase ("internetting web").

Mike -- Thanks for the link... that's some serious dedication to ski that distance. Human will and endurance is an amazing thing.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday April 29, 2004 -- 9:37:30 pm
Marathons would be made more interesting if there was a truck full of ebola infected chimps chasing the runners.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday April 30, 2004 -- 1:46:07 pm
A related link: the Treadathalon... this morning a guy broke the Guinness World Record by running almost 154 miles in 24 hours on a treadmill. He finished by collapsing and being tended to by EMTs.

154 miles.


FROM: Joseph
DATE: Monday May 3, 2004 -- 1:12:18 pm
Run 26 miles? I don't even want to drive 26 miles.

100 miles? That's four times as far as a distance I don't even want to drive.

What is this then?

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