Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Utra-Marathon Man: Ultimate Endurance while never moving

Right now Dean Karnazes is in the final minutes of his efforts to break the 153.76 mile record for 24 hours on a treadmill. To even attempt such a thing seems unbelievable. Who would consider running for 24 hours straight. Not I that is for sure. But I do find the man to be wholely inspiring. The amount of raw determination and abdominal fortitude is remarkable to say the least. Why? Good question. The stated reason is to promote a new sports drink brand and to raise awareness for prostate cancer. I am sure there is a commercial element, however, I would never begrudge a man from making a living. The second reason seems noble enough, I am for it.

How did all this start, last night at about midnight Mr. Karnazes embarked on a 24 hour trek on his treadmill in the middle of Times Square in New York. Well above Times Square actually. From this vantage point, Mr. Karnazes has been running solid. In that time I have slept, worked, ran 3 miles, relaxed, watched some television, traveled to and from work by train, and checked his progress on the internet. But during that time, Dean has only run, and run and run. To put this in perspective to achieve a goal of about 154 miles in 24 hours one must maintain a pace of 6.41 miles per hour. This is about a pace of 9 minutes and 20 seconds per mile. Now this is not a breakneck pace by any strech of the imagination. Well not for 5 or even 10 miles. But for 154 miles, my word. How would one do such a thing. It is wholely remarkable.

When I started running last year, I read alot of books on running. I read about things it is what I do. In this endeavor, I read Dean Karnazes book, "Ultra Marathon Man". I found this book inspiring and found that whatever I am doing I can always get up for a run of 2/ 4/ 6 or so miles because I know that Dean Karnazes is running 50/ 100 or even 154. I am inspired by Mr. Karnazes and I think many others are as well.

... It does not look like he is going to make it, he has covered 128 miles with about 4 minutes to go. I am still inspired.

Thanks, Mr. Karnazes, I run for many reasons but one of them is your example. Thanks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was watching most of the day but didn't get to see how it ended. The mileage wasn't very easy to see online. Still, I agree, it was inspiring to watch him go...