Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Okay, we've all heard about the marathon. You know, that exhausting 26 mile run that seems to get all kinds of attention in big cities these days. The crowds it draws brings big bucks to cities across the nation.

While sipping coffee in Starbucks this evening we were reading through the newspaper and ran across an article about a bigger marathon. Something way longer than a mere 26 miles. Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? How about a 100 mile run? You know just before dinner, to work up your appetite.

This is insanity. What are these folks trying to prove anyway? That they can outrun dinosaurs? Because that's the only reason I can think of that you'd need to run that far. Think about this for a moment. One hundred miles. That's very long. In a car it would take you an hour and a half, approximately. On foot how long would it take?

Well, first of all, of the 147 that participated, 54 dropped out within the first half of the race. What a bunch of wimps. Pooping out after a mere 50 miles. Can you imagine this? I run that far when my wife says it's time to do yard work. Fifty miles, by word.

The fastest completion time was about 14 hours. Yep, 14 hours. (I hope you appreciate me italicizing all these key words here.) Now because it lasts 14 hours, eating stations are positioned throughout the course. However, when they arrive, they are too tired to tell their support team what they want. So the team just runs down the list of what they brought. When the runner nods, they know they've found something satisfactory. The runner does a dine-and-dash, literally. The slowest times are about 22 hours. Most have been running from 5:00 a.m. I'm asleep by 9:00 when I get up at 6:00. I'm afraid I wouldn't even qualify for the schedule, let alone the run.

These folks train four hours on the weekends for this run. But here is the most incredible aspect about this run, at least from my perspective. They pay to run this race! They pay $160 plus the support team and trucks. This means that most spend about $1000 to run 100 miles.

I think there is something wrong with these people, or at least something they are not telling us. Something has happened here and they are not willing to say. Maybe they've robbed a bank (this explains their ability to cough up $1000), or, started some insurrection in a small neighboring town, or, they are running from creditors. These all seem like plausible reasons why someon would even think about running 100 miles.

"Once you're beat mentally, you might was well not even go to the starting line." -Todd Williams