A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Now THIS sounds excrutiatingly boring! Indoor marathons.

From one of the lists that I'm on...the Wall Street Journal has an article on people doing, of all things, indoor marathons:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704515904576076343670470456.html

OK, now that you read the article, let me ask you...if you had a choice between an outdoor marathon or an indoor marathon, which would you choose?

My guess is that most of you will pick the outdoor marathon. Why? Well, because you're at least going...somewhere. Unless you do the marathon on an outdoor track, in which case you'll be doing the same as an indoor marathon, which is of course as boring as the indoor variety mentioned above.

We do have a lot of races in the ultra realm that cater to this type of thing also. There are a number of 24 hour races that are done on an outdoor track. Here is one of them. It truly is amazing that these athletes can keep their focus on the task at hand when all they do is go around in endless tight circles for the 24 hour period. And there are those who take the mundane even further by running 24 hours on a treadmill. Imagine running 160 miles on a treadmill for 24 hours? How anyone can keep their mind sharp is a wonder in itself.

But I have to tip my hat to those who do the Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 3100 mile run in Queens, NY every year. This race is run basically on a half mile block for two months. Two months! Oh, sure they stop running at the end of the day and go home, then come back early the next day, but imagine that for the next 2 months all you're going to do is run, run, run. I guess the "self transcendence" moniker is appropriate for this race. Anyone who can keep this kind of focus without going crazy for two months is definitely "transcendent" and is capable of doing anything they can put their mind to.

As for me, I do prefer going...somewhere...when I run. A lot of times I like to travel to a different race so that I can appreciate the different scenery of each race.

A last note: I am about to sign up for the Virginia Double Ironman in October. Yes, this race is twice the distance of an Ironman (4.8 mile swim, 224 mile bike, and 52.4 mile run). Although the distances sound epic, this does involve countless loops on the bike and run portion in a small park. Mundane? Maybe. Will the tremendous boredom drive me insane? Perhaps. But, there is only one way to find out. DO IT!

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