Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nuts!

For quite a while I was under impression that ultra-running is a pretty young sport that did not exist before Karno published his Ultramarathon Man book. Well, I am slightly exaggerating the level of my ignorance, but it is close...

Another thing I was kinda sure about that ultra-running is mostly American sport that got some limited traction in Europe lately. I was completely shocked when I found out several months ago about Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc (UTMB) 100-mile race that draws over 2000 athletes to the start line every year. I actually lived for almost 3 years within just 30 miles from those trails in Switzerland and never heard about this race!

Anyways I came across today a profile of William Sichel, a Scottish ultra-runner. What really struck me is that he did Monaco Six Day race, where he ran… hold your breath here…
503 miles / 810 km

It does not change my definition of nuts though. Whenever it comes 3-digit numbers (100K, 100 milers, or even 50 milers) we are talking about folks that are seriously nuts and there is no better way to describe them :)
However running 503 miles is as crazy as it gets!

Now a quick historical note:

Did you know?
The Six Day race reached a peak of popularity in the late 1800's - the pedestrian era - with regular major indoor races in London and New York. The Scottish Indoor Six Day record dates back to 1882 and was set in New York by George Noremac (or George D. Cameron to give him his correct name - Noremac is Cameron spelt backwards and was his professional name) - 912.9km / 567.2miles!

You know what else is completely crazy? William holds Guinness World Records on a treadmill: 100 miles in 24 hours. I do not survive on a treadmill longer that 20-25 min and really hate this thing…

2 comments:

andyb said...

If you think running 503 miles is nuts, you'll flip your lid when you check out the Sri Chinmoy Annual Self-Trancendence **** Race (yes, that is 4 places there - you'll have to hit the following link to see the total).

http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/news/3100_mile_race_2006

Keep running!

Dmitri said...

I agree, Self-Transcendence race is even more nuts than Monaco Six Days! And the daily distance is not that bigger in Monaco compared to New York: 84 miles vs. 61 miles. It is just psychologically 500 miles in 6 days sounds like one no-stop big-ass race, while 3100 miles in 51 days sounds more like a stage race and does not strike that much if you do not think about it...