November 27, 2019
After my seventh marathon (which happened to be Boston), I decided I’d had enough of marathoning. I still run two half-marathons a year (when I’m not injured, which is often), and the pain I get in the final mile or two of a half-marathon reminds me that I don’t really need to run 26.2 miles to experience all the pain I really need.
Meanwhile, however, ultra-marathons (races beyond 26 miles; typically 50- or 100-mile affairs) have become more popular recently.
But nothing can top Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra.
As reported in the most recent print edition of Sports Illustrated, all you have to do in this race is complete a 4.167-mile loop in under an hour. Easy, huh?
Oh. Wait. Once you have finished the loop, you are given the balance of the hour to rest, eat, rehydrate, get massaged or go to the bathroom.
Then you run the 4.167-mile loop again.
And as long as you can keep running the loop in under an hour, you can keep competing. If not, you’re out. There’s only one winner: the person who is still running once every other runner has either dropped out or failed to finish the loop in the hour allotted.
This year’s race was run last month, and the winner was 39-year-old Maggie Guterl. She completed 60 loops. Or about 250 miles. In two and a half days.
I’ll stick with my half-marathons, thanks.