The “Extra Mile Endurathon” is sort of a bizarre event. There’s one taking place in Boulder right now, I just checked it out, so thought I’d share – – –
A group of people start walking. The group must stay together, walk at the same speed, and at pre-determined intervals they all stop together for a 10 minute break. This goes on for DAYS, until only one person is left standing, and he or she must walk one more mile (thus the name), and is declared the winner.
When I saw them, the Boulder contingent had been walking for 73 straight hours, around a 4 mile loop in downtown Boulder. I saw two TV crews filming them, and then an article in the local paper. They plan on breaking the world record (in this particular event) of 102 hours. 13 walkers began the event, and relatively quickly (36 hours) 10 dropped out, leaving a distinct group of 3 who are very committed and experienced. This group is:
- Ulli Kamm – famed ultrawalker (and Director of this event), Ulli is 60 years old and has done 229 ultras including 10 Hardrock 100 finishes – all without running a step.
- Glen Turner – a long time ultra runner, this spring Glen “zoomed” (trotted in a Flintstones-like cart) across the US in 37 days.
- Debbie Richmeier – I don’t know much about Debbie, but she looked as rested as the other two.
Sound whacked? Well, aren’t we all? Or are we? You be the judge! Please post a Comment below; it would be fun to hear what others think. Here are my observations:
- They all looked quite relaxed and happy
- Unlike running, one can eat and drink as much as one wants and still walk
- Also unlike running, one tends not to sustain injuries or even blisters while walking
- A key aspect of this is teamwork – they say the point is to support each other to walk as far as they can rather than compete.
It’s unclear what will happen at Midnight Tuesday, which is when the new world record would be reached – it appears all three of them will hold on that long, and rather than attempt to walk each other into the ground, they may just call it good enough and draw straws to decide who will walk the “extra mile”.