Marathons, Football, and Spiritual Craziness

Kristin and her friend Cristyann went up to northern Washington yesterday and ran the Skagit Valley Marathon. They had been training for a couple months together -- it was Cristyann's first -- and they finished the pancake flat course in a time of 4:30 without any blisters or walking. They ran together and chatted and basically took in the scenery as they ran towards the coast outside of Burlington.

They weren't even done for two hours before Cristyann started talking about going down to Portland in four weeks to run another one. Kristin's biggest reservation about coming back and doing another marathon in just 4 weeks isn't the wear and tear on the body, but rather that it would mean another Sunday spent away from the couch she and I camp in front of the tv on during the NFL season.

I did miss her yesterday, especially since the gawd-awful play of the Seahawks necessitated having someone to accompany me in my viewing misery. What a weekend for Washington football fans: First UW gets their heart ripped out of their throat by a phantom celebration penalty with 2 seconds to play and loses 28-27, then WSU gets taken to the woodshed by Cal and loses 66-3, and then the Seahawks, the one team around here not in the WNBA that anyone has any hopes for, goes and lays down for the Bills in New York. Forget millions of dollars, the Seahawks don't even deserve the flier miles they got for that trip. Especially not the offensive line. Too bad George Carlin wasn't still alive, as he could have easily added "Seahawks" to his list of dirty words after the way they played yesterday. But hey, blame it on the jet-lag again why don't ya.

Anyway, back to running. All this talk about running marathons has reminded me that I never did break 3 hours like I always wanted to. I'm not so sure I could anymore, let a lone want to do the training it would take to do so, but I am giving getting back into running a little thought. If for no other reason than, I much prefer running in the fall and winter to cycling and it does a far better job of keeping the winter pounds at bay thn cycling. We'll see...

One thing for certain, there is a race in Queens, New York that I know I will never enter. No, not the New York Marathon (although I have no interest in running with that many people either), but rather the "Self-Transcendence Race". I was reading about this in Men's Journal the other night. The race is 3,100 miles long (you read that correctly) but never leaves the city block where it begins. Racers race lap after lap around a single block in Queens that isn't even a half-mile long for 51 days, in attempt to rack up 3,100 miles worth of distance. The article states that runners typically run from 6am to midnight every day in order to average 60.7 miles per day so as to finish in the 51 day limit.

The runners are disciples of Sri Chinmoy, a Bengali guru and the race's founder. Chinoy, who died last year, sought spirtual harmony through creativity and athletics, with an an emphasis on quantity (he is said to have authored 1,500 books and completed 16 million bird drawings).


A race pamphlet warns of fatigue, minor injuries, and, the greatest threat, boredom. "Listening to Harry Potter is popular, says Welsh runner Abichal.

A race so long and tedious that competitors actually recommend audio books. Yikes.

But hey, what better way to achievieve spiritual enlightenment than by listening to a book about pre-pubescent wizards and warlocks.

A better man than I would refrain from that last sentence, but the irony was just too rich.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hallo Doug,

nice song on your site.

To your article a link to a official site to this crazy runners.

Richard / Germany