I've been thinking about the Superior 100 Mile race again. I volunteered again this year and it gets me to thinking that maybe I should correct that "never finished that one" status. As some of you know, I'm more than a little beat up, having been told by more than one podiatrist that I shouldn't be able to walk, much less run.
The question is: do I want to work hard for a year just to be another poor schlub who finishes? There's a huge investment and very little pay-off. Consider the other runners my age who run there: John Horns won the thing outright a few years ago. John Maas finished this year in 28 hours and he didn't run a step; he hiked 16 minute miles, which would be 13 on flat ground [see how long you can walk at that pace; I can manage 3 miles]. Doug Kleemeier ran 25-something and did little specific training, from what I gather, and he was only the third-place over-50 finisher. It's not a small local race any longer.
That's what always irritates me. People, including me, always think that they work really hard for what they get and everyone else cruises to easy success based on talent. That's what's happening here. Typically, runners finish Superior with a time remarkably close to 9 times their marathon finish. With the course record being 19.5 hours, that equates to about a 2:12 marathon - so he actually worked at it, since his marathon time's nowhere near that. Most people just don't really push themselves at Superior... except to finish, which is never guaranteed. The people who are running it are much much more capable than I am. If I finished, it's be close to a miracle.
But who really gives a damn?
Going up the country
1 day ago