Saturday, June 10, 2006

Pushing the limits: Athletes drawn to ultramarathons (Marin Independent Journal)

Mike Sweeney and Dean Karnazes are featured in a great article about ultra events in the Marin Independent Journal. Mike is interviewed during the Ruth Anderson 100k, where he placed third overall. Journalist Rick Polito does a great job of getting into the heads of ultra athletes to find out why endurance sports are growing in popularity.

(Mike Sweeney at the 2005 Badwater Ultra; photo courtesy of Luis Escobar)

One of my favorite quotes from sports pyschologist Joel Kirsch -
"That more people are being inspired and more people are "doing things that have never been done before" is to be expected. "More" is part of the human condition. "I think its part of the species to ratchet it up," Kirsch says.
Be sure to check it out when you have a chance.

- SD


  1. Love your blog Scott! I'm training for my first marathon, and I've been looking for good motivational material. Ran across your blog yesterday and I've been working my way through all of the back posts ever since. Great stuff!

  2. That artcile is a great find Scott. For me a very much newbie to ultra's (Way Too Cool this year was my first) the thrill of ultras is in exploring new places and ultra-distance events simply give you lots more miles of new places to discover. That, and it's fun.
    Cheers, Paul

  3. Welcome new runners! Congrats to both Chris and Paul for going long. Thanks for letting me know you stopped by.


  4. Ha! That has to be the first time I have ever heard somebody say "only a Badwater victory". ;-)

    I get your point about the fame-to-win ratio with Dean. I think if he claimed to be "the best" (which many lazy reporters seem to want to classify him as), it would be wrong. But I think he's right to say he's in the top tier of ultrarunners. There are only a dozen or so people capable of the finish times he has logged. Just look at his 10 Western States finishes, including a masters win, a top five finish, and 10 sub-24 hour finish times. There's only a "handful" of people clocking those kinds of results.

    All a matter of opinion, I guess. Thanks again for your comments, Ryan; everyone is thinking it, but you're logging your opinion for the record in a considerate way. It's great dialogue!

    I hope your training is coming along. I really enjoy your comic blog.


  5. I would like to congratulate you on a great blog as a 67 year old who has decided to turn to ultra events it is great to read this blog.


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