I kid you not - below is a picture of Jan Ryerse' toenail necklace that he made from the remnants of his Badwater, Western States, and other expeditions. He also takes donations if you would like to send yours in.
click to enlarge...IF YOU DARE!)
Jan was mentioned in an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about ultrarunning today that has a great section on the health effects. Quotes:
Todd Cade, assistant professor of physical therapy and medicine at Washington University, says distance running promotes cardiopulmonary health while lowering blood pressure and lipids. It also raises HDL, the good cholesterol, and has a powerful positive effect on bone-mineral density and body mass index. "But once you start running more than 10 miles at a time, there are some negative effects," he says. "Evidence suggests that there's musculo-skeletal damage, cartilage damage and increased whole-body inflammatory markers. The immune system is weakened immediately after a marathon, and there appears to be cardiac muscle damage and diminished cardiac function immediately afterward. Liver enzymes also increase, which can lead to liver damage."You can also see a pic of Jan wearing his toenail necklace. Dee-sgusting! But he sounds like a classic quirky ultramarathoner.