We were an hour outside of Putaendo, when the yerba maté started to take effect. It was June and deep mid winter. All that afternoon we had driven north towards the sun, which now was on its low drawling descent into the Pacific Ocean.
Ultramarathon races take hours, days. What’s a few lost seconds, right? Wrong. Seconds really do matter. Let me share with you a little story that illustrates this point. The race wasn’t a traditional ultramarathon, but a multiday adventure race involving a variety of disciplines, which included running, mountain biking, paddling and rock climbing.
Ride the Wind is a desert race through and through with cactus, kangaroo mice, wadis, coyotes, painted rocks, lizards, one hundred percent exposure, and a UV index that could strip paint off the space shuttle. Even the cactus was dying out there.
My non-running friends often ask me what it feels like to run a 100-miler. They find it difficult to imagine. I find it difficult to describe. Oxymoronic phrases like “Everything hurts, but I love it!” create more confusion than they clear up. I’ve been struggling to find a better way to get the message across. I think I finally found one.
Running Times published an article earlier this year entitled “Is 100 Miles The New Marathon?” That made me smile—so the rest of the running world has finally found our crazy little corner of the running world? Then I considered the absurdity of the notion and the flat out mega-difference between these distances and races. But
This May, after falling just short of the magical 600-mile mark last year in Anchorage, AK, Joe Fejes became the first modern-day American to break the 600-mile barrier in six days at the EMU World Trophy races in Hungary. Zane Holscher caught up with Joe and obtained the following feedback and insights on his huge accomplishment.