My Brother Just Finished a 55-mile UltraMarathon!

Having just posted about a tiny baby hike to the top of an anthill in Kyoto that I feel good about having been able to do, I'm put to shame by my next-older brother Mike, who moments ago finished the Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa. A normal Marathon is 26.22 miles, but this one is 55.5 miles (89.28 km). He finished in 9h 37m 26s, the 3,198th finisher out of 18,000 runners.

That leaves a pace of 10m 24s per mile.... every mile... more than 55 times in a row. On a good day I might be able to do one mile (2%).

Congrats Mike. What an accomplishment!

Update: Mike's written up an interesting report on the exeprience on his blog.

All 2 comments so far, oldest first...

Jeff, it’s 56.1 miles, I believe, not 51. At least according to the Comrades website.

Oops, thanks, I’d copied the kilometer number wrong, and all calculations from there went south. The length fluctuates slightly every year, apparently, and this year’s is apparently 89.28km, which is 55.5 miles. I’ve updated everything accordingly, thanks! —Jeffy

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on June 1st, 2014 at 11:07pm JST (9 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for the ‘shout out’ Jeff!

Finishing Comrades (55.92 miles by my GPS watch) was BY FAR the hardest – an most painful – thing I’ve ever done. A veritable perfect storm of distance, hills, and jetlag combined to make it MUCH harder than I expected. I thought I was well-trained and well-prepared, but the Comrades gods slapped me in the face.

That said, I’m incredibly proud to have finished, and to have finished as well as I did. Many good runners suffered more than I did, and thousands more didn’t make it to the checkpoints in time and were pulled from the course. What’s worse, the 12-hour time limit is non-negotiable, and the MANY runners still streaming into the packed cricket stadium when the time ran out were denied a medal, official time and the title “Comrades finisher.”

For those interested, Comrades is the oldest and largest ultramarathon in the world. A ton of history.

When I finished, I was certain I’d never, EVER, subject myself to such a thing again. Three days later, not having even left Durban, I’m thinking of ways to improve. Hmmm….

— comment by Michael on June 5th, 2014 at 2:42am JST (9 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink
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