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- General Information on 24-Hour and Multiday Races
The information on this page is not a traditional style
FAQ, but a loosely assembled collection of tidbits about
Across the Years, with supplementary
information about 24-hour and multiday racing in
general. Much of it is based on notes intended for an
article the keeper of this Web site at one time intended
to write, but may never get around to. Accordingly,
expect to see some bias based on the author's own
experience. Any outright factual errors will be
corrected if someone takes the trouble to report
Click on any red ball () to return to the top of the
old is Across the Years?
- The 2010 edition will be the 27th running of
Across the Years. The first was in 1983.
In that year founder Harold Sieglaff presented an
Easter 24-hour run in the spring, and followed that in
December with the first year-end run which has always
been called Across the Years, with
various descriptive words added to the title. There
was no race in 2009.
did Across the Years get started?
- ATY's founder is Harold Sieglaff, who was age 72 on
his most recent visit to the race in 2006. Harold
accumulated over 2400 lifetime miles at the race, far
more than anyone else. Originally Harold directed the
race, but he delegated that job to others several
- Harold has participated in almost every race. The
last few years he ran he walked it wearing street
clothes. Because of his knee problems, Harold has not
returned since the 2006 race.
- For several years, and through 2003, the race was
put on by Arizona Road
Racers. In 2004, the event once again became an
independent operation. Starting in 2010, the race is
put on by Aravaipa
Running, with the cooperation of Nardini Manor and
many of the long-time volunteers and organizers acting
as helpers and advisors.
- The race's format has not always been as it is
today. The first year there was a 6-hour race (with
one runner), and also 12-hour and 24-hour races on
December 31. The 6-hour and 12-hour events were
dropped. Until 1993 the race was held at Washington
High School in Phoenix, after which it was moved to
different locations. In 2004 it took off in
popularity, no doubt in large part because of the
world's new-found ability to get the word out on the
Internet, also because of the high quality facility
Nardini Manor provides.
does the name Across the Years come
- The origin of the name should be obvious, given the
traditional date of the race. All races include the
last day of the calendar year and continue through
midnight on New Year's Eve, thus "across the
years," and also across whatever other time
markers happen to apply. In 1999 there was a six-day
race to celebrate the coming of the new millennium.
Needless to say, we won't be having another race
across the millennia for quite a while, but for
several years after 1999 the full name of the race was
given as Across the Years, Decades, Centuries,
and Millennia 72-, 48-, and 24-Hour Run, Walk, Eat and
- The current full name of the race is Across the
Years 72-, 48-, and 24-Hour Footrace, but
it's usually referred to simply as Across the
Years, and by netizens as
did ATY get moved to Nardini Manor?
- This came about through the great generosity of
Nardini Manor's owner, ultrarunner Rodger Wrublik, who
wanted to host the race.
- For several years, ending in 2002, Across the
Years was held at the Canyon State Academy high
school track in Queen Creek, Arizona. We are grateful
to the Academy for its generous support, but we seemed
to have worn out our welcome there, and it was time to
- During that last race in 2002, Rodger supplied a large
tent that many people slept in during the cold nights.
Rodger also made it known to key ARR officers that he
would be glad to host the race at his facility, and
would even custom build a running path for the
occasion. His kind contribution no doubt made the
difference in whether the race would be able to
continue. We have been happy running there ever
is the track like?
- You can judge for yourself by looking at the many
pictures on this site. There are several archives that
show the work in progress. There are also many
excellent pictures from the races. See the navigation
bar on the left.
- The path is exactly 500 meters long, and runs around
the perimeter of the Nardini Manor grounds. See the Race Day Info page for an
overall map of the grounds.
- The surface is firmly packed crushed gravel. This
has proven to be easy on the legs for most runners,
though some have mentioned that it feels rather hard,
especially when temperatures drop. Not being a
rubberized track like you might find at a school, it's
not considered particularly fast, though one person
ran an 81-second lap after the 2007 race, just to show
off! To minimize overuse injuries that might result
from always turning one direction while going around
the course, runners switch directions every two hours
during the race.
- Regarding the process of hardening the track Rodger
- What I have is a Wacker
compaction roller which is designed just for dirt
compaction. It is a diesel powered vibratory roller
which will produce 100% compaction up to two feet
deep. Water is a vital part of the compaction process.
This compactor is similar to the ones that we have
used in our subdivisions for compacting our utility
trenches after putting in our water, phone, and
electric. I attached a photo of the unit to give
you an idea what it looks like.
- Has the course distance been
- Yes! On October 19, 2003, the course was officially
certified at 500 meters. In 2008 the track was greatly
revamped, and then the course was recertified. For
reference, the latest USAT&F Certification Code is
- Note that the path is certified as a road,
not a track, because of its construction,
which means that any records set will be road records,
not track records. The people who worked on getting
the certification spent some time tweaking the curves
so that it could be stretched to that convenient round
number. Now runners will be able to keep track of
their distances in kilometers without having to do any
fancy calculating. We will have a laps-to-miles
conversion chart available as packet stuffers for
metrically challenged runners.
- How was the certification
- The method used to calibrate the Nardini Manor loop
and achieve certification is set forth in the USAT&F
Road Race Course Measurement And Certification
Procedure booklet. Frank Cuda, who has
calibrated courses for Arizona Road Racers, did the
calibration, with the help of others. All questions
and concerns were graciously answered by the State
Certifier, Gene Newman.
- The Jones/Oerth Counter is one of the few
recognized calibration methods for courses. Frank
purchased two counters which were then used
independently to certify the loop.
- The certification process included calibrating a
bicycle on an approved calibration course one
kilometer in length with the counter attached. They
used a bicycle with solid tires, and traversed the
loop a total of eight times with an exact downward
load calculation. The readings were then modified to
ensure a non-short course. Temperatures at the start
and finish were also taken into account. As a side
note, the calibration course used a custom 500-foot
steel engineer tape with attached spring tension
- Nardini Loop was then calibrated a total of seven
times by two certifiers staying well within the
twelve-inch ruling and using the RRCMACP procedure for
unpaved surfaces. Notations were made for temperature,
percentage of different surfaces, altitude and
shortest possible paths.
- The bicycle was then returned to the calibration
course for eight more sets of readings. All of the
data was formatted and sent to the state certifier for
verification and validation of all the
- Should a national record be set on the course, the
course may be independently validated by the
- Realistically, with all of the above safety checks
and anti-shortness criteria built in by USAT&F,
the course, as run by a runner should equate to 10
feet longer than 500 meters.
will I know how far I have run?
- Please don't bug our hard-working timers for
readings of your mileage! Check the projector display
after any lap to see your total laps, miles,
kilometers and race position.
is the winter desert weather like?
- During the days expect anything from downright
chilly (low fifties or even upper forties) to too warm
(mid to upper seventies, rarely even low eighties). At
night it has been known to get below freezing, but
lows in the upper forties are more common.
- From December through January is the rainiest
season in the Phoenix area. It is often overcast.
I be able to set up a tent on the site?
- Yes. You will be able to set up either
inside the large tent, or out on the lawn.
Most people consider the large tent much more
comfortable, but a few people opt to rough it on the
there be any other type of shelter available?
- Yes. A 100'x60' tent is situated just a few steps
off the running path. This will be available for our
use during the race. Do the math: 100'x60' is three
times the size of an average house. A small army can
bed down in there.
there be adequate bathroom facilities at Nardini
- We could hardly hold a three-day race there if
there weren't. In addition to a centrally located
regular bathroom, there will be the usual portapotties
closer to the running path. Showers will also be
available for those who would like to use them. (And
who wouldn't after running for a couple of days
the running path be lit up at night, or will I need to
bring a headlamp and/or flashlight?
- The track has permanent night lighting. You are
free to bring supplementary lighting if you wish. You
may find it useful if you will be using a tent.
runners be able to set up personal aid stations?
- There will be adequate places along the running path
for runners to set up tables and chairs to put out
items they can grab as they run by. Also, the
northwest leg of the path runs by the parking lot.
Some persons set up tailgate personal aid stations
What will be supplied at the aid stations?
- There will be no shortage of food to eat at
Across the Years. In addition to the
usual race fare, there will likely be some delicious
sponsor-catered hot meals, as there has been the last
two years. A kitchen just behind the aid station will
be operational, and if you ask the volunteers nicely,
they will no doubt be glad to heat things in the
microwave for you, including items you bring for
yourself, if there are particular foods you prefer.
Just don't ask them to whip up an order of Peking duck
or beef Wellington.
I be able to invite my non-competing relatives or
friends to do laps with me for a while?
- Not if you will be going for a record. As for
others, we'll have to play this by ear depending on
- In years past, the accompanying of runners not
seeking to set records by non-competitors has been
permitted. The running path at Nardini manor is much
narrower than an eight-lane 400-meter track. If
non-competitors are allowed to roam the track, it
could lead to congestion that might affect the
performance of other runners. At any given time it
will be up to the judgment of the race directors
whether conditions will allow it.
you recommend using gaiters on this course?
- Whether to wear gaiters to help keep dirt and
debris out of shoes is a matter of personal choice.
The path at Nardini Manor is a dirt road, providing
plenty of reason to consider wearing them. The author
of this FAQ couldn't live without them.
run fixed-time events?
- People have wondered what point there is to
running around a track all day. Most runners who have
tried it, even those who remain primarily
fixed-distance and trail runners, admit that
fixed-time running has a specialized appeal that is
unlike other types of running. To quote one well-known
director of trail races:
- I see a lot of advantages to fixed
time events, and especially ATY. It's a great
confidence run for people just getting into ultras to
see how far they can go. It's good for older and
slower runners who have a problem meeting cut-offs.
It's something a young runner can enter. It's a highly
social event. It's a good way to find out how fast you
can run a certain distance. If folks can't see the
benefits, if they dismiss fixed time events as
"boring," they're missing out.—Geri
sort of person does these races?
- Ultrarunners differ in character as much as any
other cross-section of humanity. The sport does not
appeal to many young toughs from the backward-hat,
tatoos, and muscle shirt crowd of extreme sport
lovers. (Many of those people find they can't do
- Generally, persons who take up ultrarunning and
stick with it tend to be highly self-motivated,
willing to challenge themselves, and disciplined.
There seems to be an inordinate number of persons from
scientific and professional backgrounds in the sport.
In addition, ultrarunning appeals more to older
runners than to younger ones. I am not aware of any
reputable research that has been done to verify that
either of these claims is true, and if so, why.
age a disadvantage in distance running?
- Intuitively it would seem to be so, but the reality
is quite different. At this writing Yiannis Kouros is
50, is still breaking records in almost every event he
enters including a world record for 48 hours at Across
the Years in 2005, and wins almost every race he runs
by astonishing margins of hours or tens of miles over
whoever finishes next. In 2001 Sue Ellen Trapp became,
at age 55, the most elderly person to win a
national championship running event at the Olander
24-hour race, winning it for the sixth time.
("Elderly" is the word chosen by the one
giving out the awards.) At age 81, ultrarunning legend
Helen Klein was still breaking world age group records
by large margins, and running better than many
competitors 30 and 40 years younger.
- Kouros, Trapp, and Klein may be exceptional, but it
is also statistically verifiable that the median age
of runners who participate in ultras is quite a bit
higher than those who participate in shorter races.
Participant ages in the 2001 edition of Across
the Years broke down as follows:
- Ages of those who ran the 72-hour in ascending
order: 28, 35, 40, 41, 43, 46, 47, 48, 49, 54, 55,
57, 58, 62, 63, 63, 64, 67
- Average: 51.1
- Ages of those who ran the 48-hour in ascending
order: 38, 41, 43, 50, 50, 51, 53, 57, 71
- Average: 50.4
- Ages of those who ran the 24-hour in ascending
order: 15, 17, 24, 28, 31, 32, 32, 33, 33, 33, 34,
34, 35, 37, 39, 39, 39, 40, 40, 41, 41, 42, 43,
43, 43, 43, 43, 44, 44, 44, 47, 47, 50, 50, 51,
51, 52, 52, 53, 54, 55, 55, 56, 60, 61, 62, 64,
65, 65, 69
- Average: 44.1
- Interesting, huh? The 2003 and 2004 numbers have
not been integrated into this presentation, but the
story remains the same. The conclusion one can draw is
that ultrarunning is not something for the kids.
people run the whole time, or are they allowed to walk
- The ability of ultrarunners varies dramatically. A
few world-class runners are able to run pretty much
the whole time for 24 hours and even up to 48 hours.
People in that category are few and far between, but
they do tend to show up at races like Across the
- Although these events are called running
races, the traditional term for the technique employed
is "go as you please," meaning competitors
are free to run, walk, sleep or do whatever they want,
but the clock never stops. The reality is that almost
everyone walks at least part of the time, and some
people for most of it. When such events were held in
the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they
were often referred to as pedestrian races,
which seems quaintly archaic, but is probably a more
accurate term to describe them than running.
It is even possible for diligent racewalkers to win
the 48-hour and 72-hour events.
the runners get to have rest periods?
- Across the Years is not a staged race
where time is accumulated over several periods of
activity. The clock runs continuously. It's a true
race in that whoever gets the farthest in the time
allotted is the winner. What competitors do to keep
themselves moving is up to them. Some just keep on
going, even if very slowly.
far do they go?
- The world record for 24 hours, held by Yiannis
Kouros, is 188.59 miles. But Kouros is barely human,
and it may be a very long time before anyone breaks
many of his records.
- Giving the ladies equal time, the world record for
24 hours is 150.76 miles, held by Irina Reutovich, and
Sue Ellen Trapp holds the 48-hour record at a remarkable
- In case you were wondering, no world records are
kept for 72 hour races, only course records.
Across the Years is the only regularly
held 72-hour race in the world that we know of.
Therefore, anyone who enters the 72-hour race is
running for fun rather than glory. As a consequence,
until 2004, the course records were probably a bit
softer than they would be if world-class runners
showed up regularly in hopes of setting records. As
the race's reputation increases, this is
- The men's 72-hour course record at Across the
Years is 323.424 miles, set by Yiannis Kouros in
the 2005 race, and breaking the previous record of
300.122 miles by a margin of over 23 miles, set by John
Geesler in the 2004 race. The men's 24-hour record,
set by Joseph Gaebler in 2002, is 145.401 miles.
- It is often a goal of middle ability runners to get
100 miles in a 24-hour race. Doing so is a substantial
accomplishment, having been achieved by 41 of 196
24-hour competitors since 1998.
- The numbers descend from there. A little digging in
the statistics revealed the following numbers from
results from races between 1998 and
2002. I threw out a few very low numbers of people
who ran just 10 miles or less in a given race as not
being serious competitors.
|Race||Total Runners||Mean Mileage
runners sleep, and if so, how much?
- Well-trained and motivated runners sometimes find
it surprising how little sleep they need. After all,
it's hard to fall asleep when you're exercising. Many
24-hour runners will go the whole night without sleep,
in the realization that they are in a race, and when
they are not moving forward they are not logging
distance. Some will nap for a couple of hours. Others
demand more sleep.
- A very few 48-hour runners are able to go the whole
time without sleep, but those this writer has seen who
do have been zombies when they finished. In 2003 Jan
Ryerse won the 72-hour race without sleeping at all,
and Geesler's 300-mile run was accomlished with about
an hour's sleep, by his estimate—not counting
time he may have been sleeping while running!
- Almost anyone planning to go longer than 48 hours
must consider sleep periods as a part of his or her
strategy. Some 72-hour runners have even been known to
leave and go to a motel or home to get a few hours
sound sleep before returning refreshed. Others will
nap a couple of hours at a time in tents.
pace do most people run?
- Paces vary from swift to barely moving. Most people
slow down as they get tired. It seems to be a
universal phenomenon for runners to slow down
significantly during the late night hours, even though
the temperatures are cooler, no matter how determined
they are not to. Our body clocks are built to shut
down that time of day. Then amazingly, when the
sunlight returns, everyone comes to life once again.
Experienced runners find that they sometimes return to
nearly the energy levels they had on the first day
during the daylight hours of the second and third
- It's not hard to do the math. If the average
distance accumulated in 24 hours is 70.79 miles, they
have to travel at an overall 20:20 pace. That's a slow
walk, but it does not allow for potty stops, gear
changes, and tending to other necessary matters. Any
time a person is not moving at all, the average pace
per mile tends to rise quite rapidly.
about eating and going to the bathroom?
- Ultrarunners are human beings with normal bodily
functions that must be attended to. In order to
sustain energy, they must eat more-or-less constantly,
as much as 300 calories or more an hour, perhaps three
or four times as much in a day as they would normally
- It's inefficient from a racing standpoint to sit
down to eat. Therefore, most runners will eat foods
such as energy bars and high-carbohydrate snack foods
while on the run, and often can be seen eating a full
meal on a paper plate while walking around the track
in order to avoid wasting time.
- In shorter races, runners tend to concentrate
entirely on carbohydrates because they convert to
energy quickly. Most ultrarunners also take in plenty
of fats and protein. They need to eat normal food as
much as possible during a race, and lots of it,
including soups, yogurt, sandwiches, pizza, and
various hot dishes.
do you train for one of these races?
- This question is the subject of books. Techniques
vary greatly, and personal opinions are widely
available for free. Advanced information is dispensed
by professional coaches at great cost to
- Some runners will tell you the only way to train
for a race like Across the Years is to
run it once. You will learn a lot that you can apply
to the next time you do it.
- One does not simply go out and start running 100
miles a week or doing 16-hour training runs every
couple of weeks. Most people who run track ultras have
been running consistently for years at fairly high
mileage, and have competed in shorter races first. A
balanced training program that includes at least one
weekly long run, some mileage base building, and a
modest amount of speed work for strength, will suffice
for most runners. One of the most surprising things
runners learn as they branch into ultrarunning is that
the amount of extra training necessary to do it is not
much more than they need to run shorter distances.
Some runners have been known to do reasonably well
with a mileage base as little as 30 miles per week.
Runners cannot expect to win the race with that little
training, but may find themselves running tens of
miles further than they have ever run before on race
- Ultrarunning is a highly scientific sport.
It's not about gritting your teeth and gutting it out.
A well-trained ultrarunner will read the literature
available and get information from other runners. Over
time he will find himself becoming knowledgeable about
the science of running—physiology, nutrition and
fueling, fluid and electrolyte replacement, caring for
the endocrine system, muscles, knees, quads,
hamstrings, lower back, the need for weight training
and heart/cardio fitness, preventing muscular
overbalances, skeletal problems, watching for signs of
injury to joints and ligaments, such as in and around
the Achilles tendons and ankles, being alert to
potential medical problems with kidneys, pulmonary
emboli, heart arrhythmia, caring for feet, preventing
blisters, breathing, sleep, and many other details.
Being ignorant of these matters is a good way to get
hurt and have a short career (and possibly a short
life) as an ultrarunner.
do you prepare for sleeplessness?
- The answer to this question is good news. The only
way to prepare for sleeplessness is to get as much
rest before the race as possible, including nine or
ten hours the night before the race. It is neither
possible nor necessary to train for sleeplessness by
practicing staying up all night. Doing so merely
depletes one's vital energy, and brings no training
benefits in return.
- Some ultrarunners disagree with this advice, and
maintain that having the experience of going through
the night a couple of times provides valuable
psychological training, teaching runners how to cope
do they measure the distance run in a fixed-time
- Imagine the problem that would exist if everyone
started in one place, then headed down a road or trail
for 24 hours. How would you signal the time to stop?
How would you measure the distance when some runners
go 150 miles and others only 20? Because of these
problems, the only reasonable way to measure a
fixed-time event is to have everyone run laps on a
short course where the distance of a single lap has
been accurately measured, preferably certified, and to
count the laps each runner has traveled. In some
races, partial final laps may be measured to within a
few centimeters, at the runners' option. Final partial
laps are not counted at Across the Years,
but the lap count is recorded using a chip system, so
is quite accurate.
differences are there between running 24 hours and
- Different runners will say different things. Some
72-hour runners will tell you they get to have three
times the fun.
- The longer a person goes, the more incumbent it
becomes upon him to include walking and sleeping in
his race strategy. It also becomes more necessary for
him to eat normal foods. A few runners may be able to
get by on typical race food for as long as 24 hours,
but before long a person is going to need and want
soup and sandwiches and chili and stick-to-your-ribs
- It also takes more gear to run a multiday. How
long can you stand to live in the same sweat and filth
saturated clothing? Some people also change shoes, and
a few even take time out to take showers during the
- Pacing is much different in a multiday race.
Statistically it has been shown that even elite
48-hour runners cover about 65—70% of the
distance they will go the first day, then hang on for
dear life until the end. Some runners walk most of the
time in the later stages of the race, particularly
late at night, and even plan it that way. The elites,
of course, just keep on running, but even Yiannis
Kouros eventually slows down at least a little.
about recovery and additional sleep afterward?
- This writer's personal experience has been that as
little as four hours of deep sleep in a real bed after
a hot shower following a race is sufficient to get
through the rest of the day following a 72-hour race,
and that thereafter no more than eight hours (a normal
night) is necessary, even right after the race.
- Total recovery is quite another matter. A
well-trained runner may be able to run an easy two or
three miles the day after a multiday. Getting out the
door to walk a mile or so is better for some persons
than total rest, and helps speed recovery, because it
helps to stretch out sore muscles and keeps one from
getting too stiff.
- Sore muscles are not all that need recovering
following a long ultra. A person may be back to
running easily in a few days, and training normally
within a week or so. In contrast, the endocrine system
gets taxed to the limit during an ultra, and takes
three weeks or longer to recover adequately. During
that period, a runner may find himself far more
susceptible to illnesses than normal. Unless you enjoy
being sick, make a special effort following an ultra
to consume vitamins, get enough sleep regularly, and
avoid stress, drafts, germs and contact with sick
people, or anything else that tends to make you
happens to your feet?
- They get tired. Sometimes they get blisters.
Learning the techniques of foot care and blister
prevention is a large part of the science of
you get tired running for so long?
- No, never.
- Just kidding, folks! Of course we get tired. These
are endurance races. Battling against
tiredness is the whole point. There is the physical
ache and tiredness of muscles, joints, and bones,
being tired of endless heavy breathing and pounding
heart, there is the mental tiredness from doing the
same thing for hour after hour, and there is tiredness
from lack of sleep. Add them together and you have one
huge case of utter exhaustion. Doing well in a
multiday is largely about learning to cope with the
problems as they occur, and to get beyond them. The
tiredness is a kind that can at the same time be
exhilarating, when accompanied by the great
satisfaction returned from rising to face challenges,
overcome obstacles, and make goals. Some runners
believe the happiness that comes from this ranks among
life's greatest moments.
it still true that the faster runners win?
- Looking at the big picture, that is a true
statement, because the winner is the one who goes the
farthest in the time given. To beat all the others he
or she has run faster than all of them, at least
- Don't forget that 24-hour and multiday races are
essentially endurance contests. Many runners who excel
at short distances cannot handle the longer runs, and
drop out. Those who are able to keep on trudging along
may be able to accumulate the mileage necessary to
beat someone faster because of having greater
endurance. It is in long fixed-time races that the old
tortoise and hare principle reigns supreme, with the
result that many intrinsically slower runners with
stamina and grit are able to surpass the
- At ATY in 2001, the great and gracious ultrarunner
Ann Trason thrilled us with her presence at the
24-hour race. In the course of the day she set five
world and national masters records, then went down in
flames and quit the race by early evening, with an
accumulated mileage of just over 80 miles, a total
that made her a better-than-average mid-packer. By
comparison, this writer is one of the slowest of the
slow, but 80 miles was less mileage than I acquired in
my very first 24-hour race. There is a lesson to be
learned there: RFP (Relentless Forward Progress) pays
off big time.
people get bored running endlessly?
- No doubt some do. If it's not fun, don't do it. All
the ultrarunners I know do it because they enjoy
- This writer has long believed that boredom comes
from within. If a person is unhappy with himself or
has little of interest to offer to others as a person,
then he is likely as bored with himself as others
probably are with him, but are too polite to say.
There can hardly be a better opportunity to meditate
on life's problems, commune with one's Creator, and
generally get one's head in good working order than in
those hours spent running. Perhaps to persons for whom
these activites are not important, spending time
running is boring.
- In addition, at a race such as Across the
Years one is never alone for very long. In a
short time everyone present recognizes everyone else
and people get to know one another. Bonds are formed.
With 75 or so runners running around a short loop one
is rarely more than a few feet from a new friend to be
made or an old one whose acquaintance can be
cultivated and renewed.
it help to use a portable music player?
- Some people run multiday races while wired to an
MP3 player. It's certainly not against race rules to
do so. Others have no use for them, and regard them as
simply another thing to have to lug around. As Sheryl
Crow sings: "If it makes you happy, it can't be
anyone run a race of this sort?
- Across the Years is an all-comers
family of races. No minimum distances are set to
qualify as a finisher. Technically, anyone can enter a
three-day race, run, walk, or crawl one lap, and be
able to say he competed in and "completed" a
72-hour footrace. Persons who take up precious race
slots to fulfill frivolous fantasy goals are not
likely to earn the respect or admiration of other
runners, and it's doubtful that those who do it get
much personal satisfaction either.
- Any person who hopes to make a serious effort at
racing for 24 hours or longer is well advised to do so
after at least a few years of consistent running and
completing races, preferably including one or more
shorter ultramarathons, and following a period of
extended training specific for the event. Running an
ultra is not simply a matter of showing up, gutting it
out to the finish, and then getting a few days rest at
the end. The price one pays in damage to one's body,
including his or her endocrine system, can be
significant. It must be frankly acknowledged that
there is danger in running ultramarathons. We cannot
recommend that you accept the risk lightly.
- If you are considering running such an event and
have never done so before, train well, read the
literature available on the subject, and seek the
advice of knowledgeable runners who have done it
before you. There is no glory in foolishly engaging in