Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Why Run Long?

Four years ago, I went to Brooklyn with Stroh of Arabia for a harebrained adventure: The Cirulnick-Inamarato 50k. It turned out to be a great day. Not only did I handily defeat Stroh on the last lap of a very, very long race, but I got my only running trophy, for third place. The day was also notable because we met Ted Corbitt. I didn't know much about him at the time, but he was a legendary runner. He completed in 199 marathons (including the Olympics) and ultras, only dropping out one time, when he was 75. He would run a mind-boggling 200 miles a week and compete in six-day races. Last week, he died at 88. Frank Litsky's got a great obit, including this great summation from Ted of why to run long.
The marathon demands patience and a willingness to stay with it. You must be willing to suffer and keep on suffering. Running is something you just do. You don’t need a goal. You don’t need a race. You don’t need the hype of a so-called fitness craze. All you need is a cheap pair of shoes and some time. The rest will follow.
5.2 miles, 35:43

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