On Thursday/Friday, Scott Jurek - who I think might be part man, part machine - broke the American record for most distance covered in a 24-hour period. He ran 165.7 miles in 24 hours at a the International Association of Ultrarunners race in France.
Now. Let's consider that.
Jurek ran the equivalent of the distance between Providence, RI, and New York, NY. Moreover, he ran this distance around a 1.25km loop. KILOMETER, not mile, loop. He ran that loop more than 213 times.
If I'm doing the math correctly, Jurek's pace for this race averaged out at 8:41 minutes/mile. My modest marathon PR is 4:43, meaning that if I continued non-stop at my marathon pace for another 19 hours and 17 minutes, I would have completed 133 miles. I'm including two pictures of me at the finish of that marathon. Don't believe the smile - I barely made it to the grassy section to sit down. You see that arm raise? It's my attempt at a wave. Hell - my 5K PR pace is 9:11. I crossed the finish line, stumbled over to a bench, and silently sat, thinking about hurt legs and pain and whether I tried hard enough if I didn't feel like vomiting. (I set that PR this weekend, btw. More on that tomorrow.)
Granted, it's not a fair comparison, because I didn't train to run an ultra and I'm not a
Consider two other points: 1) The first woman to finish the race ran an impressive 148 miles, and 2) Jurek did not win the race. That honor goes to Shingo Inoue of Japan. Jurek was only (only!) the first American finisher.