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Jan 7, 2011

Extreme Running!

My running schedule:  Rest day today

Review of Extreme Running Book

Well I finished this book.  It only took me a few days to go through it.  I really liked it.  It discusses all the extreme races throughout the world.  While there are many fantastic marathons/ultra's throughout the world, these are the ones that the authors felt were the most extreme on each continent.  It's not completely up to date since when I went through the book and then checked the websites, there have been changes but that would be expected of when a book is released and changes that the race makes year to year.

Probably the race that I would fear the most is the Jungle Marathon.  Stage 1 of it is just the warm up.  It's only 16.3 km.  That doesn't sound too bad.  Until you hear the cut off time - 10 hours 30 minutes!!!!(now 17.5 hours on their website!) Can you imagine the kinds of thing that you have to run through if the cutoff is that long for only 16km?  Heavy forest(with plant that will rip your clothing), swamps, tree stumps everywhere - highly technical.  Not only a tough terrain but apparently there is bugs - REALLY big bugs, all over the place(and falling from the trees - eek) and its very hot and humid.

Each of the stages gets longer and tougher.  Did I mention the deep river you have to swim across?  I don't remember any running races that included swimming in a river?  There is even a point in the race where if you get past a certain point, assuming you make it to that point, you risk being out in the jungle alone in the dark for much of the night running.  Well, not really alone.  You would be in an area of heavily populated Jaguar's!  Apparently, Jaguars are quite, fast(can't outrun) and deadly.
Imagine facing this on your run!
As I said before, who thinks up this stuff?  I know that some of you are thinking, "I can do it!" or "That's sounds awesome" because I know that some of you are just crazy enough to try this

Here is a quote from the race director:  "Those that make it out of the jungle during daytime will do a lot of this stage in the dark(stage 5 of 6).  And there are parts where it is scary.  Even though you are near communities it will feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere.  I strongly recommend teaming up as there will be all kinds of crawly creatures at night.  It's when the jungle comes to life.  4 eyes see more and will make it safer for you."  Crazy, I tell you, Crazy!

Key Stats for the Jungle Marathon -

Location:  Amazon Jungle(Brazil)
Distance:  200km(125 miles); 6 stages; web says 220km or 100km now
Date:  Early October
Total Ascent:  1,800m(5,900 ft), unverified
Total Descent:  1,800m(5,900 ft), unverified
Key Chartacteristics:  Multi Stage, self-sufficiency, race on Jungle Tracks, road and beach with numerous river crossings and swamps; extreme humidity and heat.
Race Records:  Male:  38:47; Female:  51:59
Field(approx):  80
Climate:  Up to 50 degrees C(122 F); approx. 80% humidity
Finishers:  60-65% of starters
Cost:  $3,092(Wow!; it does include more than your average marathon though)

Go check out their website.  It's unbelievable.   I personally think this would be a great reality TV show.  Not a whole season but a great one time show about it.  Maybe even a whole season but do a different extreme marathon each week.  Looks like getting there(by plane and boat) is half the adventure.  Once there you need to acclimate to the climate and do jungle training(survivor anyone?)  Check out these pictures here too!  You won't believe the sore, blistered feet from running these kind of miles with wet feet.  By the way, training - try running in your attic in middle of summer to get used to it.  LOL!

Anyway, the book is fantastic and gives great detail to all of the races along with all the stats of each race and lots of pictures.  It's also a great price on Amazon (and I don't get paid if you buy it).  I wish I could describe all the races to you but there are too many so I picked the one I would be most scared to do(I hate bugs!).  I would definitely recommend picking this book up if you are interested in reading about races throughout the world.

Have a great day everyone and.....Keep Running!


  1. Wow, I thought Badwater was like, the ultimate in craziness but apparently I was out of the loop! I have never heard of this Jungle Marathon before, and you lost me at the giant bugs. I shall find some nice, safe, insect free alternative races thankyouverymuch! Fascinating stuff, though.

  2. I think I'm going to stick to regular marathons. My husband is fascinated by the ultras and I'm pretty sure he's insane.

  3. HOLY CRAP! I am not sure about running where I am part of the food chain.

  4. OMG Jeff. Completely agree this would make a great reality tv special. Did you ever see "Last One Standing" on the History (?) Channel? These 'superathletes' would travel around the world participating in other culture's/tribes traditional physical challenges. It was unbelievable!! I'm definitely going to check this book out. Thanks! :-)

  5. Here kitty kitty kitty! :-)

    Big bugs, falling from trees.....that's all I needed to hear, count me out! :-)

    Sounds like fun to read about though, might have to go pick up the book!!!

  6. Okay, I will not do that race! I hate bugs!

  7. The only way to get over your fear of bugs is to complete this race, so I signed you up and took out a HELOC on your house to pay for it! Enjoy.

  8. I definitely thought....that would be awesome to do and still think that but I'm not going to ruin my dream by going to their site. I mean that would just not be helpful to me, as I will try to keep the Jungle Marathon in my dreams and on my bucket list. There is no end to the bucket list right? Just move stuff around and cross other stuff off as you do it....

  9. Vera - I never did see that show. Sounds good though.

    Kovas - Haha! Thanks. That's about the only way for me to pay for it.

    Jason - I completely understand. Keep it crazy but seeing the photos really proves their crazy!

    Thanks everyone!

  10. Eeek!!! Holy cow, that race sounds INSANE!! Pretty awesome and badass, but insane :)

  11. That's crazy. But I bet that would motivate me to run pretty quickly.

  12. Holy crap that sounds awesome...and whacked. Having been hanging out with some of the Jag's feline friends in the wild recently...I'd want nothing to do with them at night by myself on foot.

  13. Talk about extreme sport! Bugs and jaguars...nope, not for me :)

    BTW, Happy New Year!

  14. That is INSANE!! Thanks for the tips on the books. I need to pick up at least one of them. I don't have a Borders or B&N nearby so I have to decide if I want to order one or take the trip!

  15. Sounds like an awesome book. Heck, I thought it would have been extreme for me to run this morning in the snow and 15 degree times... guess I'm a big wuss!