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A riddle for avid runners who like to go long...very long

Posted Jul 01 2009 9:01pm

Russel Here' s a riddle for all of you avid runners who like to go long:

What costs $8000, and covers 6 countries, and cross 2,8000 miles, and had only one American entrant.


Here' s another hint: To compete in this race you need to consume an average of about 8,000 calories per day.

The answer is this year' s Trans Europe Footrace.

On the 65th day, Russell Secker rested because he was the only American out of 45 entrants to finish the race. He wore out six pairs of running shoes in the process and averaged 45 miles per day.

According to

"Each day the racers ran the equivalent of nearly two marathons. Some stages stretched far longer. "These are hellacious distances on fresh legs — in our weary state, they are really daunting," he wrote about a 60-mile day in a blog he kept during the race. For Secker, who struck a conservative pace of 12-minute miles to thwart injury, that meant 13 hours of running.

He ran along buzzing highways and sleepy lanes, past fields of wildflowers and desolate fjords, through tunnels and over bridges. He ran in blazing heat, torrential rain, brutal headwinds and biting sleet and snow, stopping every 10K for food and water.

He crossed mountains, too. "Imagine running for 15 miles, then spending 3 hours at the gym on a stair stepper, then running another 15 miles," he wrote.

He cut the toe boxes out of his shoes to prevent blisters (he still got them) and sliced his socks lengthwise to ease pressure on his feet. At one point he developed an unconscious list to one side. Toward the end, his feet had puffed up an entire size, his ankles and calves morphing into what he dubbed "cankles."

You can see the entire list HERE.

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