The 1000km challenge
Earlier this year, probably February, I came across an email on the Ultra List, an email listserv where people in the ultra community share information, experiences, advice, encouragement and, sometimes, good-natured heckling. The ultra list can be a pretty busy forum and I often just scroll the subject lines and move on. One thread caught my eye and has pretty much formed my running year for me. This particular thread began with some discussion of "slams", like the Grand Slam of Ultras and such. I'm not normally all that interested in something that is going to tie up an entire year of running in that way. What interested me was some mention by Gary Cantrell, known to many as Lazarus Lake, of a sort of informal "challenge" in Tennessee. Apparently the idea is not completely new and had been floating around for a while. Now someone had actually declared his intent to try to complete the "1000 Kilometer Challenge." The post below is the one that I responded to:
"after seeing a lot of interest for next year,
we do have at least one serious challenger this year.
Jack Jones , 53, of new smyrna beach florida.
i will be interested in seeing how this goes:
may, 05/06/17: strolling jim (41.2 miles) sub 8 hours
July, 07/13-23/17: the last annual vol state road race (314 miles) sub 10 days
September, 09/02-06/17: a race for the ages (at least 166 miles)
October, 10/21-??/17: big backyard ultra (at least 100 miles)
4 completely different kinds of challenges over 24 weeks.
Jbob is signed up for the first 3,
and on the wait list for the backyard.
if he can complete the first 3,
he will be in the backyard.
someone has to be the first.
if anyone else is interested,
the backyard is, of course, on wait list status.
and the vol state has only a couple of slots remaining.
strolling jim and arfta have room yet...
and, if you do the first 3, we will get you in the 4th.
no entry fee for the challenge,
you just have to declare your intentions.
Well, for goodness' sake, I couldn't let JBob have all the fun to himself. I was already registered for Vol State. I had wanted to do Strolling Jim for years and never made it happen. ARFTA & Backyard I had been dragging my feet about. I've spent a lot of time in Tennessee the last few years. The driving often takes as long as the races. But I just couldn't resist the challenge. I signed up for Strolling Jim & ARFTA and put myself on the wait list for Backyard. Then I sent an email to Gary declaring my intentions. I had no idea how few would join in.
By the start of Strolling Jim 5 runners total had declared their intention to complete the 1000km Challenge in 2017:
Alex Ramsey (another Luna Sandals runner)
Alex Ramsey 6:07:12
Jack Jones 6:43:28
Karen Jackson 7:31:16 (specific details on May Races Tab)
Rick Lehto 7:48:55
John Price 10:33:15 (Over time limit, out of challenge)
Karen Jackson 5 Days, 7 hours, 8 minutes, 26 seconds, 1st "screwed" female (race report under July Races Tab)
Jack Jones 5 Days, 11 hours, 40 minutes, 41 seconds
Alex Ramsey 6 Days, 13 hours, 53 minutes, 06 seconds
Rick Lehto Quit at 61 miles - 1 day, 3 hours, 30 minutes (Out of challenge)