Monday, May 30, 2011

Ultramarathon Man

I entered this image to a contest. Entrants had to depict one out of a list of Canadian athletes. I picked Ray Zahab, an ultramarathoner. He also does, you know, some motivational speaking, personal training, taking part in charitable runs, raising awareness for environmental and other issues. In 2005, he placed first in the Sahara Race: a six-day, 250-kilometer footrace across the Sahara Desert. What does that mean? A normal marathon is 42.195 km, or 26 miles. So that's basically a marathon a day, by my calculations. I can't imagine the endurance required for such a feat.

But that's not even the most peculiar thing about Ray Zahab. Forget the physical part of it, as incredible as it is. He used to smoke a pack a day. Then he made a decision not to do that any more. He ran instead. So simple, right? I wonder what gives some of us the tenacity to stick to it, reach that pinnacle of achievement that is so rare? What makes some of is reach our goals and some fall short?

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