Monday, December 11, 2006

Exercise = Death

The Drunkablog works hard to keep in shape, consistently testing in the top 30 percent in physical fitness among men 80 years and older. He runs. He works out. He believes, with the noble Roman, "men's santa in corporate santa." But some people go too far:

Durango Herald columnist and long-distance runner Marc Witkes, 40, collapsed and died yesterday in the last mile of the Tucson Marathon, the Herald reported this morning . . . .

Durango Motorless Transit Club President Marjorie Brinton was running in the same marathon. Her husband, Scott Brinton, saw Witkes’ collapse.

Witkes, president of the 250-member club from 1999 to 2005, competed in the Sri Chinmoy 700-mile run, Earth Journey Vermont and at least 30 marathons and 25 ultramarathons.

He took part in double and triple Ironman competitions, including kayaking 22 miles, biking 336 miles and running 78.6 miles, all within 60 hours.

That 700-miler, by the way, is for wimps. Chinmoy also offers 1100- and 1300-milers. In the early years these runs were held indoors on a one-mile "sealed" track in Queens, for pity's sake. According to blogger Kevin Tiller (lack of capitalization denoting humility, sic):

since 1985 . . . chinmoy's students have held ultrarunning events of 1,300, 1,000 and 700 miles, along with five, seven or ten day races, where the athletes accumulate mileage around the clock on a one-mile race loop in a format known as 'go as you please.' for the first five years the races were held on a sealed track at flushing meadows park in queens, new york, site of the old world's fair; subsequent races have been held in a city park on remote wards island, new york.

So what happened to triathlons being hairy guys in bathing caps splashing about together? Now ultra sports has to have a message--and that message (besides "I'm a masochist") is peace and love and understanding. In fact:

that Chinmoy is a tireless proponent of peace is salient. lesser known, however, is that chinmoy, as spiritual leader of the sri chinmoy marathon team, is as effusive and ardent in espousing aspiration and sport as he is relentless in pursuit of world peace. he is both sport's most eloquent spokesperson and aspiration's unremitting ambassador.
Aspiration's unremitting ambassador! That's what everybody calls the Drunkablog!*

Getting back to poor Mr. Witkes, some of you oldsters will remember Jim Fixx, the runner/author who personified the 70s running craze. Fixx wasn't any mimsy-wimsy world peacenik. He didn't do purification rituals, had no special diet, and never, ever meditated. He'd just have a good hearty breakfast every morning and go run. That was a man.

Exercise = Death.

*Check out the quote at the top of the page.

No comments: