Amazing People


In Which I Talk About A Couple Of People You Might Not Of Heard Of But Will Probably Tell People About

My marathon running training is going quite well, and to plan at the moment too. (Which is new!) I’ve done a couple of 5 mile runs home, which is roughly 2 miles of uphillness, followed by a nice stretch of 2 miles down hill, then a mile of steady uphillness to finish.

The first 2 miles has a couple of proper hills in which are good training (I keep hearing) but the best part is obviously the downhills. I when I get to this part I feel like holding my hands up in the air and going WHHHHHEEEEEEEEEE all the way down, but as it takes about 15-20 minutes I’m not sure that I could WHHHHHHEEEEEEEE for that long.

The first time I ran the 5 miler I did it in 55:45 and the second time I did it in 54:00. I’m running the same route home tonight, but it’s due to get up to 26 degrees (78F) and have forgotten my water bottle, so might cut it short to 3.5 miles then run to work in the morning to get the miles in.

My training plan for Monday is a steady 7.5 miles and have worked out a route along the Leeds-Liverpool canal to run where it’ll be flat all the way. Not going for hills because that runs about distance, not time, but Monday supposed to be even hotter than today so will have to get up early to go run. Feel free to join in!

Anyway, back to the title of the blog and to your lesson for today. That’s right, it’s not just entertainment here, it’s education too! (Edu-tainment!)

Madonna Buder

Have you heard of her? If so, you can go play outside for a bit while I talk to the class.

Madonna Buder is an athlete. A triathlete, even. Actually, she’s an Ironman triathlete athlete. She didn’t start training until she was 48 years old and since then has completed 45 seperate Ironman events, and over 300 triathlons.

Impressive already, but it gets better:

She’s the oldest person to complete an Ironman event (The event was Ironman Canada) and she finished in 16:32:00.

She was 82 years old.

Those aren’t the best things about Madonna Buder though. The 2nd best thing about her is that they have to keep creating a new age bracket for her as she keeps entering the Ironman events.

The best thing about Buder, however, is this:

She’s been, since the age of 23, a Nun. (Nicknamed, obviously, ‘The Iron Nun.’)

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Madonna Buder ‘The Iron Nun’

Cliff Young

In Australia, they used to have an Ultra Marathon which goes between Sydney and Melbourne. It was 544miles (875k) and was said to be one of the toughest in the world. Before the race was officially run for the first time, the fastest anyone had run between the two places was around 7 days.

Ultra Marathoners and elite runners, 20-30 years old, turned up and the day of the race, as did Cliff Young.

Cliff Young

Cliff Young

Cliff was a farmer. A 61 year old farmer. With arthritis in most of his leg joints. A 61 year old farmer who turned up to race the 544miles in boots and overalls instead of running shoes and shorts.

Obviously, the reporters descended on Cliff and asked him what the hell he was thinking. He told them that he lived on a farm and had 2’000 animals, sometimes he’d have to run after these animals for a couple of days, sometimes three days, before getting them all herded together, so the way he saw it it was only a few more days of doing the same.

The gun went off, the pack went off, and Cliff did a sort of shuffle-walk-stumble run thing. He was left well behind by everyone else.

After 17 hours of running, the Elites and Ultras bedded down for the night, the plan from the get-go being that you ran as far and as hard as you could for 17 hours, slept for 7, then repeated til the end.

When they woke up in the morning to start again, they were told that Cliff Young, in his boots and overalls, was a dozen or so miles in the lead.

He hadn’t slept, and hadn’t stopped.

Turns out that when Cliff said he chased sheep for 2-3 days, he meant continually, never stopping, never sleeping. For three days at a time.

He wasn’t caught for the rest of the race, finishing in a time of 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes, a full 10 hours in front of the closest Elite and close to two days ahead of the record for the fastest run between Sydney and Melbourne.

They presented him with a check for $10’000 for winning the race, and he was shocked because he didn’t know there was any prize money. He felt bad about keeping it saying ‘Everyone else worked just as hard as me’ and so divided the money equally between all the runners.

At age 63 he ran 150 miles within 24 hours.

At 76 year-old he attempted to run AROUND THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA but had to stop after 3’800 miles (6250k) as his only crew member (who was driving the route) passed out from illness. (That’s about the distance from one side of America to the other, and then halfway back again.)

At 79, he became the oldest man to finish a six-day Ultramarathon, and it was while he was dying of cancer.

Cliff died in 2003, at the age of 81. He never kept any of his prize money, and gave it all to charities or friends.

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On A Lighter Note

Sometimes you only hear of someone dying when the radio plays a few of their songs that you haven’t heard for a while. Yesterday, they played ‘Right Here Waiting’ by Richard Marx in the morning. ‘Haven’t heard one of his songs in a while!’ I thought.

In the afternoon, they played ANOTHER of his songs. I got on to Twitter and looked to see if he had an account.

Richard Marx: Alive!

Richard Marx: Alive!

PHEW!