When people find out that I’m an ultramarathoner, they typically do one of two things. They either turn away, convinced that I must be out of my mind, or they pepper me with a thousand questions. It’s as if they turn into amateur anthropologists who have just discovered a new tribe of humans, and their mission is to figure out how we work. The questions normally fall into one of several categories:Eating and Other Bodily Functions: What do you eat? Do you stop for meals? Naps? Bathroom breaks? Where do you go to the bathroom, anyway?The Mental: What do you think about while you’re out there running for so long? Do you ever get bored? Why do you do it?The Physical: How do you train? Do you ever get tired? Do you ever get injured? What’s the farthest you’ve ever run? What’s your average pace? How fast can you run a mile? Do you ever walk? How do your knees take it?Then there are the general comments: Wow, I can’t even drive a car that far. You must be dedicated, insane, or superhuman.The funny thing is, these questions are frequently asked by fellow runners. People who run 10k’s and marathons, who are used to logging lots of miles. Somehow, when the prefix “ultra” is added to a word, the term becomes mysterious and unfathomable. Dictionary.com defines ultra as “going beyond what is usual or ordinary; excessive; extreme.” It derives from the Latin ulter, meaning “on the far side of, beyond.” Seen in this light, I guess my pastime is not exactly typical. That must be why people frequently comment that I’m crazy, and why my mom gets worried every time I tell her about a new adventure I have planned.From my perspective, however, running ultras is not extreme or outrageous. It’s just a natural extension of what began back in the third grade, when my classmates and I were forced to run the 600 as part of the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. Back then, that distance might as well have been a marathon. The 50-yard dash – okay, that was reasonable. The dreaded 600 was another story. Side stitches, leg cramps, and asthma attacks were inevitable. Same with the half-mile we had to run as a warm-up at soccer practice. What were those coaches thinking?With time, however, an interesting thing happened. I began to like those distances. I recently reconnected with a teammate from my seventh grade soccer team and she reminisced about how much I seemed to enjoy those “long runs.” Looking back, I guess that those practices foreshadowed the distance runner I was to become. I recognize there is a lot of distance between 600 yards and a hundred miles, but all of that ground is covered in the same manner – one step at a time.So when I’m asked those questions – by runners and nonrunners alike – my answers are pretty simple. I do it because I love it, because I can, and by putting one foot in front of the other, step after step, mile after mile, hour after hour. Believe it or not, it doesn’t take superhuman strength or endurance. It simply requires desire, commitment and perseverance. I’d be willing to bet that most of you could do it too if you set your mind to it – and are willing to put up with with all of those silly questions.
Denmark’s Sampension has said it is making its first direct investment in green energy, financing a new 33MW wind farm to be built in west Jutland.The DKK195bn (€26.1bn) labour-market pension scheme is financing the 10-turbine Ulvemosen wind farm project in Varde, which will be established and operated by wind and solar-power developer European Energy.Anne-Charlotte Mark, head of equities and alternative investments at Sampension, said: “Ulvemosen is our first direct investment within renewables and part of the strategy to increase exposure to energy-related infrastructure.”Sampension said it had high expectations for the project. European Energy said the project would be owned by Sampension but that a part of it would be owned and operated by local land-owners and neighbours to the project.The developer said it had been planning the project for the last 4-5 years.The plant will have an estimated output of around 100GWh a year, equal to the energy consumption of 20,000 households, European Energy said.Danish manufacturer Vestas said European Energy has placed an order with it for 10 V117-3.3MW turbines, which is being financed in collaboration with Sampension.The turbines are expected to be delivered and commissioned in the fourth quarter of this year.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisThe non-profit organization Sunrise Side Streakers is getting into the Halloween spirit and raising funds for a good cause with a costume run and walk this Saturday, October 28th.There will be three different opportunities to lace up your running shoes. The Thunder Bay River Costume Run will be a mile long, there will be a 5k and if you want to challenge yourself, there will be a 10k as well.Money raised by the family fun event will directly benefit the Feeding Kids Ministry. “Feeding Kids Ministry is a great organization. They feed hungry kids in the community, and pack them lunches during the school year and then during the summer so they need all of the help they can get,” Coordinator Bradley Przeslawski said.The race will be held at the Alpena Fairgrounds, and registration starts at 8 am. The mile run will begin at 9:30 am, and the 5k and 10k will start at 10 am.To show appreciation for participants, no runner or walker will walk away empted handed, but instead receive a medal for participation. For more information contact Bradley at 989–884–3335.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious City Forum Gives Residents A Better Understanding of City Council Candidates, IssuesNext Local Schools Come Together to Celebrate Unity Day