Wednesday, May 17, 2023

An extreme endurance event that boggles the mind


I'd never heard of an ultra-marathon race known as The Speed Project until I read an article about it at the BBC a couple of days ago.

The Speed Project (TSP) [is] an unsanctioned, unsupported 350-mile race from Los Angeles to Las Vegas via Death Valley.

It has no website, no "register here" button, no rules, no official route, no spectators and, until a week before, no official start date.

It's a "Fight Club" of the running world created in the mould of its founder. Before he found marathon running after moving to Los Angeles in the mid-2000s, Arend organised a rave night in a borrowed brothel in Hamburg's red-light district.

Despite the race's underground status, the start line is filled with some of the world's fastest athletes, and the biggest brands.

How do they get there? Well, that's a long story, shrouded in secrecy.

There's much more at the link.

Intrigued, I looked for more information, and found this video on YouTube.  It's twelve minutes of very interesting viewing, if human extreme performance interests you.

I've never even remotely felt the need to challenge Mother Nature and/or myself in that way, and I guess by now I'm too old and decrepit to even think about it:  but for some people, it's a way of life.  Kudos to them for their determination and drive.



Jen said...

Every time I watch ultramarathoners, I just think, "They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard!...." as they chase the orcs.

Old NFO said...

There are 'outliers' in every endeavor... Kudos to them for being willing to punish themselves to do that.

Landroll said...

Be like 'Laz'. Them that know, know. Them that don't probably never will. Vol State, Barley, HOTS.

Rick T said...

In the bicycling world the biggest endurance ride is probably Race Across America. Riders cover 3,000 miles, 175,000 ft of climbing, and do it with no stages. RAAM is continuous race. Competitors ride from Oceanside to Annapolis in 5-13 days, the start is in mid June to balance the weather and the length of the day for riding.

Tour de France and the classic stage races are just that, you ride a stage that day, then another after a night's sleep for 30 days.

Ed Skinner said...

Two words.
1 - Holy.
2 - Crap!

LL said...

There are a few of those, not the least of which is the annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay - a law enforcement race.

Tree Mike said...

That's a big wow! I'm amazed at those kinds of people. I ran cross country in high school, 2 miles, oh my. Of course, if you weren't dying at the end, you weren't trying hard enough. The biggie with my coach, was that training runs were 3 miles the day before a race, up to 15 miles for longer runs. At least with the race, you knew it would be over in 10ish minutes.

Anonymous said...

The Spartathon has been around for a while. Since about 490 BC, in fact, though not a regular thing :-)

Francis Turner said...

It is worth noting that the permitting process for events in the US (well California at least) is completely ridiculous. It would be nearly impossible to do an event like this jumping through official hoops because the various authorities would require road closures, signs, volunteers holding signs, police escorts, ambulances and all kinds of other crud.

I ran a half marathon in the San Diego area a few times that decided not to continue because the permitting requirements made it effectively unaffordable to stage.

This is actually an area where Japan is surprisingly better. Sure you'll have to get some permissions and the like but a lot of the procedure is negotiable, and will often be negotiated in a bar. The result is that you'll get an event that has sensible restrictions (e.g. having someone to stop traffic when crossing a relatively major road) but not over the top

Anonymous said...

This makes me think of The Barkley that's held in Tennessee. 100 or so miles of unmarked trail run done as 5 - 20 mile loops. Has to be completed in 60-ish hours. Some people are just insane.

Anonymous said...


O/T and FYI

I don't know if you keep an eye on what this bloke posts -

More on “patriotic stuff” – well, “stuffed”

“Anatomy of MIM-104 Patriot Destruction + Primer on Kinzhal Hypersonic Missile”

Anonymous said...


More on that Simplicicius item. There is a post putting maths on that data over at Moon of Alabama - which takes some wading to find -

Comment # 39

"Posted by: Cindy Martin | May 18 2023 18:33 utc | 39″

and copied to Chiefio if you are inclined to check the maths.

Basically the rocket starts coming down hyper and is slowed and heated by the atmosphere.

Which causes it to be enveloped by a plasma shield which prevents penetration by radio waves so stealth mode until about 5 seconds from target. And somewhat before that it ejects 6 dummies as spoof radar targets.

Which seems to explain the Ukranian claims of shooting down more rockets than Russia admits to launching, the 32 Patriots launched in the last dust-up and the 2 Kinzahls claimed to have hit their targets.

As Chiefio concludes "A very clever system this Dagger"