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"Toughest" Marathon?

skiNEwhere

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I've only ran one, when I was in the service, and it was pretty damn tiring. I've been trying to get back into shape and work up to a half marathon next year.

Apparently there are a few that are pretty crazy, one starts at the base camp to everest, another is in antarctica, and there is a race in death valley around this time of year (not sure if it is actually a marathon though)

Anyone ran anything this intense?
 

Boston Bulldog

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10k is my limit:) I could never motivate myself for the kind of training that is needed to run a marathon. That one on Everest must be insane, altitude sickness is a b*tch!
 

David Metsky

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If you want to go tough there are plenty of races beyond marathon length that put any marathon to shame. Some of the 100 milers have 20,000+ elevation gain, or there's Badwater which starts at the lowest point in Death Valley and ends partway up Mt Whitney (135 miles away).

For road marathons the Inca Trail marathon is technically a road, but a pretty bad one. For trail marathons, the Pike's Peak Marathon would be a contender.
 

Nick

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I've done Boston twice but usually my runs cap at 5 miles. With an occasional 6

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ski stef

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Anyone ran the Hawaii marathon before? (it's on my bday next year!) It starts at 5:30AM, holy early. VDK03 is interetsed in completing a marathon next year and I told him I would totally join him and train with him. Now we just need to find one!
 

hammer

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I've done Boston twice but usually my runs cap at 5 miles. With an occasional 6
How many months of training did that take? My neighbor across the street has run at least one marathon but I don't know what his training schedule was like. Feel like the running I do now (which may get me ready for a 10K) is about as much as I can get in without pushing other stuff aside.
 

Nick

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How many months of training did that take? My neighbor across the street has run at least one marathon but I don't know what his training schedule was like. Feel like the running I do now (which may get me ready for a 10K) is about as much as I can get in without pushing other stuff aside.

Took me about 3 - 4 months of training to go from my normal 5 - 6 miles up to the marathon readiness.

I would usually run 5x per week, I would do three 6 - 7 mile runs, one 8 - 10 miler, and then a long run every saturday that kept getting longer and longer. The longest run I did ahead of the marathon was I think 18 miles, which probably wasn't sufficient, I was hurting at the end of 26.

It is a commitment though. Every Saturday was like 3 - 4 hours of running.
 

David Metsky

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3-4 months prep is the generally recommended time; there are plenty of marathon prep plans online. My longest run was 22 which I did three weeks before the marathon, plus a few 18 milers along the way. Your weekends consist of preparing to run, running, and recovering from runs.
 

ski stef

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I've only ran one marathon (Hartford). I spent my summer prior to that in Colorado running every day in the desert heat south of Grand Junction. When I came back I jumped on my girlfriends "training plan". I think the longest run I did before the marathon was 22 miles as well and i felt amazing. I wish I felt that way on marathon day.. I still did well and finished but I guess some days you just feel better than others. I guess I almost trained for 4 months prior to that marathon, i was ready, but could have been more prepared I think.. I never really followed a training program, just ran.
 

andyzee

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I've run the New Jersey Waterfront Marathon twice (no longer in existence). Each time it was a differnt route, first time started in Liberty State Park in Jersey city went into North Bergen and back. Second time around (kind of cool) started at the halfway point of the George Washington bridge and finished at the 50 yard line of Giants Stadium. Both were very hilly. Funny how people's minds work, when I mentioned that, the first thing to come out of their mouths "Have you run the NY Marathon" as if that's a big deal. To me NY Marathon is not a runners race, it's a media circus unless you're a serious contender.
 

AllThingsAlpine

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Not sure if this is what you have in mind, but the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in Chamonix is considered to be quite a tough event. However, one cannot simply sign up and particiapte; rather one has to take part in various other races in order to qualify. It's a good filter as the commitment required to finish the race is pretty huge. And the number of people allowed to take part is limited in order to protect the terrain on which it takes place. I've heard the night-time running is pretty spectacular and tough.
 

mlctvt

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I tried to run one when I was 17 years old. Didn't train enough and hit the wall at 21 miles, I couldn't even walk the rest. There are plenty of Ultra Marathons races. I was on a 100 mile bike ride once and a guy joined us. When we finished in just over 5 hours I found out that was his first bike ride over 30 miles! I was impressed . He said he was training for a 100 miler, I said you just did one. He laughed and said no a 100 mile RUNNING race. He said a respectable time was to finish in under 24 hours , that was his goal. SICK! Here's a list of some ultra events. http://www.ultramarathonrunning.com/races/usa.html
 
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