Monday, April 4, 2011

200,000-Step Program: Ultra-Running on Discovery's "My Strange Addiction"

One of my brilliant wife's guilty pleasures is B-grade reality TV, the entertaining yet brainless vortex of which I sometimes get caught up in as well.  One of these shows she occasionally watches is a Discovery Channel offering called My Strange Addiction, which chronicles people's addiction to things like glass eating, chalk eating, detergent drinking, and, of course, ultra-running.  Yes, ultra-running.

That ultra-running may be viewed by some as a fringe pursuit is not a revelation to any of us, but to equate it with chalk eating and glass eating (glass eating!) seemed a bit unfair.  Yet, it was pretty fun to watch the show couch the sport we have such passion for in an abnormal light.

The episode that highlighted the runner lost to the ultra addiction (which actually ran last year sometime), focussed on his wild mileage - which was actually pretty modest for anyone serious about ultra - and used the fact that he'd run through the night and through fatigue, blisters, and nausea as a sure sign of disordered behavior.

It all culminates with his trip to the Javelina Jundred, where he makes it to the finish line, haggard but ready for more.  His girlfriend, however, isn't so sure she wants anymore of him.

Unfortunately, there isn't a clip highlighting just the ultra section of that episode.  I've been putting off posting this hoping (fruitlessly, it seems) for it to happen.  The "Expert" clip bellow, though, gives enough of a flavor of things.

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