Skip to main content

"Frozen Head" Ed Furtaw: The ultrarunning ambassador

Ultrarunning historian and statistician Ed Furtaw responded to my Cantrell/Barkley post.  Ed is pivotal in the promotion of the Barkley and is a long-standing ambassador for the sport.  He commented:

1. Jim King was a top ultrarunner, from California, back in the 1980s. As I recall, he won Western States multiple times back when WS was inadvertently only about 93 mile long.


2. Steve Warshawer was another top ultrarunner back in the 1980s. I remember one string of about four ultras he won in the 1986-87 Southern Ultra Grand Prix Series, in which he ran three course records. Today, in his 50s, he lives on a ranch in New Mexico and still runs the occasional ultra, still at the top of his age group.

3. Unlike Matt Mahoney, I wasn't there when Ann Trason and the Tarahumara raced at Leadville. However, that story is well-told in Born To Run. The Tarahumara seemed to regard Ann as a female witch. The fastest among the Tarahumara won the race against Ann in a course-record time that stood for many years.
http://img1.wantitall.co.za/images

Regarding the other question you posed above, the historical aspect of our sport has meaning in two ways:

1. Without that history, the sport would not exist today and we would all be poorer for that.

2. To those of us who were part of that history, it has helped shape and define our lives, and we are the richer for that.

Furtaw is the author of "Tales From Out There: The Barkley Marathons, the World's Toughest Trail Race."

As Ed so aptly states, those who were part of history shaped and defined our lives. We are all part of the timeline of life, so let's work to preserve the details of those who came before us and also lend our own positive mark to the events that transpire going forward.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this morning...in 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…

Break(down)

You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…