Ultrarunning is still very niche and not well known, but three of the larger races in the sport have been able to percolate up to the broader masses: Western States (original 100), Badwater (135 miles in the desert), and the Barkley Marathons. The latter is run by a guy named Gary Cantrell (aka “Lazurus Lake”) who is one of the more interesting characters in the community. He has been around since the beginning of the sport (or at least since the 70s) and writes one of the better columns for Ultrarunning Magazine. He just started his Transcon attempt to run across the US and is chronicling his attempt at his Lazcon blog.
So many times we see/hear about people doing these Epic capital “E” adventures and just assume that could never be us. Only the elite can do that sort of thing. Or the young. Or the rich. Or someone without a job. Or kids. Or. . . you get the point. But ultrarunning is mostly not about that. It’s definitely not about that for me. It’s about the everyman rising above their day-to-day average and doing the extraordinary. Not because they’re extraordinary people in and of themselves, but because each of us has the capacity for epic somewhere within ourselves. That’s what draws me to 100 mile races. And that’s what captivates be about Laz’s transcon. He’s the epitome of what an ultrarunner is. Just a guy doing extraordinary things.
Go get ’em, Laz!