The other week, 5 people ran the London Marathon. They then flew back to the United States and ran the Boston Marathon. One of them, Pam Reed, ran the London Marathon (3:25), and then ran from Boston to Hopkinton the next morning, only to race back from Hopkinton to Boston (4:13). That seems a little excessive to me.
I could understand doubling on a marathon. Given that my goal is to run one in every state, I could foresee running back to back if I went out west or some such and wanted to get two nearby races out of the way at the same time.
I can not see myself flying a third of the way around the planet in order to run marathons back to back, though. Nor can I see myself warming up before my second marathon in as many days by running the (entire) course backwards.
I suppose the gulf of comprehension is fairly easy to understand though. My looking at ultramarathons and ironman triathletes is probably close to the same thing as a number of people who meet me and learn that I have run 5 marathons. I get the “Why?” question a lot, as well as the “I can’t imagine ever doing that” response. Which seems to be exactly my response to reading about these folks.
Update: It’s been over 2 years since I wrote this, I have doubled my marathons (more than doubled, if you count my ultra) and while I can see running the 50+ miles, I still can not picture myself ever flying a third of the way around the planet for a 50 miler the day after a marathon. I still find this really impressive. (2007 December 18)
Update: It’s now been 5½ years since I wrote this, and I so want to do this now. I still find it really impressive, but not out of reach of common mortals such as myself. And now, it actually sounds fun. (2010 October 19)