ARTS&SCIENCE 90---ULTRAMARATHON RUNNING---FALL 1996
Professor Don Davis
The end-of-semester website for the course
SOME MAJOR ASPECTS OF THE COURSE:
- In the early part of the course, groups of 3 will read a book and
report on it to the class. You will purchase the book from
me (at my cost).
- Running the TransAmerica Footrace; about the
1992 race across the US---$13.
- Soul, Sweat, and Survival on the Pacific Crest Trail;
spending three summers doing a solo run on a trail across the western
- Beyond the Marathon; about completing the four major
trail races in the same summer---$12
- Corbitt; about Ted Corbitt, who during the 1950s and 1960s
initiated modern ultramarathon racing to the US---$11
- And then the Vulture Eats You; eight excellent articles
about various sorts
of ultramarathon runs---$11
- Adventure Athletes: Runners and Walkers; articles about
people, including marathoners Frank Shorter and Joan Benoit Samuelson plus
six ultramarathoners; also training tips---$12
- Meditations from the Breakdown Lane; about a solo run
US. This book is out of print, so you can have a Xerox copy for $2.
- Do some running and keep a journal. Tell as much as you wish about
each run (where you went, with whom, how you felt, how long, etc.). I will
journals several times during the semester.
- Participate in at least one of the ultramarathon listserves
(e-mail discussion groups). This will allow you to see what ultramarathoners
talk about, and to seek information, if you wish. I would hope that this would
be a topic of class conversation, which is one component of your grade, and I
will ask you to write a short paper near the end of the semester on your
experience with this and other sources of ultrarunning information on the
internet. For example, Ultramarathon World at http://fox.nstn.ca/~dblaikie
has a wealth of old and new news about the sport.
- I have all the issues of UltraRunning Magazine since 1989, 10 per
year. I will distribute 3 or 4 to each of you, and ask you to report to the
class on things that you found interesting in them. These must be returned to
me after you read them.
- Observe an ultramarathon race and write a short
paper about your
experience. There will be several opportunities to
do this. Transportation may be a problem, which we will have to work out.
Here are some races which take place this fall.
- Sat. Aug 31. NYRRC 100km and 50km, Brooklyn. I plan to
run the 50km race. I hope a few students will come with me.
- Sat. Aug 31. Groundhog Classic. 50 mile trail race in
- Sat. Sept 14. National championship race for 24 hours. Toledo,
Ohio. (1.2 mile loop, site of my kidney failure in 1994.)
- Sept. 8-25. 700, 1000, and 1300 mile races in a park in NYC.
I think this would be an interesting event to attend. Daily results will be
posted on the internet.
- Sept. 21. 40-mile race around Lake Canandaigua, NY.
- Sept. 29. Queens (NYC) Ultra Endurance Street Tour. 50km
- Oct. 12. Andiamo W \& OD 45 miler. Purcellville, Va.
- Oct. 19. National championship race for 100 km in Minnesota.
- Oct. 20. Westchester 40 mile road race in Westchester County, NY.
This is the most
likely other race for me to run this fall.
- Nov. 23. JFK 50-mile trail race in Maryland. The oldest and
ultra in the country.
- Nov 30. NJ Ultraruns. 50 mi/60 km/50 km. Saddlebrook, NJ.
- Dec 14. National championship for 50 miles in Huntsville,
Texas, on a gentle trail.
- Speakers. You will be asked to write a short paper about any
one of our speakers. Those lined up so far are:
- Mike Strzelecki--a 1985 Lehigh grad who has run more than 60
ultramarathon races in the past 4 years. (Sept 5)
- Neil Weygandt--has run numerous six-day races, and won some of
them. Will be speaking four days after competing in nat'l championship 24 hour
race. (Sept 19)
- Bart Yasso--works for Runners World. Ran the Badwater 146 mile
race (Death Valley to Mt. Whitney) and a Himalayan stage race. (Oct 1)
- Barry Lewis--wrote the book about the 1992 TransAmerica
footrace. Has also done well in a number of trail races (up to 100 miles)
in the eastern US.
- Jeff Hinte--has run all the major 100 mile trail races, and won
Old Dominion this year.
- Ellen McCurtin--among top three women in US during 3 of the
past 4 years. 31st in world championship 100km race in 1995.
- The text, The Lore of Running, will be used mainly as a source.
It will be helpful for some of the research papers. Certain sections of it
will be assigned to be read for class discussion.
- Research paper. You can work in groups of two or three, and should
produce both a written and oral report. Some possible topics are listed below.
These will be introduced in class prior to the selection of research topics.
You are certainly welcome to write on topics other than these.
- The Tarahumara Indians (Mexican tribe whose whole culture is
focused around super long-distance running).
- Ultrarunning in the US in the latter part of the 19th century.
- Arthur Newton (the best ultramarathoner in the world in the
1930s and 1940s. He was South African and British, and wrote several books.)
- The Bunion Derbies. (Transamerican footraces in 1928-9)
- Ultrarunning Buddhist monks, both in Japan and Tibet. The book
Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei describes the former, while several books
refer to the lung-gompa runners of Tibet.
- Women ultramarathoners, especially Ann Trason.
- The Comrades Marathon.
- Medical aspects of ultramarathoning; e.g. kidney failure and
- Yiannis Kouros. World record holder at distances from 24 hours
to 1000 miles. This would be a tough topic unless you can find a source of
information that I don't know about.
- Western States and Leadville 100 mile trail races.
- The TransAmerica races of 1992-5.
Here is a list of students in the class.
- Arthur Beauregard, arb7
- Alexis Bevington, anb5
- David Biddle, dbb3
- James Clewley, jacf
- Keri Cohn, kac2
- Kelly Collins, kac5
- Andrea Cutaio, alc9
- Sacha Dumont, srd4
- Russell Goss, rtg2
- Steven Gourley, stg3
- Jennifer Lasasso, jtl4
- Stephanie Nelson, san2
- Michael Rossen, mir4
- Holly Schmid, has4
- Amy Walts, alw3
- Nicole Weidenhammer, ncw2
- Leigh Wickham, lpw3
- Sarah Willett, skw3