Does the idea of a 13.1 mile half marathon make you quake in your sneakers? You’d best steer clear of an ultramarathon, then. Only the truly extra elite athletes manage to finish these incredibly long foot races, which can sometimes take days or weeks to complete, depending on the length of the route!
There’s something for every type of ultramarathoner, whether you long to jog impressively high elevations through breathtaking mountains, or sweat your way across triple-digit deserts. Such events are truly the opportunity for mere mortals to show what they’re made of. 2018 saw an Icelander achieve the impressive goal of becoming the first woman ever to conquer the Gobi Desert Ultramarathon in less than 100 hours. At 254 miles (409 kilometers) in length, it’d be a serious accomplishment on regular old flat land, but she and her fellow participants soldiered through elevations of more than 13,000 feet (4000 meters), dealing with freezing temperatures and treacherous conditions along the Western China terrain. Suddenly, your local holiday-themed 5K doesn’t seem so overwhelming, right?
The wild thing is, the Gobi Desert Ultramarathon, although elite, isn’t even close to being the longest of these events. Indeed, ultramarathons are crazy-long foot races that push humans to their physical breaking points. How much do you know about these endurance events? Take the quiz and find out if you’re fit enough to pass the finish line!