CPTCers go 50k in the City and the Country

Whether on city streets or mountain trails, CPTCers are getting out and doing some serious overdistance in unusual ways.

As marathon season begins and many CPTC eyes look with hope to Staten Island, Chicago and Sacramento, I caught up with a couple of guys running off the front, for whom 26 miles is where the game starts.

John Paulett has been running 100 to 150 miles per week getting ready for what he calls a ‘classic NYCM/California International Marathon double.’ The marathons are just five weeks apart, but no bother. When you run that much, wearing out New Balance Zantes and Rebels in three or four weeks, getting outside the park can be a way to keep the training fresh.

For most of us, that might mean a run up and down the Hudson. Or a C-shaped trip around downtown. Or a run along the East or Harlem Rivers to hilly Inwood. John and some teammates decided that yeah those are all good runs, so they did them all. Consecutively. On the same day. The same way race organizers derived the Ironman distance by combining the most difficult endurance events in Hawaii, back to back to back.

John has done the island perimeter three times with CPTC teammates. The first time, with Thomas Barret and Jeremy Shingleton, was done at around 8:09 pace. Then in August 2019 with Arnaud Enjalbert and Grant Rotskoff at 7:09 pace. Then again in September 2019 with Nobu Takeda at an even faster 6:51 pace.

The route requires some attention to navigation since there is not yet a clear path around the circumference of Manhattan. Despite its lack of a dedicated path, John prefers the northern part of the island, because of the elevation change and how it “requires your wits and navigation skills to still be present to avoid extra distance from dead ends.”

Let’s send good wishes to John for his marathon season. He ran 2:34 at New York last year.

The Strava map of one of John’s perimeter runs.

Thirty-four miles around Manhattan was nearly a nearly four hour run for John, Nobu, Jeremy, Arnaud and Grant …but what if you kept the same distance but added mountains, trails, rocks and saw briers (don’t ask)?

Our teammate Michael Nolan recently finished the Barkley Fall Classic 50k in Wartburg, Tennessee under those conditions. It took over eleven hours to complete the course, held over the same terrain as the famous often-unfinishable Barkley Marathons, but Michael was 48th out of 456 starters.

Instead of potholes and cars, Michael had to deal with all that nature can dish out, and finished bruised but looking forward to his next ultra.

We call ourselves a track club, but we get off the track to do some great things. As we close in on the final points race of the season, named after the great Ted Corbitt, who was known for his own Manhattan perimeter runs, please send me more news of unusual runs and races you do.

John is thinking about doing a marathon-distance run around the northern loop of Central Park. Or running the length of Broadway from the tip of Manhattan to Sleepy Hollow. Or circumnavigating other boroughs. What are you thinking about doing?


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