While we’re being deprived of the sports we’d normally expect to see, alternatives have popped up. ESPN gave us hour upon hour of Cornhole championships recently, and an assortment of esports and virtual challenges have filled a void for some.
HORSE via Zoom, anyone? How about ESPN’s NBA2K Players Tournament?
Today, there's an event that would have escaped our attention in more normal times, and wouldn't be happening if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that a lot of people follow livestreams of road races, especially Grandma’s in Duluth, which has been canceled, and the Twin Cities Marathon, which is still scheduled for October 4.
At 9 a.m., ultramathoner Zach Bitter will attempt to break the world record for a 100-mile run.
On a treadmill.
Bitter will run on a high-end NordicTrack treadmill from his home in Phoenix. The world record is 12 hours, 32 minutes, which was set last year. Bitter holds the world record for a 100-mile land run, covering the distance in 11 hours, 19 minutes about nine months ago at an event in Milwaukee.
The quest will be shown on Bitter’s YouTube channel. There will be commentary from other ultramarathoners and trail runners, and people have signed up to run with Bitter via Zoom. (No, he’s not doing inclines.).
You can watch here.
Bitter, 34, told the Arizona Republic newspaper earlier this week that he’d likely be preparing for a 100-mile race in London in not for the pandemic. He's competed professionally in endurance running events since 2010 and also holds a world record for a 12-hour run, logging 104.8 miles.
He also said being on a treadmill instead of a track takes some stress out of the event.
“That might be one of the advantages of a treadmill is you can do that and set the pace and know you’re hitting your splits,” he said. “When I’m on a 400-meter track, I still have to be cognizant of hitting my splits and break out of there every once in awhile so I’m on track.”
You can read the rest of the Republic article here.
Then pull up a chair … or get on your treadmill … and follow along, if you’re so inclined.