Sunday, September 17

Marathon Countdown: 1

Today Dean Karnazes begins his quest to run 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. He plans to run those 1,310 miles over the course of the next six weeks at about a 10-minute per mile pace. Yes, you read that right: 50 in 50 in 50. No breaks. No short cuts. 26.2 miles every single day for more than a month and a half.

The North Face Endurance 50 will include some of the most famous marathon routes all across the US. Today for example, he runs the Lewis & Clark Marathon in St. Louis. Tomorrow, he will be here in Tennessee to run the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in Memphis. Then on Tuesday, he’ll be in Mississippi for the Mississippi Coast Marathon. Wednesday brings him to Arkansas for the Little Rock Marathon. Next, he’ll be in Kansas for the Wichita Marathon. Then it is to Iowa for the Des Moines Marathon on Friday. On Saturday, he will be in Omaha, Nebraska for the Lincoln Marathon. Then on Sunday, he runs the Boulder Backroads Marathon in Colorado. During the six weeks that follow he will criss-cross the entire country in a tour bus running a full marathon every day in such races as the LaSalle Bank Marathon in Chicago, the Boston Marathon, and then ending in New York City on November with the ING New York Marathon.

There will be health and fitness expos in each city following the runs where the volunteer pacers (ordinary folks like me who will run with Karnazes to keep him on his target time of 10-minute miles) can revel in their small role in this rather grand accomplishment. You can visit the Endurance 50 home page to follow Karnazes' progress. But, be forewarned: you just might be tempted to lace up your old trainers and make good on your far-too-long-postponed resolution to get out there and start getting in shape.