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The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, an Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Enduranceby Ed Ayres
Synopses & Reviews
The Longest Race begins in 2001, at the starting line of the JFK 50 Mile, the nation's oldest ultramarathon; its unforgettable course is rich in natural wonders and marked by American history. At age sixty, veteran journalist and environmental editor Ed Ayres sets his sights on breaking the age-division record, and yet, from the moment he begins to scale the rocky ridge of the Appalachian Trail, he finds himself as preoccupied with the future of our planet as with the finish line of the JFK.
Among a crowded field of endurance athletes, Ed Ayres stands out; today, with more than 600 long-distance races across fifty-six years to his name, he is arguably the most experienced American distance runner still competing. Ayres helps us to understand how the skills and mindset necessary to complete an ultramarathon are also essential for grappling anew with the imperative to endure--not only as individuals, but as a society--and not just for 50 miles, but in the longest race we are all called upon to run.
Among endurance runners, there are those
About the Author
Ed Ayres has been running competitively for fifty-five consecutive years, and he enjoys it as much now as he did when he joined his high school cross-country team in 1956. Ayres placed 3rd in the first New York Marathon in 1970, and he is the only runner of that race still competing today. Having participated in the early growth of American interest in roadrunning, trail-running, and marathons, he also became one of the pioneers of ultrarunning. He placed third in the US 50 Mile championship in 1976 (in 5:46:52), first in the JFK 50 Mile in 1977, and first in four US national age-division championships at 50K road, 50K trail, and fifty miles. He was the founding editor and publisher of Running Times magazine, and also worked for thirteen years as the editorial director of the Worldwatch Institute.
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