One of the many good things about travelling is some of the interesting people you meet. I was at a friend’s place for dinner during my recent trip back to Glasgow and was introduced to a friend of her husband’s. His name was Mark Godale and, for all intent and purpose, he was a really nice, normal guy. But appearances can be deceptive, because behind this normal exterior beats the heart of a complete lunatic. You see, Mark is an ultra-marathoner. And not just any old ultra-marathoner but a very, very good one. He just happened to be in Glasgow for the West Highland Way Race, a nice little 153km jaunt in which he finished 3rd, in a tidy little 17 hours and 40 minutes-ish.
This is a seriously talented guy. Have a look at his US Track and Field bio on his blog and check out his personal bests. 50 miles in 5 hrs 30 mins, 100 km in 7:08, 100 miles in 14:15, and my personal favourite, the American record for 24-Hours of 162.4 miles. That’s 260 kms in 24 hours. Now it is easy to just say wow and move on but I want you to just stop for a minute and really think about that. That’s to Bunbury and back, and then nearly back down to Bunbury again, in 24 hours. That is nearly 11 kms every hour for 24 hours! How many of us could run just one lot of 11kms in an hour? I’ll make it easier, how many of us could run 11 kms at all? And as I said at the start, all this from a seemingly normal guy! 🙂
Well to be fair, he isn’t totally normal. When I met him he and my friend’s husband had just returned from a trip down to the south of England. As I got in conversation with him it became apparent that they had seen quite a bit. I was guessing about 10 days worth. Wrong…3 days. Apparently they had taken turns to drive while the other slept and had basically done a speed-tour of England, even visiting tourist attractions in the middle of the night! So not totally sane. 🙂 But a nice guy none-the-less.