The Sunday Read: That horse runs like an animal!

Forget Belmont. The real action took place this weekend in Wales with the annual running of the Man Versus Horse Marathon. It’s just one of the highlights of this week’s Sunday Read.

Four legs good, two legs bad. At least that was the result of the 31st running of the rugged Man Versus Horse Marathon in Wales. An equine competitor once again showed homo sapiens just how to run a marathon (the actual distance of the race is 22 miles). Only twice in the history of the event has a human won. Next in Line Grangeway took the honours in 2:08, while Charlie Pearson (a man) finished 17 minutes later. Three hundred competitors and 50 horses took place in this year’s event. Read about the action here:

Reading runners are well familiar by now with why, within the animal kingdom, people are top-notch endurance runners. Daniel Lieberman’s 2004 research on this subject frequently makes its way into articles and books on running. Nonetheless, Slate Magazine offers a neat spin on the subject, using the annual Wales’ Man Versus Horse Marathon as the jumping off point. The article also contains some marvelous lines, the kind that help deflate our egos and serve to remind that as a species we’re just not as great as we’d like to believe: “Yet being the absurdly self-enthralled species we are, we crowd into arenas and stadiums to marvel at our pathetic physical abilities as if they were something special.” That said, we can run – just not as well as horses apparently. Check out David Stipp’s wonderful essay here:

They likely won’t sue you, but they might beat the pants off of you. Running Times profiles three lawyers who ditched the constraints of the courtroom for the freedom of the trails. These are no ordinary legal beagles, but top ultramarathoners who’ve gone to sponsorships and, of course, racing success. One of the runners featured in this multi-part series is Adam Campbell, a former labour and employment lawyer who has since joined Solomon’s International Trail Running Team.  Campbell told the magazine while he “enjoyed the study of law and I quite like my colleagues, I really don’t like the practice of law, or the area that I’m in, all that much. It’s a very corporate environment and I’ve found my work at odds with my values quite a bit recently.”  Making the move to trail running wasn’t a difficult decision. Read the story here:

This year’s hottest running book – the next Born To Run – has got to be ultramarathoner Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run (written with Steve Friedman). The acclaimed endurance athlete combines memoir, food and recipes in a volume about how he’s been able to run mega-miles on a plant-based diet. These days, with farmed fish, hormone-laden chicken, and so forth, the subject is on a lot of peoples’ minds.  Jurek attributes his success as a runner to his vegan diet. In an excerpt from his forthcoming book in Outside Magazine, he recalls making his own food was anything but easy: “the smoothies, a large salad for lunch, paying attention to ingredients and preparation. Eating raw was like getting a Ph.D. in a plant-based diet—hard work, but worth it.” For more, go here:

If you have tiny wrists and hate clunky sports watches weighing them down, you’ll likely find this interesting; hell, you might even want to invest. Bia is a GPS sports watch that is currently trying to raise funds through a Kickstarter crowd-sourcing financial campaign. Billed as the first sports watch for women by women, the watch is under a tight deadline: it has 33 days at this time of writing to raise $400,000. The watch isn’t just small, however; it’s innovative too. A team of individuals with experience at Apple, Nike, Jawbone and Zoot have brought their experience to bear to make a watch that offers a “quick-connect” GPS, and a single, iPod-like button as a control, among other features. And, as it turns out, they are offering a men’s version as well. Do you really want one? Thirty-three days, folks. Learn more here:

On the business side of running, the head of Vibram USA , Tony Post, is vacating his position, with no word on what he’s doing next. During his 11 years with the company, the footwear firm grew 50-fold, according to an article in Womens’ Wear Daily. No reason was given for Post’s departure from the company. The piece stated that COO Mike Gionfriddo, will take over as president and CEO of Concord, Mass.-based Vibram USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Italy-based Vibram SpA. Vibram was recently named in a class-action suit over injury risks associated with running in the minimalist footwear, but that case has yet to proceed in the courts. The news on Post is here:


About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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6 Responses to The Sunday Read: That horse runs like an animal!

  1. Rob Jackson says:

    Thanks for the stories. This is like the Sunday Edition of the New York Times, chock full of good stuff!

    • subthree says:

      Thank you! That is a great compliment! I’m glad to hear you like the read. Honestly, I had more links than ever this week, but try to hold it down to five stories weekly just to make it manageable for both writing and reading.

  2. SeeAlliRun says:

    I have the ultimate tiny wrists! I wonder how this Bia GPS watch compares in quality to Garmin though?

    • subthree says:

      Hard to say since it’s untested, but I’d love to see it make its funding. I have tiny wrists as well, and I like the sound of a lot of its features. I’d like to know still more about its developers, etc first though, too.

  3. Great post – thanks for the summary of all the running news 🙂
    I cant wait to get my hands on the Bia watch – my wrists are teeny tiny.

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