In February, I chatted with Steve Antczak aka NJ Shore Run, prior to his running of the TAC 50, a winter ultramarathon at the Jersey Shore.
On Thursday, Antczak took on a much more grueling challenge: McNaughton Peaks Ultra, a series of ultramarathons run on Vermont mountain trails. Participants can chose 50, 100, 150, 200 and 500 mile lengths, repeating the same 10-mile loop over and over again. Steve’s goal was 200 miles, which meant he’d be running the equivalent of seven-plus marathons on a trail course with over 48,000 feet of elevation climbing.
After 72 hours of running and climbing (and a nap or two), Antczak battled through 15 loops and grabbed the 150 mile award, which is a belt buckle.
Even though he didn’t make it through 200 miles, I don’t consider this a failure, and neither does Antczack. He hasn’t had cell phone reception in Vermont, but he did write on Facebook that he wasn’t disappointed exactly. It was “one of the hardest, most humbling courses I’ve ever run — still completely excited!”
I’m going to think about that kind of sentiment — excitement about running from a guy who just covered 150 miles — next time I’m slogging down the boardwalks this summer.