Derek Fitzgerald

Derek FitzgeraldAfter over­com­ing Non-Hodgk­in’s lym­phoma, heart fail­ure, and a heart trans­plant, Derek decid­ed to enter the world of endurance sports. Per­haps even more impres­sive is the fact that before he got sick, Derek was­n’t even active and was over­weight. Since his life-sav­ing trans­plant in 2011, Derek has com­plet­ed over 80 endurance events, includ­ing mul­ti­ple Iron­man races.

THE CLYMB: How active was your lifestyle when you were diag­nosed with Non-Hodgk­in’s lymphoma?

Derek Fitzger­ald: I was diag­nosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lym­phoma when I was 30 years old. After col­lege, the time and ener­gy I had giv­en toward being out­side and active was replaced with sit­ting at a desk and focus­ing on a career. I start­ed putting on weight in my late 20s, so by the time I hit 30, I was a very inac­tive and tipped the scale at an unhealthy 200 pounds.

THE CLYMB: How long after your treat­ment for Non-Hodgk­in’s lym­phoma did you devel­op heart problems?

Derek Fitzger­ald: My can­cer treat­ments end­ed in May of 2004. Every­thing seemed great for a lit­tle while, but three months lat­er I start­ed hav­ing trou­ble breath­ing, cou­pled with fatigue and dizzy spells. Doc­tors ini­tial­ly thought I had pneu­mo­nia, but after sev­er­al late night trips to the emer­gency room, a car­di­ol­o­gist sat by my bed­side and said, “I know you’ve had a tough year, but I’m afraid I’ve got some more bad news.”

I had gained weight dur­ing my can­cer treat­ment and was moti­vat­ed to get back into shape once I was declared in remis­sion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, by the time I start­ed to work out again, my heart was so weak that any attempts at exer­cise would make the walls start to spin and I would end up on the floor.

Derek Fitzgerald

THE CLYMB: When did you have a heart trans­plant and what was the expe­ri­ence like?

Derek Fitzger­ald: The hard part about a heart trans­plant is the wait­ing lead­ing up to the surgery. The way the trans­plant wait­ing list works, avail­able organs go to the most crit­i­cal can­di­dates first. So even though you’re exhaust­ed from fight­ing to stay alive and you know that you’re already sick enough to die at any moment, you have to hope to get even worse before you have a chance to get bet­ter. You have to main­tain hope while prepar­ing your­self to die. I went through sev­en years of heart fail­ure and was on the wait­ing list for the final four months. By the time I received my new heart, I was asleep for 23 hours a day and was with­er­ing away in a hos­pi­tal bed.

I lat­er found out that if my donor’s heart hadn’t become avail­able when it did, I would have died with­in hours.

My donor’s heart arrived on Jan­u­ary 3, 2011. Before the trans­plant, doc­tors told me the phys­i­cal effects are the equiv­a­lent of being hit by a truck—you wake up from surgery and your chest is being held togeth­er with glue, sta­ples and sur­gi­cal wire. You have breath­ing tubes down your throat, drainage tubes com­ing out of your tor­so, and cables insert­ed into your neck that run to the heart to mon­i­tor inter­nal pressures—it’s scary and tough, but there are some great pain med­ica­tions out there. The most pow­er­ful thing I expe­ri­enced com­ing out of my trans­plant was the over­whelm­ing joy that I had been giv­en a chance at life.

THE CLYMB: How soon after the trans­plant did you start to exer­cise? What was your rou­tine like at first?

Derek Fitzger­ald: I was using a walk­er to explore the hos­pi­tal with­in 24 hours of my trans­plant. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the atro­phy that had start­ed before my trans­plant con­tin­ued through the first few months of recov­ery and I dropped down to 128 pounds. I spent most of Jan­u­ary try­ing to regain the mus­cles to lift my head from my pil­low. If nobody was around to help me out of bed, I was stuck. I think it was prob­a­bly a com­bi­na­tion of bore­dom and bed­sores that led me to wig­gle my butt cheeks over the side of the bed, where I’d fall to the floor and begin drag­ging myself across my bed­room until I hit a ver­ti­cal sur­face where I could pull myself to my feet. Essen­tial­ly, that’s how it all start­ed for me: sweat­ing, pant­i­ng, and curs­ing up a storm as I army-crawled across my bed­room floor.

Derek Fitzgerald

THE CLYMB: What made you decide to take on the world of endurance sports? And did you ever think this was going to be some­thing you were going to pur­sue longterm?

Derek Fitzger­ald: Before my trans­plant, I had nev­er even run a 5K. I used to joke that I didn’t have the short-shorts for it and I just didn’t like being around that many peo­ple. Since my trans­plant, my only goal has been to keep myself in the best shape pos­si­ble; to be a good cus­to­di­an to my donor hero’s heart. Every day, I try to push myself a lit­tle bit fur­ther than where I was the day before. I nev­er expect­ed that mind­set would lead me into the world of endurance sports.

THE CLYMB: How soon after your trans­plant did you com­plete your first race/endurance event?

Derek Fitzger­ald: I ran the Travis Man­ion Foundation’s 9–11 Heroes Run 5K eight months after trans­plant. See­ing all the run­ners was intim­i­dat­ing at first, but it was also inspir­ing, espe­cial­ly when I saw the men and women who ran in full com­bat gear and gas masks. Dur­ing the race, I thought back to lay­ing in my hos­pi­tal bed, not being able to breathe, not know­ing if I would live anoth­er day, but there I was, out­side on a gor­geous day, run­ning and feel­ing amaz­ing. When I final­ly crossed the fin­ish line, I expe­ri­enced a com­bi­na­tion of feel­ings: I was thrilled at the sense of accom­plish­ment, and I was filled with hum­ble grat­i­tude for every­thing I had been giv­en that allowed me to expe­ri­ence that moment. My donor and I had kicked the tires and I was already curi­ous to see what else we could do.

THE CLYMB: Since then, you have com­plet­ed an impres­sive num­ber of endurance events and Iron­man races? Any that were par­tic­u­lar­ly gru­el­ing or had spe­cial mean­ing for you?

Derek Fitzger­ald: Every start­ing line I reach has a spe­cial mean­ing for me, but there are sev­er­al that hold a spe­cial place in my heart (no pun intend­ed). In 2013, I fin­ished Iron­man Lake Placid and became the first can­cer-sur­viv­ing heart trans­plant recip­i­ent to com­plete the 140.6 mile chal­lenge. I nev­er thought I’d be alive, let alone com­pet­ing in an Iron­man, so car­ry­ing my donor’s heart across that fin­ish line will stay with me for­ev­er. In 2015, I had the chance to ride my bike across the Unit­ed States while rais­ing mon­ey and aware­ness for can­cer research, heart health, and organ dona­tion and trans­plan­ta­tion. Dip­ping my rear wheel in the Pacif­ic Ocean, rid­ing through desert sun­ris­es and over moun­tain ranges until my front wheel hit the Atlantic has pro­vid­ed count­less life­long memories.

Derek Fitzgerald

THE CLYMB: What kind of train­ing do you do on a reg­u­lar basis? And is the type/intensity of the train­ing affect­ed in any way by the fact you had a transplant?

Derek Fitzger­ald: I train sev­en days a week with a com­bi­na­tion of swim­ming, cycling, run­ning, strength, flex­i­bil­i­ty and core exer­cis­es. My girl­friend and I also enjoy incor­po­rat­ing hik­ing and kayak­ing into the mix when we can.

I don’t think any­one expect­ed these kinds of results, not my doc­tors, and cer­tain­ly not me. One of the many chal­lenges heart trans­plant ath­letes face is the fact that the nerves that were con­nect­ed to our old hearts are sev­ered dur­ing trans­plant. That means that when we begin to exer­cise, there are no mind/body cues to tell our hearts to beat faster. We have to wait for adren­a­line to reach the heart to make it beat faster. Con­verse­ly, when we fin­ish exer­cis­ing, it takes longer for us to slow down the heart because there’s no con­nec­tion from the brain to say the workout’s over.

Nerve regen­er­a­tion is rare, nev­er guar­an­teed, and if it does hap­pen, it usu­al­ly doesn’t begin to occur until at least five years after trans­plant. Need­less to say, when my nerves start­ed to regen­er­ate with­in the first year, my doc­tors were shocked and could only attribute it to the amount of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty I was doing. Con­sis­tent exer­cise has helped my body and my donor’s heart work togeth­er in ways that nobody ever expect­ed and has made my life bet­ter than I could have ever imag­ined. My lim­i­ta­tions are defined only by where I was yes­ter­day, and each new day brings the chance to beat my own per­son­al best.

THE CLYMB: You recent­ly com­plet­ed the Iron­man 70.3 Ocean­side. What was the race like and how many have you com­plet­ed includ­ing this one?

Derek Fitzger­ald: I love des­ti­na­tion races and see­ing new land­scapes in ways that even most locals don’t get to expe­ri­ence. Liv­ing on the East Coast, it’s such a treat to race along the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia coast­line with the palm trees over­head. Com­plet­ing Ocean­side brought my total to five 140.6 races and five 70.3’s. I’m cur­rent­ly train­ing for my sixth full Iron­man this July in Lake Placid, NY.

THE CLYMB: Any par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge ahead you’d love to complete?

Derek Fitzger­ald: There are sev­er­al chal­lenges I’d love to tack­le: in triathlon, I’ve heard so many amaz­ing things about Chal­lenge Roth that it’s real­ly high on my list, and when it comes to run­ning, the ulti­mate goal has to be the Boston Marathon. I’m not where I want to be for that to hap­pen yet, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my life so far, it’s that any­thing is possible.

©istockphoto/HalfpointMarathon rac­ing has become some­thing of an epi­dem­ic across the world as of late, with for­mer couch pota­toes and sea­soned ath­letes alike com­pet­ing for glory.
If you’re look­ing for a chal­lenge, then con­sid­er con­quer­ing what the lazi­est run­ners out there won’t even touch: extreme win­ter rac­ing. Here are a few of the most epic, and ardu­ous, win­ter races in the world.

Alas­ka Moun­tain Wilder­ness Clas­sic | Some­where in the Alaskan Wilderness
The Alas­ka Moun­tain Wilder­ness Clas­sic tra­vers­es rough­ly 150 miles across our country’s most rugged land­scape. Run­ners typ­i­cal­ly flank the north­ern foothills of the Alas­ka Range past the awe-inspir­ing peaks of Mount Hayes and Mof­fit, though there’s not a pre­scribed route accord­ing to race orga­niz­ers. Glac­i­er cross­ings, sub-zero lakes and unpre­dictable weath­er are just some of the chal­lenges fac­ing com­peti­tors look­ing to win this race. If you’re not the run­ning type, it also makes for a great mul­ti-day back­pack­ing trip.

Idi­tar­od Trail Invi­ta­tion­al | Knik Lake, Alaska
The Idi­tar­od Trail Invi­ta­tion­al fol­lows the orig­i­nal route of the Idi­tar­od Trail—and is not for the faint of heart. This ultra marathon com­bines foot rac­ing, fat bik­ing, and ski­ing across 350 miles of one of the world’s fiercest cli­mates. If you’re tough enough to sur­vive the frozen tun­dra once, you’ll qual­i­fy for the 1000-mile race. It begins in Knik, Alas­ka and cross­es over the Alas­ka Range into McGrath.

6633 Arc­tic Ultra | Yukon Ter­ri­to­ry, Canada
Imag­ine rac­ing 350 miles non­stop across an icy, snowy land­scape while pulling a sled full of sup­plies behind you as you go. That’s what you get when you tack­le the 6633 Arc­tic Ultra. Now enter­ing its ninth year, this arc­tic endeav­or pits win­ter dare­dev­ils against one anoth­er from the Cana­di­an vil­lage of Inu­vik along the Ice Road to Tuk­toy­ak­tuk. If you can’t hack the dis­tance, they offer a short­er ver­sion that stops after 120 miles.

The Last Desert | Antarctica
In case you think a race with the word “desert” in the title wouldn’t qual­i­fy a win­ter endeav­or, the Last Desert actu­al­ly takes place in Antarc­ti­ca. It’s the final leg of the infa­mous 4 Deserts series that tack­les the Gobi, Ata­ca­ma, and Sahara deserts. In order to com­pete you have to have suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed at least two of the pre­vi­ous events. If you qual­i­fy you’ll find your­self engaged in a mulit-day race across a polar land­scape with min­i­mal equip­ment. The race route is cho­sen based on ter­rain, dif­fi­cul­ty, and views, so you’re def­i­nite­ly in for a treat.

Baikal Ice Marathon | Siberia, Russia
The Baikal Ice Marathon near Irkut­sk, Rus­sia might not be the tough­est race on the list, but it cer­tain­ly is unique. Part of the annu­al Baikal “Win­te­ri­a­da” fes­ti­val, the race takes run­ners across the frozen sur­face of the world’s deep­est fresh­wa­ter lake. With sur­faces rang­ing from snow to slip­pery ice as smooth as a hock­ey rink, run­ning across the ter­rain is tricky and only for the extreme­ly sure-foot­ed. The land­scape is bar­ren and the wind strong, so main­tain­ing your focus and com­plet­ing the race is high­ly depen­dent upon sheer willpow­er and strength of mind.

Look­ing for a new runner’s high? Be bold and dar­ing, like your run­ning shoes, and try some­thing new – an inter­na­tion­al run. Des­ti­na­tion unknown will pro­vide more than a trav­el adven­ture — you’ll get 42.195 kilo­me­ters strolling amidst some amaz­ing beach­es and his­toric archi­tec­ture. Pos­si­bly the best part is that the race is filled with thou­sands of for­eign run­ners (tech­ni­cal­ly, you would be the for­eign one)? That means there’s exot­ic beers some­where near that fin­ish line. Strap up your laces and restore your glyco­gen with some of these amaz­ing inter­na­tion­al marathons.

1ATHENSAthens Marathon, Greece
If you choose one inter­na­tion­al race in your life, it bet­ter be Greece. This is the sacred ground where ancient gods and heroes birthed marathons for west­ern civ­i­liza­tion around 490 BC. Phei­dippedes, a Greek mes­sen­ger, was sent from the Bat­tle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Per­sians have been defeat­ed. Today, the Novem­ber marathons still fol­lows the route that lit­tle mes­sen­ger boy ran.


2berlin

Berlin Marathon, Ger­many
Brand­ed by BMW and rec­og­nized as a par­ty, you know this marathon is one-of-a-kind. Run through the his­toric sites of Germany’s cap­i­tal city, while you lis­ten to var­i­ous bands on the course. This Sep­tem­ber marathon takes you through parts of East and West Ger­many. Did you know Ger­many has a care­free drink­ing pol­i­cy? From train sta­tions to city streets, you know Berlin­ers will be start­ing up a par­ty some­where near the end of the course.


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Stock­holm Marathon, Swe­den
Run through the city and the Baltic shores as you are encour­aged by thou­sands of friend­ly Swedish fans. The city of con­trasts brings life to tired legs as you run past his­to­ry, inno­va­tion, islands, small towns and big cities. This May to June marathon starts in the after­noon and ends at the 1912 Olympic stadium.


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Aus­tralian Out­back Marathon, Aus­tralia
This is not only a run­ning event, but also a unique expe­ri­ence. Explore the out­back by foot as you run amidst Ulu­ru (Ayer’s Rock) and Kata Tju­ta (The Olgas). Explore hues of orange and reds as you run, and shades of pink, pur­ple and yel­lows as the sun­sets lat­er in the evening. This race takes place dur­ing Australia’s win­ter months, and is reg­u­lar­ly held at the end of July.


5tokyo

Tokyo Marathon, Japan
For those who want a chic Asian expe­ri­ence, come to Tokyo. Slo­gan, “The Day We Unite,” rings true for many run­ners who come togeth­er to run for a cause. Run amidst the busy streets and high rise build­ings as you expe­ri­ence this classy run. Held near the end of Feb­ru­ary, get ready to car­bo-load on sushi and if you can’t read the signs, no wor­ries, just fol­low the guy in front of you.


6standard

Stan­dard Char­tered Mum­bai Marathon, India
For a unique Asian expe­ri­ence, explore the Mum­bai marathon. India is a spe­cial place, and no bet­ter way to view life dif­fer­ent­ly than through miles and miles on the road. This is the largest char­i­ty-gen­er­at­ing plat­form in India. The tro­phies, like the race, have a deep­er mean­ing, which show­cas­es the ener­gy, his­to­ry and geog­ra­phy of Mum­bai. The race is also spe­cial to local Mum­baikars, as well as run­ners, who emo­tion­al­ly con­nect with the marathon as run­ners over­come the hur­dles of life and the sev­en pil­lars. This includes rit­u­al, shock, denial, iso­la­tion, despair, affir­ma­tion and renew­al. The race is held in Jan­u­ary, which is the cool­er month of India.


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Mara­tona de Rio, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Oh Brazil.  The land filled with beau­ti­ful beach­es and gor­geous women. The race takes place dur­ing the cool­er month of July, and the course is amidst the beau­ti­ful shore­lines and city streets of Rio. Run­ners view spec­tac­u­lar views of the moun­tains and famous land­marks such as Christ the Redeemer. After the race, relax tired legs on the beach and have your­self a nice day filled with run­ning, sun, sand and sea.

While you’ve done your train­ing and you’ve (hope­ful­ly) pre­pared ade­quate­ly food and water-wise for race day, the actu­al race is full of jit­ters and men­tal bat­tles that might take you by sur­prise. So hang in there, and try to remem­ber these tips after you cross the start­ing line:

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Start out slow
Between the jit­ters and the mass­es of peo­ple sur­round­ing you at the start line, it’s easy to make the mis­take of start­ing out too quick­ly. While it might feel OK for the first cou­ple of miles, it’ll def­i­nite­ly catch up to you. A marathon is a long race, and run­ning a slow­er first half and a faster sec­ond half is the smart way to tack­le the 26.2 miles.

Save your emo­tion for later
In most marathons, there will be awe­some spec­ta­tors cheer­ing you on the entire dis­tance and though giv­ing high fives every time you see fam­i­ly, friends or strangers out there sup­port­ing you might seem like the right thing to do, you’ll need to be care­ful not to exert too much emo­tion­al and men­tal ener­gy too ear­ly in the race—because at mile 18, you might find it a lit­tle hard­er to keep going than at mile 10.

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Break it up
Just the thought of run­ning 26.2 miles is exhaust­ing, so try to break up the race into small­er seg­ments in your head. A marathon is only about 13 and a half 5ks, for instance. Or at mile 20, you only have a 10k to go. What­ev­er works best for you to try to make the end goal seem less daunt­ing will help pre­vent you from hit­ting the wall along the way.

Bat­tle boredom
It’s a long race, not just in dis­tance, but also in time spent run­ning, so chances are you’re going to get bored. If you need music to help keep your mind occu­pied, then lis­ten to it. Or maybe make up some sort of men­tal game involv­ing count­ing run­ners or spot­ting things in the scenery—whatever it takes to keep your mind busy.

Focus on things besides your body
At some point dur­ing the race, things are going to start to hurt. That’s just what’s going to hap­pen. So instead of focus­ing pri­mar­i­ly on how stiff your legs are start­ing to feel or about the blis­ters cur­rent­ly form­ing on the ball of your left foot, pay atten­tion to the spec­ta­tors, the scenery or any­thing besides what’s hap­pen­ing inside your body. Yes, it’s impor­tant to lis­ten to your­self so you don’t get seri­ous­ly injured, but there’s def­i­nite­ly a dif­fer­ence between a real injury and the sore­ness that hap­pens on a long run.

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Don’t for­get to hydrate and eat
Drink water when you need to and have snacks and elec­trolyte mix­es. This kind of race is no easy feat for the body; so don’t expect it to run with­out the necessities.

Psy­che your­self up
Towards the end of the race, you might find some men­tal strug­gles creep­ing through. So start set­ting small mile­stones or even, begin remind­ing your­self how strong you are. Lit­tle mantras, as cheesy as they sound, can absolute­ly be the rea­son you make it through some of the hard­er, maybe lone­li­er, miles. Tell your­self how awe­some you are for even attempt­ing a marathon—and how badass you’re going to feel after­ward when you can tell peo­ple you’ve run one.

Training for Your First Marathon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a moment after you reg­is­ter for your first marathon when it sud­den­ly becomes clear that you’ve com­mit­ted to run­ning much far­ther than 26.2 miles. It sinks in that your train­ing will require eas­i­ly over 100 miles of run­ning. And, if you’re a sane per­son, that’s the moment it gets a lit­tle scary and you real­ize: this thing you’ve decid­ed to do is real­ly going to hurt.

But don’t fret—here are some tips to make the train­ing process a lit­tle bit smoother (except the run­ning part, of course, that’s real­ly all up to you):

Make time
One of the biggest things you’ll have to do is rearrange your sched­ule a lit­tle bit to make time for your runs. When you have a 26.2‑mile race loom­ing, the last thing you want to do is skimp on train­ing because you just don’t have enough time. If you real­ly don’t have enough time, you have no busi­ness run­ning a marathon. It’s as easy as that. So make sure you can fit in runs at least 4 or 5 days of the week.

fdFind a sched­ule that works for you
All it takes is a quick Google search and you’ll find a vari­ety of marathon-train­ing sched­ules. One is bound to work for you. Be sure to tweak it as much as nec­es­sary and add the runs to your phone cal­en­dar so you’ll have it with you at all times.

Don’t pro­cras­ti­nate
You will feel every day of pro­cras­ti­na­tion in your marathon. Seri­ous­ly. Get out there and go run today. Don’t push off your train­ing runs or you won’t be get­ting the dis­tance or speed you want in your longer runs.

Slow and steady
Don’t plan on start­ing with 7‑mile runs if you haven’t even been run­ning five. Increase your week­ly mileage by no more than 10 per­cent, because the last thing you want is an injury. And don’t wor­ry too much about your pace to start with. It’s your first marathon; your pri­ma­ry goal should be just to finish.

restdaysUse your rest days
Use your rest days; you’ll need them. Overuse is easy when you’re train­ing for a long run and it can cause huge prob­lems. So be sure to relax. You won’t get stronger if you’re con­stant­ly try­ing to go at 100 percent.

Eat well
Besides choos­ing health­i­er options, you’ll also prob­a­bly want to eat more than usu­al since you’ll be burn­ing a lot of calo­ries on those runs—and you’ll real­ly need the fuel. And don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly wor­ry about “car­bo load­ing.” Use your food sched­ule dur­ing your train­ing as a gauge of what to eat before, dur­ing and after your marathon. Don’t do any­thing dif­fer­ent just for the race; keep it consistent.

Hydrate
The longer you run, the more water you’ll need. Don’t get dehy­drat­ed. Not only will it cost you in your runs, result­ing in a slow­er pace you might not even be able to sus­tain for as far as you need to, it can also result in seri­ous health issues.

Get some sleep
You won’t be able to run at 100 per­cent if you haven’t been sleep­ing at 100 per­cent. And you might even need to sleep a lit­tle more than usu­al, because a 17-mile run can real­ly tuck­er you out.

cross-trainingDo some cross-training
Cross-train­ing is a great way to mix it up and avoid overuse of cer­tain mus­cles. Do some yoga for stretch­ing and strength, or head out for a bike ride to work on your endurance and use your legs in a dif­fer­ent way. Do what works for you and fits in your train­ing schedule.

Try to have fun
A lot of run­ning mag­a­zines will tell you that marathons are fun, but in actu­al­i­ty: they’re not real­ly. The fun part is the feel­ing you get when you’re done and being able to say you did it. The actu­al run­ning part is hard and it hurts, but forc­ing a smile until it becomes real can def­i­nite­ly help make it more enjoy­able. Fake it till you make it.

 

There are marathons and then there’s The West­ern States 100, one of the most bru­tal 100-mile (161km) trail races out there. Film­mak­er JB Ben­na fol­lows four out­stand­ing trail run­ners as they com­pete dur­ing the 2010 race in the film Unbreak­able: The West­ern States 100.  In order to win, one must defeat the oth­er three unde­feat­ed ultra marathon­ers and break a course record.

[via: WS 100 Film]

Pho­to Cred­it: Cre­ative Commons 

On Labor Day, Steven Mankof­sky, 22, attempt­ed to break the Guin­ness World Record for fastest marathon run in a suit by wear­ing his finest while com­pet­ing in the Heart of Amer­i­ca Marathon in Colum­bia, Missouri.

Mankof­sky fell short of the record (3:24:46), com­plet­ing the race in 5:06:09. His efforts were not with­out com­pli­ca­tions. With the tem­per­a­ture reach­ing the mid-80s, the suit, tie, and dress shoes made for an uncom­fort­able run. Ear­ly into the race, Mankof­sky vom­it­ed six times and knew that break­ing the record was most like­ly off the table. And in case you thought his choice of attire was the strangest thing about this sto­ry, Mankof­sky drank five Bud­weis­er Selects to counter his run­ning nausea.

“I did­n’t get as close as I want­ed to, so this is it for suit run­ning,” Mankof­sky told The Colum­bia Mis­souri­an.

Even though he did­n’t break the record, we applaud his attempt. Hope­ful­ly, Mankof­sky isn’t put off from com­pet­ing in oth­er marathons — in appro­pri­ate attire, of course.

[Via: Run­ner’s World]

As promised, today we cel­e­brate (and mar­vel over) the endurance ath­lete. If you’re com­mit­ted to push­ing your body and mind fur­ther, faster, and hard­er than most mere mor­tals, we fig­ure you deserve the very best on your body and in it.

Whether you run, ride or tri, 2XU brings you the best per­for­mance gear to keep you per­form­ing at opti­mum lev­els. We’ve got an awe­some selec­tion of their wet­suits, cycling and run­ning gear, and more, all at up to 70% off. Shop 2XU here.

You put out the call for kayak­ing gear, and we’re answer­ing with the most inno­v­a­tive kayak­ing gear on the mar­ket from Immer­sion Research. Staffed with peo­ple who love kayak­ing as much as you do, for over ten years Immer­sion Research has pro­vid­ed top notch gear and unpar­al­leled cus­tomer ser­vice. Fill your kayak­ing needs here at up to 55% off. The first 50 Immer­sion Research orders will receive a free copy of Bomb Flow Mag­a­zine shipped with their order.

You’re no stranger to demands and chal­lenges, and nei­ther are SOG and Tool Log­ic. With their spe­cial­ty knives and tools, they make sure you’re ready for both. Clymb mem­bers will receive up to 55% off both now.

As we men­tioned yes­ter­day, GU Ener­gy has real­ly tapped into what the body of an endurance ath­lete needs on the inside. They pro­vide per­for­mance enhanc­ing nutri­tion that’s con­ve­nient to use and tastes great. We’ll be shar­ing more infor­ma­tion on the sci­ence that goes into their gels, brews, and tablets through­out the day. You can taste for your­self, and shop our GU Ener­gy event at up to 55% off here.

Some of you may have noticed our new site lay­out this week­end. If not, take a moment to move around and check out the new digs. A lot of thought and care went into these changes, all with the hope that they will enhance your Clymb shop­ping experience.

If you have com­ments on ques­tions on the site changes, these or oth­er events, or if you just want to say hi, pick up an invite, or share a pic, please don’t hes­i­tate to stop by our Face­book and Twit­ter pages.

Remem­ber when you were in school, strug­gling with math, and won­der­ing when you’d ever need to know how to mul­ti­ply frac­tions in “real life?” Of course, we lat­er came to real­ize that under­stand­ing math­e­mat­i­cal con­cepts helps us not mess up a recipe, fig­ure out the inter­est on our mort­gage and invest­ments, and deter­mine which car to buy.

In research­ing brands for our upcom­ing endurance-themed event, we found the word “sci­ence” pop­ping up. We got to think­ing about what sci­ence had to do with being an endurance ath­lete. Turns out, a lot. Whether you’re train­ing for an Iron­man, marathon, or 25-hour moun­tain bike race, there is a sci­ence to what you put into your body, what is required, for you to go faster, fur­ther, longer, and hard­er than any­one else.

Thanks to the folks at GU Ener­gy, we learned a lot:

  • Though wide­ly debat­ed, sci­en­tists have found that caf­feine does improve per­for­mance. Click here to learn more about why caf­feine matters.
  • The body does­n’t sense dehy­dra­tion very well, with stim­u­la­tion of thirst occur­ring after the body has already lost 1% of body weight in water.  Exer­cise per­for­mance decreas­es with as lit­tle as a 2% drop in body weight from dehy­dra­tion. So there’s a small win­dow for ath­letes to respond to thirst before per­for­mance is impaired.
  • The body needs fuel whether you’re on land or in water. Though you can’t chow down while endurance swim­ming, there are ways to get the car­bo­hy­drates need­ed to keep you going. (More on those next week.) Also, sweat is an indi­ca­tion the body needs to hydrate, but that reminder typ­i­cal isn’t there for a swimmer.

 The body is a com­plex machine and when you decide to put it through rig­or­ous tests with endurance sports, the best way to keep it fine­ly tuned can be a com­plex thing. On Mon­day, we’ll share with you brands that will make the sci­ence of endurance sports sim­ple to under­stand. One such brand we’re excit­ed to part­ner with is GU Energy. They have com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing endurance ath­letes with the prop­er tools the body needs on the inside so it can func­tion at opti­mum lev­els on the outside.