Friday Inspiration 316

Nick Willis had run a sub-4-minute mile every year for 19 straight years, and on New Year’s Day 2022, he went for his 20th consecutive year. There’s something about the feel of the almost completely-empty stands while these guys are just ripping around the track in the four minutes just after midnight on Jan. 1. (video)


Doug Mack writes about the comfort of microwave nachos, in his teen years, and now, as a dad trying to get through the past few weeks of pandemic uncertainty, and I can get behind this kind of writing.

So, I am working on a book project about ultrarunning (just a book project in my head/on my computer at this point), and I was trying to draw an illustration of someone putting on and taking off a latex glove for a part of the book in which I talk about going No. 2 out there in the woods, and I thought, “This would be way funnier if both the hands both looked like the Hamburger Helper hand,” so I started searching for images. After way too much time trying, I gave up, because I just couldn’t get it to work, but I did stumble upon this guy’s 2010 web page about his fascination with who would win a fight: the Hamburger Helper Hand or the Arby’s Oven Mitt? Including his correspondence with both Arby’s and Betty Crocker. Anyway, I’m glad people do stuff like this.

If you have found yourself saying “2020 was the worst year ever!” or “2021 was the worst year ever!” boy, do the folks at Radiolab have a story for you.

Even if you have never before been interested in bollards, or if you don’t know what a bollard is, I am still quite comfortable recommending you follow the World Bollard Association on Twitter because of very short and emotionally satistfying videos like this.

“Another beauty of endurance is that it is happening at all times. It is everywhere we look. To see someone, anyone, in this world is to witness someone engaged in a feat of endurance. That’s what struck me, each time I went out to Queens. How ordinary it felt to be there. How un-crazy the whole thing was.
—Devin Kelly, writing about his experience watching the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100, a 3,100-mile race around a single city block in Queens

I had the pleasure of hiking into the Wind River Range this summer to resupply these two guys partway through their 19-day traverse, and damned if I wasn’t just a little bit jealous of their trip. Skander’s write-up and photos of the whole thing confirmed that my envy was not, in fact, misguided.