Slammin’: Voices from the Middle of The Pack – Photos and stories of the runners in the 2013 Ultramarathon Grand Slam

    Friend/photographer/subscriber of Marathon & Beyond, Michael Lebowitz is documenting the 2013 Ultra Grand Slam in a book called Slammin’: Voices from the Middle of the Pack.

    Michael writes: “Many people consider summitting Everest to be one of the most difficult physical accomplishments. Yet, completing a series of 100-mile foot races across North America is perhaps even more challenging. There have been only 266 finishers of the Grand Slam since the event began in 1986 when Tom Green did it for the first time. In that same period 3500+ people have summitted Mt. Everest. Everest is 29,028 feet high, about 5.5 miles. There is a total of nearly 80,000 ft. of elevation gain during the 400 miles of the Slam, nearly two-and-a-half times more than Everest. Climbing Everest requires teams of people, weeks of hiking and climbing, expensive equipment, clothing, extensive training, guides. The Grand Slam is 400 miles and requires long-run training, a very small crew made up of wives/husbands /friends and several pairs of running shoes.

    “There will be approximately 18 people on the starting line at Western States 100 mile whose dreams go much farther than 100 miles of this most famous of ultra courses with its 18,000 ft of elevation and legendary conditions. For these athletes, it is only the first step of a very long journey and will be followed, three weeks later, by the Vermont 100, with its 14,000 Ft of elevation gain. Four weeks later is the Leadville Trail 100 at 16,200 ft of gain, followed by the Wasatch Front 100, with an almost unimaginable elevation gain of 26,882 feet. It’s unlikely that more than 10 or 12 will cross the finish line at Wasatch, the Slam in hand. We’re going to be focusing on this group of ordinary people who have it in their hearts that they can and will accomplish this extraordinary thing.”

    To learn more about Michael’s extraordinary project, click here.

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