Marathon effort requires patience and a bit of crazy

I took a drive to Naseby at the weekend to cover the Great Naseby Water Race Ultramarathon.

I have covered the race for the past couple of years and it’s always a good time.

While taking a casual 200-mile jog through the Naseby Forest in the middle of winter does not sound like a good time to me, you have to admire the tenacity of these runners.

Eleven started last Wednesday and when I got there four days later some were still running.

By that stage they were joined by a host of other runners covering a range of smaller distances — but for context, all of them were longer than your standard marathon.

Not exactly a small effort.

I headed out on the course to try to get some photos — with the hills in the background covered in the snow it looked absolutely stunning — and I was surprised at the response from the runners.

If that was me out there I’m pretty sure I would be crawling along the track, desperately reconsidering my life choices.

But not these guys.

They were giving me a thumbs-up or a big wave, with a giant grin on their faces like they were having the time of their lives.

Delusion had obviously set in.

Many assured me they were doing this for fun — I must have misheard them, surely.

But no, they were in fact loving it.

I must admit when I come to events like this, I get a little bit envious .

Not of the running — I decided long ago that was of the devil — but of the passion and sheer grit they demonstrated to achieve their goal.

For brief moments I start to think, ‘‘oh that looks fun, let’s give it a go’’.

Then I snap back to my senses.

Running 320km isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t help but admire what it took to get those runners to that point.

They didn’t start out being able to tackle those distances, they built up to it over time.