Vancouver Man Completes 99th Run Longer Than Marathon
Online PR News – 18-September-2009 – – NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, Canada. Last weekend, he woke at 2:00 am, packed a peanut butter sandwich and a thermos of coffee then drove all night to make the 7:00 am start of a 54-kilometer trail run. By dinner time, he was back home celebrating having completed his 99th ultramarathon.
North Vancouver resident Ean Jackson claims to have grown up as a fat kid. “I was very focused on my stamp collection and the television. As the eldest and largest of 4 children, I would send my siblings to the kitchen to fetch me cookies,” he recalls. At 51 years old, Jackson now weighs less than he did at age 8 and could almost pass for half his age.
Somewhere, somehow, something prompted a significant change in lifestyle. Since taking up running in university on a beer bet, Jackson has competed in hundreds of running, cross-country skiing and triathlon events and been on 2 Canadian national teams. He soon hopes to join the very small fraternity of people to have run 100 “ultras.”
“It’s all about having goals that are aggressive but achievable,” said Jackson when asked about his achievements. “I started by getting up a bit earlier in grade 11to walk the dog with my Mom before school. My first running race was a 5K during university and that almost killed me. My goals then expanded to completing a marathon, then the Boston Marathon, then a triathlon, an Ironman triathlon, a double Ironman then a 100-mile run.”
After completing the Ironman Hawaii World Championships, he learned from a fellow competitor that there were running races longer than the standard 42.2 kilometer marathon distance. “My first question was, “Why run that far?” My second thought was, “This can’t be good for my knees,” Jackson recalls, before signing up for his first ultramarathon 19 years ago. “The “How?” took a while to perfect and I’m still working on that. ‘Still not clear on “Why?” and at this point, it doesn’t matter anymore because running is so much a part of my life that I don’t question it anymore.”
Jackson works as a management consultant and teaches in the business faculty at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. While flexible hours permit the occasional short run during the day, he claims to make running fit around his life rather than vice versa. “I consider myself very lucky if I run more than 3 times per week,” says Jackson about his training schedule. “I enjoy the informal adventure runs through Club Fat Ass for the base distance and weekly interval runs with the Capilano Eagles for speed.”
So how about those knees? “They’re still holding out. Since taking up ultrarunning, I’ve had my share of bumps and scrapes. Also, several overuse issues such as plantar fasciitis and torn muscles, but on the whole, I’d say the benefits of running longer distances by far outweigh the risks,” said Jackson. “I’m hoping these knees will hold out a while yet, because my next goal is to complete 200 ultras!”
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