Running 3,100 miles around one city block in Queens
The rules of the longest ultramarathon in the world give runners between 6 a.m. and midnight every day for 52 days to run around the same block in Jamaica, Queens.
The casual or even not-so-casual sports fan likely recognizes none of the names of the 11 athletes spending 18 hours every day for nearly two months walking/jogging around the block. The runners represent the top competitors in their sport.
Not a single American competes in this the 19th annual Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race. But Finland's Ashprihanal Aalto is on pace to finish 1 days early, setting personal, course, and world records in the event.
"He's outstanding, averaging 76 miles a day," said Australia's Grahak Cunningham, who won the 3,100-mile race in 2012. "You really got to have to have the ability to stay pretty happy and positive."
Runners wear through dozens of shoes and countless thoughts over the 52 days and swear they enjoy the experience.
"First thing I did after winning was sit down at a table and enjoy a meal out of a porcelain plate and not a plastic cup," Cunningham said.
If -- or when -- he wins, Aalto admitted to an even simpler post-race plan: "Sleep."