Not Humanly Possible, Is It?

Pat Farmer (Photo: Pole to Pole Run)

Close your eyes. Imagine what it would feel like to run a marathon.  Now imagine that you’ve run not just one marathon, but two marathons in a single day. Seems crazy. Now imagine you’ve run two marathons in a day, every day, for 10 months straight without a day off!

Meet Pat Farmer.  He’s an ultramarathoner from Australia who is in the process of running from the North Pole to the South Pole. He covers 50 miles a day, except when he is using snow shoes near the poles. He only manages 16 miles a day in snow shoes.

Unfortunately, Farmer isn’t as good at attracting attention as he is at running.  He is doing the run to raise money for the International Red Cross. His fundraising goal before he started was $100 million, he’s almost done with the adventure and only $100,000 has been donated.

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  1. Eric M. Jones. says:

    I’d donate IF he ran from the South Pole to the North Pole…which is ALL uphill! Running the other way is EASY.

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  2. Mario Morgan says:

    ^ Yeah running from The South to the North would be ridiculous, but you should still donate, its for a good cause. Plus to run 50 miles a day that guy has to be in Top Shape

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    • Tristan says:

      There are lots of good causes to donate to, and one of the best tools to decide where to donate has been featured on here a couple times – Give Well (www.givewell.org). Organizations like that collect and share lots of info that can motivate me to give money to charity, and pick which ones out of the many good charities to give to.

      On the other hand, as a couple other commneters have pointed out, choosing to give money to the red cross or not isn’t really affected because an athelete has a desire to spend a year running in unusual places.

      It would be great if one of the future podcasts could cover this idea in more detail, why is walking 5k (or running marathons for a year, climbing everest, ect) such a common way to convince people to give money?

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  3. Matthew says:

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  4. saam says:

    The summary made it sound like his vision was impaired while running marathons. George, George, George of the Jungle… Watch out for that tree!

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  5. Jon says:

    The $100 million target was clearly unrealistic but I think $100k is still a decent amount.

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  6. Caleb b says:

    …so in other words, he could have just worked two jobs and donated his salary and saved himself the trip?

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  7. Mtjanz says:

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  8. James says:

    Perhaps you could do a Freakonomic analysis of this kind of fundraising activity. I’ve never understood it: you have a person doing some activity that s/he enjoys or sees as a challenge, and we’re supposed to be motivated to contribute money because of that?

    I’d also be interested in learning how he plans to run across the Straits of Magellan, and from Tierra del Fuego to the Antarctic Peninsula.

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    • JimFive says:

      He’s being airlifted across the gaps.

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      • uthor says:

        He should run on a treadmill on the plane…

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      • James says:

        Or maybe use one of those pedal boats? Not that that’s something you’d want to do in the Southern Ocean.

        Still, it seems somehow dishonest to claim that he’s run all the way. After all, wouldn’t most people be satisfied with a run from say Point Barrow in Alaska to wherever the southernmost point of the South American mainland is?

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