Thursday, September 18, 2008

Terry Fox vs. Dean Karnazes

For about a week now the certificates from the Terry Fox Run have been sitting beside the computer.  Every time I sit down I read the quote...  Eventally I realized that I actually knew very little about Terry and the Marathon of Hope.  With my trip coming up (and 53 injured soldiers to motivate) I did a little brushing up on Terry this week - I got really into it.

Appropriately, a lot has been made of the vision he had to raise money and to find a cure for cancer.  You'd have a hard time finding anyone who didn't know about the huge contribution Terry initiated for cancer, and the fundraising that has resulted over the intervening years (though I didn't know it was $400 million+) but I somehow think many people (including myself) have forgotten, (or at least can't relate to) the enormity of the physical feat he accomplished.

Terry's run lasted 143 days.  His goal was a marathon-a-day but he fell short and ran a little over 23 miles/day if you averaged it out.  Details.  

By comparison, Dean Karnazes, a current superstar of running, known as the "Ultramarathon Man", recently recorded 50 marathons in 50 days (in 50 states)....  and the running world pretty much bowed down at his North Face runners.  He was even voted #27 on TIME magazine's World's Most Influential People list!

Some facts:

Terry - 143 marathons
Dean - 50

Terry - one leg
Dean - two

Terry - Cancer (tumours the size of a lemon in one lung and a golf ball in the other)
Dean - No Cancer

Terry - 5,376 km
Dean - 2,110 km

That's Terry 5, Dean 0, for those of you keeping score at home.  Now don't get me wrong, Dean isn't a pansy.  I just wanted to put Terry's run into perspective.

I love these TF quotes, check out the fire in the belly:

“Some people can’t figure out what I’m doing. It’s not a walk-hop, it’s not a trot, it’s running, or as close as I can get to running, and it’s harder than doing it on two legs. It makes me mad when people call this a walk. If I was walking it wouldn’t be anything.”

“I’m running on one leg. It may not look like I’m running fast, but I’m going as hard as I can. It bothers me, people coming up beside me. I want to make those guys work. I can’t stand making it easy for them. I’m really competitive. When they run with me, they’re usually running for only two or three miles; for me it might be my twenty-sixth mile.”

“Maybe that’s why I’ve made it as far as I have – 2,521 miles. If I ran to a doctor every time I got a little cyst or abrasion I’d still be in Nova Scotia. Or else I’d never have started. I’ve seen people in so much pain. The little bit of pain I’m going through is nothing. They can’t shut it off, and I can’t shut down every time I feel a little sore.”

Conclusion:  Terry was a certifiable bad ass.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm a Canadian who is VERY proud of Terry Fox. Most of us are. Its nice to see someone take note of his accomplishments in light of Dean's. I must concur - Dean's no slouch, but he is NOTHING compared to Terry. I would add to your list: Terry: running for a very good cause Dean: not so much??? why is he running?? because he can? So the score is 6 - 0.