Running 100 Miles – By Michael Modzelewski – Published in Sierra Heritage Magazine

“…I came away from the run convinced that dormant within us are immeasurable powers that we block with disbelieving minds. As the psychologist, William James, wrote, “We lead lives inferior to ourselves.” We settle for less when we should always be striving for more.

When I told people I was entered in a 100-mile run, their reaction was, “You gotta be crazy!” followed by disclaimers of, “I couldn’t even run around the block or up the stairs if I had to.” Then, when they saw from my training that I was serious about “going the distance,” they asked, “Why?”

There have always been a few people out on the cutting edge, testing the limits. The old explorers mapped and measured the earth, and now the new-age explorers — mountain climbers, ultra-runners, triathletes — chart the “unknown territory” that lies within. They are discovering that when the human body, mind, and spirit unite in harmony, there are no limits.

I’m now training for this year’s Western States. In the morning, while lacing up my running shoes, I look up at a card pinned on my wall, printed with the words of Anais Nin: “We’ve been to the moon, but we have so much farther to go within ourselves.” I try to expand myself, explore that distance every day.”

Runners notes:
The Times’ own Michael Modzelewski has completed “The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run” through the Sierras from Squaw Valley to Auburn. This is especially meaningful, because last year a tendon injury forced him to drop out, almost within sight of the finish line. The dramatic story of that run, which first appeared in the Times, has been reprinted in the fifth anniversary issue of Sierra Heritage. This time around, as Michael writes, “Jason reached his Golden Fleece… Modzelewski now has his Hermes Silver Buckle! (award for finishing under 24 hours).” Congratulations!

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