Today's Spokesman-Review has an article (bummer: registration required) about some ultra, or depending on your perspective they could be extreme or insane, cyclists and runners who reside in our area. I find the psychology of this interesting and I wish I could explore it more. Rachel Toor touches on it a little in the article. Essentially, and I present this as light humor, it's crazy people who do this with other crazy people who in turn don't think their crazy.
These people are unbelievably tough. I followed David Blaine's Great Divide Project and the incredible conditions he and the other competitors suffered through during the race. A local triathlete recently finished the Portland Marathon and was disappointed in his performance. Not long after he went to his doctor because he wasn't feeling well. Turned out he had a strep infection so severe they had to cut open his chest cavity to clean it out. I read with disbelief the torture of the Furnace Creek 508. (BTW the SR got one part wrong. It's not 3,000 feet of climb. It's more like 36,000.)
The mind that can endure that kind of punishment is certainly different from my own.
And I'm okay with that.