Posts Tagged ‘Erin Sprague’

Beating The Chinese Desert

Posted: 27 August by Brett Hoover in Athletes, Harvard
Tags: ,

Former All-Ivy League pick Eric LaHaie did something pretty remarkable recently, winning a 100-kilometer ultra marathon in a Chinese desert. But if you are unfamiliar with his name, consider that his 2001 All-Ivy certificate came as a football safety for the Crimson.

His victory in the Taklamakan Desert wasn’t LaHaie’s first such title. Last year he claimed victory in the six-day, 250-kilometer Gobi March, considered to be one of the top endurance competitions on the planet.

His recent win — in 11 hours and 20 minutes — was his toughest one. “It was actually one of the more difficult course I have encountered,” he wrote on his blog. “Tons of soft sand which slowly drained the energy in your legs with every step.”

Yet he literally dusted the field by nearly three hours while only six of the 35 finishers clocked a time of fewer than 20 hours! Here are the results.

He described the finish to Marco Werman on NPR:

“The floodlights that light up the finish line had gone off because the generator ran out of gas. So all of a sudden I just came over this sandy dune and there it was like 20 feet in front of me. And the only person there was our race organizer who I know. So she welcomed me in and it’s like 15 to 20 minutes of exhilaration followed by your body sort of goes into shock a little bit afterwards. Freezing cold and I started cramping up a little bit. So then I go into my recovery process which is just drinks tons of water and eat food.”

How about 15 days of sleep?

Big hat tip to Mary Boggs for these stories as another Cantab — Erin Sprague — set out to become the youngest person to run seven marathons on seven continents. Here she is on the Today Show in 2008.