Maple Ridge man runs for 25 hours in virtual marathon

Mike Huber was one of 2,400 runners from 64 countries

Maple Ridge ultra-marathon runner Mike Huber took part in the first annual Quarantine Backyard Ultra. (Contributed)

Mike Huber was supposed to travel to Calgary in June to run an ultra-marathon in support of The Rare Disease Foundation.

Then along came COVID-19. The world was turned upside down and the marathon, like all other events across the globe, was cancelled.

However, the die-hard running community didn’t hang up their bibs. Instead they went the extra mile.

Huber along with 2,400 runners from 64 countries from around the world, took part in the first annual Quarantine Backyard Ultra – the brainchild of Albertan ultra-marathon runner Dave Proctor and a company called Peak Run Performance.

RELATED: Teen runs 120 km marathons through deserts

Every runner around the world started the race at the exact same time at their own home – either on a treadmill or on the road.

They had to run a 6.7 kilometre loop every hour, starting again at the beginning of every hour, until they could no longer run anymore.

If an athlete finished the loop early within the hour they got to rest for the remaining time before setting out on the next loop. However, if a participant did not finish the loop within the allotted time, they were eliminated.

“That’s the game,” said the 45-year-old realtor from Maple Ridge.

“It’s how much time do you have to rest versus not rest,” he said.

RELATED: Kipchoge becomes first runner to dip under 2 hours for marathon

The strategy depends on the runner. Some people like more rest, explained Huber, and some people like less so they keep moving and their body doesn’t seize up. And then you have to eat.

A two minute warning would alert athletes get on their start line and if a runner failed to start at the exact time then they were disqualified.

Times were logged on an app called Strava through the athlete’s watches.

Runners also used the teleconferencing app called Zoom to allow them to interact with other racers and live feed while running.

“What makes the race really unique, and we joke about it in the running world, there’s only one winner,” said Huber.

“Everyone else, technically, did not finish because there’s no finish line. You run and run,” he said.

Huber started his race at 6 a.m. PST on Saturday, April 4, and finished at 7 a.m. on Sunday.

The winner of the race was a man from Virginia who ran for 63 straight hours and a man from the Czech Republic ran for 62 hours straight.

They ran more then 400 kilometres each.

“It’s not human,” said Huber.

Huber ran 25 hours straight, covering a distance of 170 kilometres. He was taking 15 to 17 minute breaks at the beginning of the race but by his last loop he only had about a 13 minute rest because he was starting to slow down a little bit.

“I stopped and finished feeling great,” said Huber, who had a goal of running about 160 kilometres.

“I could have run further, but I wanted to run the next day with my wife,” he said.

Huber said that although the totals have not been finalized yet, it looks like he finished within the top 50.

Which is pretty cool, he said, considering the top 50 runners are are elite athletes or getting paid to run.

Huber also can’t believe the community support he received.

His Thornhill neighbours started asking him what was going on after he passed them four or five times. By the 12th hour, he said, people were waiting to cheer him on.

Another neighbour wrote inspirational messages on the road in sidewalk chalk.

And others came out at night for a couple of hours to illuminate his way with lights on their bicycles.

“I didn’t organize that. It just kind of happened spontaneously and organically,” said Huber, adding that that was the best part of the race for him.

“When you run long every journey is different,” he said.

“It was really cool to have that type of a moment.”


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows city council uses new social media use guidelines to speak out against divisive online activity

Hoping abiding by new policy will set a standard for proper decorum online

SHARE: Photo contest spotlights significant seniors

Send in pictures of a Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows senior and you could win

Slow start for in-class instruction across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Only 18 per cent of elementary students and five per cent of secondary students attend in person

Maple Ridge revamps flood response plan

Emergency program coordinator identifies some problem areas city is looking to shore up

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

COVID claims 23rd Langley Lodge patient, making it the deadliest outbreak in B.C.

Coronavirus kills another senior at Langley care home, bringing B.C. total to 166

Family of dead B.C. football star urge changes to mental health policies in hospitals

Uko family disappointed in actions of Regina hospital, hosting public funeral service this weekend

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Most Read