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[pct-l] re: Congrats to Brian

In a message dated 10/30/01 1:54:04 PM, ronm@fallingwater.com writes:


So who's talking about running marathons in the wilderness. Walking 30 miles

a day isn't in any stretch of the imagination running a marathon. I >>

Ron, this is true NOW, but Brian has publicised and romanticised hiking from 
point to point as fast as one can. If it catches on the pressure for running 
marathons in the wilderness can only increase. Sorry but I view his 
accomplishment as a threat to wilderness areas, not physically, yet, but in 
other ways. Once the idea of going there to compete and set records (aka 
Robinson)is gradually accepted, the idea of using wilderness as sanctuary 
(aka Muir) from the pressures of civilization will fade and the whole idea of 
getting away from it all may come to be seen as bordering on being 
sociopathic. Eventually the entire 1964 wilderness act may be condemned as 
being exclusive (which it is), quaint, and antiquated. .
 I've gone through all this before and it is getting to be redundant but I'll 
bring it up again: Who gets a better wilderness experience. Someone who hikes 
100 miles around Mt. Rainier in 24 hours, much of it in the dark by 
flashlite, or someone who (also ultra lite) takes 10 days.  If a place is so 
enjoyable, why the rush to get through it? If you're racing, there's got to 
be another reason besides just experiencing the place. Myself, I consider a 
hike a success if I arrive back at the car in the last fading light no matter 
how far I hiked. I love to linger. I bet  Brian and most ultra marathoners 
would agree-- enjoyment of all the nuances that wilderness has to offer has 
nothing to do with it, it's the goal and record (personal or otherwise)that 
  Am I impressed at what Brian did? Only by his tenacity. And remember, no 
matter how good you are physically, there's always somebody out there better. 
Records were made to be be broken. Just ask Mark McQuire, Roger Maris and 
Babe Ruth. (OK, you can't ask two of them because they are dead)
   I'm tired of discussing wilderness in philosophical terms and promise not 
bring it up again. Either one gets what I'm getting at or they don't. Who 
really cares. I'm going on a hike with my friend Alyce. She's as slow as 
molasses at times, but man oh man do I get to see and experience things I 
otherwise might have missed. (No, MIGHT is the wrong word -WOULD is better.)