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July 24, 2017

Attempting a 200-mile week

We get a lot of interesting emails at CITIUS MAG [[email protected]] about many oddities within the sport of running because we like to find key storylines to follow outside of just the elite side of the sport. There’s always been a big gap between those who follow the elites and those who simply just like running for the fun of it. This one was a little bit of a mix.

We received an email from Zach Kughn, who was once in our infamous Headshot Round-Ups (Note: Those will be returning in the fall, so be sure to start growing out your wacky hairstyles and facial hair now.) Zach ran at Montana State and now lives in Mitchell, South Dakota. It’s a very simple storyline to follow. Two amateur runners will attempt to run a 200-mile week as a result of a bar bet. So we decided that we’ll be following their progress here with a gonzo-style live blog and tracker on the week of July 31 to August 6.

Some reference on the guys:  

Zach’s max milage has been 100 miles in a week. He run that about 20 times in his life but all of them have taken place three years ago. He’ll be doing his running in Mitchell, which means that he’ll face some humidity.

Ethan Wilhelm also ran at MSU and has maxed out at 107 miles in a week. He has only run more than 100+ miles per week just five times in his life. He will completing his runs in Bozeman, Montana, which us at 5,000 feet of altitude.

Only Rules: 7 consecutive days. 200 miles of running. No treadmills. 

So here’s how this all came to be….

April, 2017.

In the heart of track season. The thought of retirement lingers ever so closely. Taunts me. I need something more. I used to run 100-mile weeks all the time. Health and injury have plagued me, but I’ll be fine.

A New long run PR? 25? 30? Nah, too easy. Also, I’m hurt right now so I probably can’t.

100 miles a week is nice but all too common.

150? That’s not a barrier.

200? Bingo. Just crazy enough, but I can do it, right?

Even Cam Levins doesn’t mess with 200. There are many things that I didn’t accomplish as an athlete but it’d be nice to say ‘Oh well, I did a 200 mile week!’

It’s perfect. But who will care? I need someone else. T’will take an idiot and a runner.

Ethan. He once convinced he could be an NFL kicker if he tried. Solid runner. Solid mileage.

Here’s the scene at steak night at Specs in Bozeman, MT. It went a little something like this:

Me: “You think I can do a 200 mile week?”

Ethan: “Yeah. That can’t be that hard.”

Me: “What?! Are you nuts? 200 miles is crazy.”

Ethan: “I think I could do it.”

Just like that, it’s on.

Planning ensues. Chests are puffed. We set a deadline for the end of the summer. That’s plenty of time to change my entire lifestyle and get in incredible shape. Will my foot’s cortisone shot last? Can I even get back to 100? Bones breaking. Muscles aching. I don’t know what will go first, but something surely will.

Ethan’s cockiness is contagious. I can do this. I will.

May, 2017

Another steak night and more shenanigans. Old curmudgeons at heart. I personally believe that Usain Bolt is the GOAT – unbeatable. Ethan’s doubtful. He’s an idiot. I ask him ‘Wanna bet?’ He says, “You’re on.” Bolt will win worlds this year. If he wins I win; if the field wins, it’s Ethan. Winner “gets” to do 201. That’ll show em. Pansy could only do 200.


We’ll be giving these guys access to our Instagram account for part of the week so that they can chronicle their journey to 200. Stay tuned for more updates.

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