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From the Ranks: Mid braves Minnesota winter to place in 135-mile race

Feb. 23, 2012 - 02:44PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 23, 2012 - 02:44PM  |  
Ted Murner is a senior at the Naval Academy.
Ted Murner is a senior at the Naval Academy. (Courtesy photo)
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There's a bumper sticker floating around (usually on a Subaru) that says, "You ran a marathon? That's cute."

This sentiment applies to a special breed of people — people like Ted Murner. The Naval Academy senior ran down fourth place in the run division of this year's Arrowhead 135-mile race, a brutal ultramarathon that started Jan. 30 in International Falls, Minn.

"Historically coldest gosh darn race anyplace even the Arctic ... every year luck has us -30 to -40 [degrees]," race directors say on the Arrowhead website.

Competitors choose between the run, bike and ski divisions and must compete without a pacer.

All racers are required to carry or tow all required gear at all times on the course and must finish with at least one day's worth or 3,000 calories of food and 8 ounces of fuel. Racers may share gear and assist one another; however, each participant must have his own mandatory gear at all times.

To train for the race, Murner ramped up his normal marathon training by doing extra long runs and "runs in the cold to help prepare myself mentally."

It's not uncommon for long-distance athletes to hallucinate during races. "I thought all these people were in the woods around me. It definitely helped me stay awake," he said.

The race donates all profits to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation Charity, which provides college scholarships to children of fallen operators.

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