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Runner Uses Local Race To Train For ‘Ultra-marathoning’

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Thousands of athletes are getting ready for Sunday’s Detroit Free Press-Talmer Bank Marathon through the streets of Detroit and Windsor.

For most people, completing a marathon is a huge milestone. But for Brennan Ryan of Huntington Woods, it’s just a warmup lap for his other activity — ultra-marathoning, where races can last several days and cover up to 200 miles.

Ryan said the local marathon will be a great training exercise for his larger ambitions.

“In an ultra race, especially where they’re off-road which most of them are, you have no focus because not only are you spread out from other runners, but the terrain is such that, you know, one mile might take you seven minutes, the next mile could be straight up a mountainside or up a hill and could take you 25 minutes.”

Ryan said while marathons are often about pacing, ultra races are completely different

“You just don’t have any real perception. You just kind of run at your comfort level and you really can’t focus as much on time. So, there’s a very different stress level in how you run those races, and so really, depending on your mood that day, you may prefer one over the other.”

Ryan hopes to finish Sunday in about three hours.

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