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Zach Bitter runs 40 miles in under five hours

Wisconsin runner attempts to break previous record of 100 miles in 12 hours.

"Zach Bitter is unleashing the beast! "
"Zach Bitter is unleashing the beast! "

No, you didn't misread the headline.

Elite ultrarunner Zach Bitter of Wisconsin, who ran 100 miles in 12 hours at the 2013 Desert Solstice 24 Hour and 100 Mile Track Invitational, took to the track at the annual Six Days in the Dome event in Anchorage, Alaska -- a "competitive 6 day indoor track race ... celebrating the 30th anniversary of Stu Mittleman's 577.75 mile American indoor performance" -- to break his own record.

From the start, the event's official twitter account reported Bitter "unleashing the beast" with a mind-(and leg)-blowing 1:45 lap pace. Bitter maintained his stride and completed his 164th lap after the 4:45:00 mark. A little over 41 miles into the event, he still had ten minutes to go before the clock hit the fifth hour.

According to those in attendance, Bitter suffered from gastrointestinal issues (GI) and fell off pace. He eventually finished the 100 mile event in 12:08, eight minutes over his goal time to beat.

But Bitter's defeated record-attempt didn't stop him from being an all-around nice guy. After some much-needed rest, he stayed on to support the other runners and worked the all-important aid stations that lined the track.

Still, I will reiterate: 40 miles in less than five hours. That is insane(ly awesome), whether you're an elite runner, an occasional trail runner or a road racer.

Congratulations to Bitter on his stellar accomplishments on and off the track this week.