Thursday, January 08, 2004

This is kind of interesting. There's this guy named Robert Garside, who bills himself as "The Runningman", and who claims to be the first person to have run around the world. Mr. Garside certainly seems to thrive on publicity and to enjoy basking in the loor of multitudes, and he has said some pretty mushy-headed politically correct stuff about diversity and ecology. He's received a lot of coverage from local progressive-minded media outlets around the world.

Two things are true. Mr. Garside has been a lot of places, though a lot of his yarns ring false. And he can run; he was able to run 72 miles in one outing before witnesses. Now, the fact that this is the most he can do means something, as we will see, but it's still pretty impressive.

However, there are also some people who are convinced that Mr. Garside is a fraudster. There is one guy who seems to devote his life to proving that Mr. Garside is a fake. His site, Ultramarathon World, certainly seems to demonstrate that most of the things Mr. Garside claims to have done are impossible for anyone. And Sports Illustrated, the reliable American sports weekly, pretty much puts Mr. Garside's claims to rest (and portrays him as a megalomaniac paranoid to boot). Just another pious-mouthed phony, more concerned with his own image than anything else.

And another beautiful romantic dream comes to an end...No! Wait! There's more! Mr Garside is now billing himself as "The Swimmingman", and says that he is going to swim around the world, starting in June 2004. Well, I tell you what. I sure wish I'd known about this a couple of weeks before so I could have picked him for the Dead Pool.

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