Miller’s marathon mad­ness

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

TIBERIAS, Is­rael: Pledg­ing to “run like crazy,” an Aus­tralian dis­tance run­ner has be­gun an am­bi­tious quest to com­plete 52 marathons in 52 weeks.

If 33-year-old Tris­tan Miller can pull it off, the Mel­bourne na­tive will have over­come the pain of get­ting di­vorced and los­ing his job to ac­com­plish a feat few peo­ple could even imag­ine.

He plans to run about 2 200km while fly­ing all over the world, cop­ing with jet lag, un­fa­mil­iar foods, lit­tle train­ing time and wildly dif­fer­ent cli­mates.

“This isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s def­i­nitely the best thing I’ve ever done,” Miller said af­ter com­plet­ing his sec­ond marathon of the year in Tiberias, a north­ern Is­raeli town.

Miller fin­ished the race in 3 hours, 52 min­utes, 36 sec­onds, nearly 30 min­utes slower than his per­sonal best of 3:23 and 10 min­utes off the pace of last week’s marathon.

He put down the gap to his body be­ing weak­ened by a lin­ger­ing cold he caught in snowy Berlin and the heat of an un­usu­ally warm Is­raeli win­ter day.

“I’ve prob­a­bly got one three­hour marathon in me, but prob­a­bly only just one,” Miller said.

Miller ran the first marathon in his quest last week in Switzer­land. Next week, he plans to run in the In­dian city of Mum­bai be­fore head­ing to the Ca­nary Is­lands on Jan­uary 24. In all, he plans to com­pete in 42 coun­tries.

The Aus­tralian’s life took a turn for the worse in 2003. His mar­riage fell apart – the di­vorce was am­i­ca­ble, he says – and he be­gan drink­ing for so­lace.

A friend then en­cour­aged him to run with him, and Miller found mean­ing in long jogs.

“I think my life was in a bit of a cloud by the time I got di­vorced,” Miller said. “(But) I found my way out of my cloud. I found it, be­cause you start run­ning and the cloud lifts and life is clear again.”

Miller was al­ready a dis­tance run­ner when he lost a high-tech job in Mel­bourne last April.

In­stead of looking for a new job, he sold his flat and de­cided to use the money to run races all over the world.

He says his health is good, and as long as he re­cov­ers prop­erly be­tween marathons, he be­lieves can do it. He says he has found other run­ners who have done sim­i­larly in­tense sched­ules.

Miller thinks the year’s marathons will cost about $150,000 for him­self and Foss. The Aus­tralian is looking for spon­sors, and is promis­ing to give half to Unicef.

In the mean­time, he’s pre­par­ing for the next marathon. “I’ve got 50 to go,” Miller said. “It doesn’t seem so far.” – Sapa-AP

CRAZY RUN­NER: Aus­tralian marathon man Tris­tan Miller rests at the end of the Tiberias Marathon in Is­rael – it was his sec­ond of 52 planned runs.

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