A friend recently ran a race in the wilds of northern Canada. “You can literally disappear,” James Stevens tells me. “And you’re warned to look out for bears.”

He doesn’t mention how long the race was, but I know it would have been monumental. Stevens is one of a special breed of runners whose perceptions of distances have blurred, defying bland comparisons of measurement. Is 50km a radical distance to run, or does that definition only kick in from 100km? Not hardcore enough? Add a desert environment, a jungle, oxygen-deprived altitude — or the frozen Arctic.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now