Czechoslovak runner Emil Zátopek decided to compete in the marathon in the 1952 Olympics, despite never having run that distance in his life. Zátopek asked fellow runner Jim Peters, who he was racing alongside, if the pace was fast enough. When Peters said “no”, Zátopek sped up and won the race.
An endurance athlete, Dean Karnazes, ran 350 miles (560 km) in 80 hours and 44 minutes without sleep in 2005.
A 61-Year old potato farmer won a 544 Ultramarathon because he continued to run whilst the other competitors slept.
A man ran 350 miles in 80 hours with no sleep, ran a marathon in the South Pole in -13 degree weather and ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.
Wilma Rudolph was the 20th of 22 kids. Born prematurely at 4.5 lbs., she suffered infantile paralysis, polio, and scarlet fever. She wore a brace for a twisted leg. She eventually became the world’s fastest woman, winning 4 Olympic medals.
Diane van Deren, one of the world’s top ultra-runners, didn’t start running until a seizure crippled her ability to form new memories. She has the psychological advantage of never knowing how far she has left to run.