Dome casings

Ultimate Race Test at Pettit National Ice Center

MILWAUKEE – Imagine running for six consecutive days. I guess it’s shorter than a full week. But imagine no more, because an event at the Pettit National Ice Center puts ultra marathon runners to the ultimate test.

Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: “How often are you crazy? Are they crazy?

“Um, no more than every 15 minutes,” said Steve Durbin, race director for Six Days in the Dome. “You got the old man, I don’t even want to drive that far. You hear that all the time.”

It’s called Six Days in the Dome.

“Just fun stuff like going to the local grocery store or the Sam’s Club or something to stock up. They know me now and are they still running there? They sure are,” said Durbin.

An incredible test of mind, body, spirit and maybe even stupidity.

“We have two 86-year-olds here,” said runner Joe Fejes. “They, I think at least one of them has done over 100 miles.”

And to the victor, goes the booty. This championship belt is worth $ 1,200 to the winner.

“219 miles for 48 hours, which I put in earlier,” Fejes says. “My best 6 day is 606 miles. That’s the American record.”

“It’s so much to consider,” says Durbin. “What am I going to eat. What am I going to drink. When am I going to rest, because you can blow it up, you can lose the race the first few days.”

Strategy is the key.

“Mentally, it was difficult at first,” Fejes says. “Now the physical exams are coming. They have tendonitis. When you overdo it and run 5.6 hundred miles? You’re going to have that. You know, so when I do it at the pediatrician at the end of the race, and to say that I think I have tendonitis, he said of course you have it! “

“These guys have like camp beds right behind their tables,” Durbin says. “Each of them has their own table. And they have a designated area. Now, they can only equip them inside that designation, much like NASCAR and a pit crew, except it lasts 144 hours in this case. “

And the Pettit Center praises it.

“It’s raining outside right now,” said Durbin. “It was 94 degrees the first day. But here you know the weather will be perfect. So we literally looked all over the world. This place is absolutely perfect.”

Lance Allan: “Was the Pettit Center the spot?

“Oh, the place! And the staff here, Kevin Butler, Randy Dean – you couldn’t ask for better,” says Durbin.

But in some ways it mimics what many go through.

“The thing is, it’s parallel, you know, to life itself. Because there are so many ups and downs,” Durbin says.

Lance Allan: “You have better things to do, so you have to do this 607th mile. You gotta go man!

“Thank you!” Fejes then says he runs away.

No US or world record set this time. But several age records have been set. And there is always next year.

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