FanDuel - WFBC

May 26, 2006

Bobby Brown: should have no place on a sports website, but this Bobby Brown has done some things that make marrying Whitney Houston seem sane. He has run across Australia, the US and now Europe, but by far the silliest thing he has done is compete in the 1997 World Deca-Ironman Championships. For the uninitiated, that involves swimming 24 miles, before cycling 1120 miles, and then running 262 miles... without stopping. "Eventually, after 8 days, 6 hours and 14 minutes, I crossed the line to finish the toughest endurance race in the world. I had broken the old world record by 6 hours and set a new British record by some 20 hours." He finished fourth.

posted by JJ to extreme at 11:01 AM - 19 comments

Just reading about the Deca-Ironman makes me feel exhausted.

posted by grum@work at 11:03 AM on May 26

"It took me 2 years to recover from the race in Mexico. My health suffered from the supreme effort I had given and from the amount of painkillers I consumed." The winner, Jaroslav Pavelka, is also the World record holder for the 15 x Ironman. That's half as long again. Some people are just weird.

posted by JJ at 11:04 AM on May 26

Grum - no way did you already read that link - what are you? Rainman?

posted by JJ at 11:04 AM on May 26

Grum - no way did you already read that link - what are you? Rainman? I read up on the Deca-Ironman, not the entire article. Like I said, I needed to relax after just reading up on it. I'll get to the rest later. /lays down

posted by grum@work at 11:13 AM on May 26

JJ: Grum - no way did you already read that link - what are you? Rainman? No, not Rain Man. Evelyn Wood. I hear he's an excellent driver, though.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 11:24 AM on May 26

I rationalize people like this in my mind by assuming they Have Issues, though I could be wrong. But I'm not, am I. Still, if Bobby Brown wants to be cruel to his body for kicks, it's his perogative.

posted by chicobangs at 11:28 AM on May 26

JJ: Bobby Brown should have no place on a sports website, but this Bobby Brown has done some things that make marrying Whitney Houston seem sane. I think you got it reversed. Marrying Bobby Brown was insane. Whitney was still a clean-and-sober superstar before she hooked up with has-been Brown. But that was her prerogative.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 11:30 AM on May 26

Beat me to it, chico. Darn.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 11:31 AM on May 26

Typical - I try to raise the tone around here by posting something slightly off the wall to encourage some intelligent commentary about the psyche of extreme sportspeople, and all we get is a summary dismissal of them as having "Issues", followed by an in-depth analysis of Bobby and Whitney's culpability with regard to their disasterous marriage... with puns!

posted by JJ at 11:40 AM on May 26

Why the f would anbody do that to their body? Like grum, I got tired just reading about it. After about 4 trips to the fridge for a beer, I was able to finish the article. My idea of a rough 8 days is taking a road trip with the wife and kids. (Which I need planty of beer to get through also.) I couldn't imagine training that hard let alone actually doing something that strenuous. More power to the people who can do such things. It sets the bar so high, that I can actually walk right under it and head to the fridge for another beer.

posted by grabofsky74 at 11:44 AM on May 26

I try to raise the tone around here by ........encourage some intelligent commentary about the psyche of extreme sportspeople Uh don't be cruel 'Cause I would never be that cruel to you Uh no, oh oh, no Uh don't be cruel Uh girl, you need to change your attitude Uh no, oh Uh don't be cruel

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 11:51 AM on May 26

grabofsky74 and Bill, you guys rock! Beer is King and Bobby Brown is the King of R&B, as his graceful queen stated a while ago! It takes great will and determination to accomplish something like that! Man, it's hard for me to run a mile, I could not imagine running more than 10 in a day, maybe even a week!

posted by bkdet at 12:08 PM on May 26

Ri-goddamn-diculous. I can't fathom that kind of exertion. I get tired watching other people get tired. First swim around Lake Ontario twice, then hop on your bike and go to Sudbury and back, then run to Kingston. (this will only make sense to fellow Toronto Spofis).

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:40 PM on May 26

I got stuck in traffic on the DVP...

posted by smithers at 01:04 PM on May 26

"Bobby Brown should have no place on a sports website" Digging a "doodie bubble" out of your wife's butt isn't a sport? (cite)

posted by mr_crash_davis at 02:57 PM on May 26

This Bobby Brown has taken the "running man" to a new level! E-ver-y step I take!

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:07 PM on May 26

I knew that the maximum amount of sleep I was going to get in one go during the race would be 1 hour. So to get used to sleeping for an hour I used to go to bed at night say at 10pm and set my alarm for 11pm. When I woke up at 11pm I used to set my alarm for 12pm, wake up at 12pm and then set my alarm for 1am. I would then do this all night until it was time for me to get up. After 6 weeks of doing this I didnít even need an alarm. My body clock had adjusted itself to sleeping for exactly 1 hour at a time. The very first thing he 'did' to train would kill me. Jesus.

posted by justgary at 03:10 PM on May 26

JJ: Typical - I try to raise the tone around here by posting something slightly off the wall to encourage some intelligent commentary about the psyche of extreme sportspeople, and all we get is a summary dismissal of them as having "Issues" OK, JJ, fine. I am now at my franchised "Dr. Lucy Van Pelt Psychiatric Help Center" stand. The Doctor is IN.

The initial reaction when you read about such extreme athletes is awe at what they are able to do, and how you can't do it. But, as Paul Harvey says, comes the rest of the story. Bobby's sound bite message is simple: "If you keep trying you will eventually succeed." Fine. Good advice. But I don't understand people who can't seem to find the answer to the question "How much is enough?" Much of the time, people who have reached the pinnacle of their chosen field must confront whether they are truly fulfilled by sacrificing health, family, faith (although we don't know if that's a factor in Brown's life, since he doesn't mention it) and simple pleasures of everyday life in exchange for transitory and temporary glory. Brown says on his site that he wasn't satisfied after completing but not winning the Hawaii Ironman Championship in 1994; he had to do something harder. In 1997, he entered the deca-Ironman in Mexico, the toughest ultra-marathon of all, and reports that "I have never really recovered" from completing it. This raises a question: If there was no deca-Ironman for him to enter, isn't it possible that he might have been satisfied with winning the Hawaii competition? Had he focused on doing that, he wouldn't have suffered the aftereffects of the torture he put himself through. He briefly retired from competition, choosing to become a teacher. He writes: "I now had the confidence to mix socially and had a great time meeting new people. [Apparently, this was a problem previously despite his accomplishments.] I also happened to meet my future wife Amy, who was on the same course. For years I had concentrated solely on my sport with little or no time for someone else." That's quite a trade-off; the remarkable achievements attained at great physical and psychological cost. Would you want to be world-renouned as a super-athlete if you had to shut the rest of that same world out in order to get it done? I would not. There is no shortage of inspiring stories of people whose determination and work ethic brought them fame, fortune, and fulfillment. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, and a guy I used to work for who escaped a Jewish ghetto in Poland before Nazi pogroms began. After roaming the world alone for a place to make a new start, he ended up in America, eventually heading his own line of sportswear. He died a few years back, and his family operates the company today. The difference between those guys and Bobby Brown, in my strictly amateur opinion, is that they not only found success, but also balance in their lives long before Brown did. So while I acknowledge what Brown has done is remarkable, am I inspired by him? No, not really. Five cents, please.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 03:33 PM on May 26

*pays* That's what I'm talkin' about. Nice work, doc.

posted by JJ at 05:44 AM on May 27

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