I have a theory that in early civilization, some guy ran a great distance and bragged about it to the rest of his clan.
The next day, another guy (or gal) ran double the distance, and marked the dawn of the ultra marathon.
Aaron Schneider, 33, can claim double membership in that clan, after doubling up in the Door County Fall 50.
As Myles Dannhausen Jr. reports in this story, Schneider had tried to reach the century mark on foot four times previously, twice this year. Those failures and lessons motivated him to turn the ultra marathon in his home county into an ultra ultra over the weekend.
"I had talked to the race director, Sean Ryan, last year and joked that sometime someone was going to run it twice," Schneider said after he crossed the finish line, his legs weary beneath him but his mind holding up surprisingly well. "This year I figured I better do it before somebody else does.
"The support of the community and fellow runners was way more than I could have ever imagined," he said. "I kept having people come up to me while I was running and saying they heard about me on the radio, to keep going, that I was looking strong, etc... and to turn into the finish line, with a flashing light escort, to see hundreds of people taking pictures and cheering was really more than I deserved.
"All I can think of is that everyone fell in love with see someone achieving their dream, and felt the inspiration grow inside of each of them."
Schneider, is an account executive for 1st Street NW, a veteran endurance athlete, and someone with a great passion for the sport. Like his mythical predecessors, he sets a goal, achieves it and moves the bar higher.
After running/walking for 22 hours, 28 minutes he reached the finished line in Sturgeon Bay and looked ahead.
"Ultra running, it's not like climbing," he said. "It's not like if you climb Mt. Everest and there's nothing higher. There's always something. After you finish one race it's 'what's next?' You gotta find something harder."