Yesterday, I got an email from my friend Diane. Diane is the North American Coordinator for the World Megamarathon Ranking. This is a worldwide ranking of the runners who have completed the most marathons and ultramarathons. To be included on the list, you need to finish at least 300 marathons or ultras.
This website has links to both the world rankings and the North American rankings. These lists are updated twice a year. The most recent update reflects the rankings as of December 31, 2015. I qualified for inclusion on these lists when I finished my 300th marathon or ultra at the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon in November. By the end of the year, I increased that total to 306. That puts me in 463rd place in the world rankings and 103rd in the North American rankings. Here’s an excerpt of the North American list.
I know several of the runners on the North American list. A few of them have been running 100 or more marathons a year for several years, and will probably continue to do so. They’ll keep climbing the list and improving their rankings. I have no such ambitions. Getting my name on this list was a big long-term goal, but I'm content with simply being listed.
In the last three years, I ran more than 50 marathons per year. It took a toll on me. Last year was particularly difficult, as I ran with injuries for nearly seven months. Now I’m taking a break to get healthy.
This year, I’ll only run a handful of races. If I get back in shape and stay healthy, that may increase a little next year, but I probably won’t go back to racing every weekend. A few years ago, I found I could race and recover well on an every other weekend schedule. That’s probably the most I’ll do in future years. I’d like to strike a balance between racing often and racing well.