Ultrarunner Clocks 62 Miles for 100 Straight Days

Running 62 miles a day is no joke — find out how Patrick Malandain did it for 100 consecutive days.
Patrick Malandain near Nice, France, during his 10,000km running challenge
Another day, another 100km! © Gilles Béllières/Patrick Malandain
By Dom Granger

Patrick Malandain wasn’t always an ultra-runner. He was in good shape and ran a bit here and there but one day he got up and decided to run 20km (12.43 miles). Then he did it again the next day and the next until running became the biggest part of his life.

After crossing Australia from east to west and the United States from west to east, he was ready to tackle a challenge in his homeland of France by running 100km (62.14 miles) a day for 100 consecutive days. Here's what Malandain had to say after completing this new test.  

Why 10,000km? Where does the idea — the motivation — for such a challenge come from?
10,000km (62.14 miles) is a round number, and I had been thinking about it for a while. When I crossed Australia, I had to do 91km (56.5 miles) a day to break the record. That’s when I learned, a bit by coincidence, that I could actually do 100km per day. It was a bit of a surprise at first, but at some point the body gets so used to it and your mind is in the right mood, so that you don’t even ask yourself if you’re going to make it.

The motivation behind it, well, it's a way to get the feeling of being alive, of existing, for real. I do it for myself, I like challenges: I like to build a wall, an obstacle, and go over it. It truly gives you the feeling of existing, that we can accomplish great things.

Patrick Malandain running with supporters in Deauville, France
Support is always welcome! © Gilles Béllières/Patrick Malandain

In a challenge like this, is the biggest difficulty physical or mental?
Probably mental. There were certainly some days where it was not going so well, but there is no way I was going to quit. Despite doubts or discouragements, I couldn’t stop. What made me keep going was thinking about my family, my son, people who supported me in the project. Strangely, the thought of people following me online with the GPS tracking device kept me going — that blue dot on their screen had to keep moving forward! It may be a personal project, but it involves a lot of people and partners, I couldn’t disappoint the people who believed in me from the start.

What was the most difficult part of your run?
Normandy, and Brittany: It was very complicated because the weather was horrible. It took much longer than expected for my body to adapt, but all you can do is to be patient and take your time.

And what keeps you motivated for more challenges?
A lot of people have dreams, and never make them happen. They may be scared to try, that it will change them too much. When they see a project like this one, they live vicariously through it, they share those moments with you.

I have met people in my life who inspired me, and it motivated me to do my own projects, and I may be doing the same for others. I hope I can inspire them to make their dreams come true and reach their goals.

A few numbers

  • 18: Pairs of shoes used
  • 6,500–7,000: Calories burned in a day
  • 30: Average number of pitstops for snacks (while walking)
  • 24: Number of pounds lost
  • 62: Average miles per day
  • 14: Average hours of running per day
  • 237: Equivalent number of marathons
  • 16: Longest day (hours) of running to complete 100km during the project
  • 12h 05m: Shortest time to complete 100km during the project
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