A I read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer I can't help to think how ultra running and mountaineering are a lot alike. The challenges and dangers are quite different, but the driving force behind our desires to take on such enormous challenges seem to be quite similar.
Excerpts from Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer:
"Some of the same people that warned me against writing hastily had also cautioned me against going to Everest in the first place. There were many, many fine reasons not to go, but attempting to climb Everest is an intrinsically irrational act - a triumph of desire of sensibility. Any person who would seriously consider it is almost by definition beyond the sway of reasoned argument."
-John Krakauer Into Thin Air
"But these are men for whom the unattainable has a special attraction. Usually they are not experts: their ambitions and fantasies are strong enough to brush aside the doubts which more cautious men might have. Determination and faith are their strongest weapons. At best such men are regarded as eccentric, at worst, mad...
Everest has attracted its share of men like these. Their mountaineering experience varied from none at all to very slight - certainly none of them had the kind of experience which would make an ascent of Everest a reasonable goal. Three things they all had in common: faith in themselves, great determination, and endurance."
-Walt Unsworth Everest
I'll continue to post good excerpts as I make my way through the book.