Two degrees of separation?

I started work this week at the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association in Central London… The people are amazing and the work sounds fantastic. The hilarious part is that the IBA is located on the top floor of a building FILLED with crappy television producers…not only am I learning about human rights violations around the world, I am also getting an education in bad tv. Did you know that America’s Got Talent was 11th in the ratings last week and Coronation Street has 3.2% of the market share??  Personally, I think forcing someone to watch Eastenders is a human rights no-no in itself…

I had my second chance encounter this week. My colleague with whom I share a work sp
ace heard that I ran “really long races” and asked if I was an ultrarunner. 

Now, as I’ve discovered, the average Dylan (Joe just seems so expected) does NOT know what an “ultramarathoner” or “ultrarunner” is. I’ve had people asked me if I was one of those crazy “ultrathoners”, “uber marathoner”, or my favourite, “hyper runner”. To be fair hyper runner is probably a more accurate description for the sport, but anyway, I digress….


“Why yes, I am an ultrarunner. Do you happen to know someone who does them?” I asked.
“Yeah, someone I went to school with actually. This guy, Mark.”
Immediately I thought of Mark Mosimann, the only Mark I know, in fact, in ultrarun
ning who lives in London.  I thought I would take a shot in the dark and ask: “Mark who?”
“Oh, Mark Mosimann.”
No kidding.  I met the Mosimann brothers, Mark and Phil, in my first ultra in February 2008. It was Racing the Planet’s 250 km self-supported footrace in Vietnam aka the grand MUDFEST!  Phil was an RTP veteran (and previous winner!) and he had roped Mark into trying it out as well. I will never forget
the video clip taken of the two of them during the long stage in the race, which was about 110 km straight. The cameraman interviewed them at the 70 km checkpoint to get an update on their progress. While Phil spoke softly and very matter-of-factly in his oh-
so-British way about the physical difficulties they were facing, Mark stared straight into the camera like bambi caught in a Mac truck’s headlights.  I remember talking to Mark after the race was finished and he said that ultras were simply “not for him” and he wouldn’t think about entering another…
… But I have to say, I wasn’t the least surprised to see the Mosimanns — both of them — make a return appearance at RTP’s Namibia race this May!  Anyhow, I’m meeting up with Mark tomorrow night with my work colleague (as well as Jenna, Mark’s girlfriend and also RTP veteran!  The photo
was taken right after we crossed the finish line — mid-gorge on pizza, of course).

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