Across the Years – Aravaipa Running


Joe Fejes (48) managed to hold of ultra running legend, Yiannis Kouros (57) at the Across the Years 6-day event held by Aravaipa Running. Liz Bauer (54) covering a distance of 415.72-miles was 5th overall and the ladies outright winner with Vikena Yutz (43) almost 50-miles in arrears.

The 6-day event proved an incredible nail biter as Fejes and Kouros pushed each other to the limits. Behind, William Sichel (60) had held 3rd place for a considerable length of time but in the latter stages, Ed Ettinghausen (51) rallied and beat Sichel with just over 4-miles distance; 476.61 to 472.41-miles.

It just goes to show, that age is not a limiting factor when it comes to running long!

Imagine, running 6-days and covering 555+ miles and having the greatest ultra runner in the world at your heals; pushing you and pushing you.

It’s an incredible testament to what some people are able to endure and put themselves through. While many of us will have been drinking and eating 2013 away and welcoming 2014, these brave souls, 55 in total (finished) were putting one front in front of the other. Fighting physical, mental and sleep fatigue; they all produced the unbelievable!

Top-10 results:

across years top 10

In addition, records were broken:

  • Joe Fejes broke the American 6-day record. (His first attempt at 6-days)
  • Ed Ettinghausen broke the 50-54yr old 6-day record. (also first attempt at 6-days)
  • All records here:




Aravaipa Running staged many events in Across the Years : 24-hours, 48-hours, 72-hours and the 6-day.

What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “Across the Years – Aravaipa Running

  1. Incredible run and a true battle for the ages. Joe was certainly racing, but seeing as this was his first 6 day attempt, it was primarily a test run for his real attempt come this summer in a race he is directing and running on an indoor track in AK (

    I quote the following from a listserv, acknowledging credit but awaiting his response to see if he minds/ wishes to have his name published.

    Most consider Stu Mittleman’s 577.62 as the open American record.

    The ultra records listed on the website of the American Ultrarunning Association ( are in fact a compendium of all U.S. ultra records as ratified and recognized by USA Track & Field. simply lists them as an information service to both USATF and the ultrarunning community. George Gardiner’s 554+ miles (from the 1984 New York 6-Day, were he finished 3rd behind Kouros’ World Record 623+ and Ramon Zabalo’s 581+, and beat Stu Mittleman by over 50 miles) is the current “official” American Men’s record. In subsequent years, as reported in other recent postings, Mittleman ran 571+ and 577+.

    The latter is generally regarded as the “American Record” even though neither of those 570+ mile performances were ratified by USATF. Official record ratification requires submission of complete lap sheets (in those days all laps for all competitors were manually recorded), details of the timing method used, and certification of the road or track venue. As is the case with many multi-day events, all of the required paperwork was never submitted to USATF for review and ratification. But both events were conducted on known venues and full lap sheets were recorded, which is why they are generally regarded as credible and legitimate, if not “official.”

    For a while during the current ATY 6-day, it appeared that Joe Fejes had a reasonable shot at both marks, Gardiner’s “official” American Record and Mittleman’s commonly-accepted one.

    Speaking of that history-making New York 6-Day of almost 30 years ago, the way George Gardiner set that record may yet can give some last-minute hope to those who would have liked to see Joe at ATY surpass even Mittleman’s 577 mark. Until that race the pacing pattern for world-class performances had been so set-in-stone that no one would ever have believed what eventually happened on that track at Randall’s Island could actually happen. The pattern for world-class performances (anything over 500 miles) was that you would run well over 100 on day one, fall off that to just about 100 (or a bit less) for day 2, try not to fall off too much more on day 3, and then just slog out whatever you can (sometimes only 50 or 60 a day) for the final 3 days. But in that remarkable 1984 New York 6-Day, George Gardiner was slogging along near the back of the field on days 1 and 2 (his day 1 total was only 80 miles). He managed to get himself together and get back in the game on days 3 and 4. He was employing a combination of running and walking. But racewalking without proper form caused his ankles to swell to the point where he could not walk anymore, and the pain would not allow him to sleep. He barely was able to get his shoes back onto his swollen feet after his final fitful nap at the end of day 4. So, he decided that for the last 2 days he would not try to sleep anymore, would not remove his shoes, and would only run (you can run with much less ankle flexion than it takes to walk). His highest mileage day in the first 4 days was barely over 90 miles. Then, in this pathetic condition, his race began. He remained on the track for almost the entire last 48 hours. He covered 99 miles on day 5 and 113 on the final day, fueling himself on an exclusive diet of slabs of bacon which his son grilled alongside the track.

    A few places behind Gardiner at the end was Don Choi at 511 miles, who only 3 months earlier had become the first American of the modern era to break 500 miles, running 506 to win the Astley Belt 6-Day in San Diego. Amazing, only 3 months rest between 500+ mile 6-day races, you say? No, what is truly amazing is that in between, 2 months after winning the Astley Belt race, he won the Weston 6-Day with 450 miles. And then, with only 1 week’s rest, he ran the 511 at New York. Behind him at 502 miles was Mittleman, who must have felt like he had the proverbial ton of bricks dropped on him, as he was the great American hope going into the race. But within 5 years he was back as #1 American at 6 days, and had set the world 1,000 mile record with back-to-back 520+ mile 6-day splits.

  2. Pingback: Race Report: Across the Years, Part 2 | Chasing 42

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