Fifty-One-Year-Old Amateur Completes 150-Mile Race

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jan. 3, 2011

He did it to raise money for an addiction treatment center.

Michael Herbert, a 51-year-old resident of Delray Beach, Florida had never even completed a marathon. But last October, he did something seemingly impossible: He ran a 150-mile ultra marathon in the Sahara Desert.

What was his secret?

“I am a non-athlete who ran this thing,” said Herbert. “I didn’t have the luxury of genetics. I just had willpower.”

Though it seems as if it were easy, it wasn’t for Herbert. He lost 50 pounds training for the event over the course of a year. Herbert, a U.S. Navy veteran, ran the race to raise $50,000 for Caron Renaissance, an addiction treatment center. When he was 29, Herbert himself struggled with substance abuse and addiction.

Since 1999, he has worked at the Caron Renaissance as a therapist for patients and their families.

It took Herbert five days to complete the ultra marathon. He recalled that he felt like he was “going to die” throughout the race, but was inspired by former patients who had completed ultra marathons in Chile and China last year.

For More: The Palm Beach Post News

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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