In the 70s I used to think that 1 or 2 marathons a year was plenty. A month to recover, 4.5 months of hard training, taper, then race again.
Along came Doug Kurtis, a guy who broke new ground in the 80s and 90s by running sub 2 hr 20 min marathons every 3-4 weeks, even into his 40s. I turned 40 in 1993, and ran 2 hr 34 min at the 94 Boston (ok- so it was year of the tailwind). Kurtis won the masters that year in 2 hr 15! I always thought he was some kind of genetic freak to be able to recover that quickly.
Then I heard about the marathon maniacs (marathonmaniacs.com).
If I hadn't met some of the members, I might have a hard time believing they can do what they say.
To be in the Marathon Maniacs Hall of Fame, you have to do one of the following:
1. 51 marathons in 1 year....FOR 3 CONSECUTIVE YEARS!
2. Run a marathon in all 50 states...3 TIMES!
3. Complete a 100 mile race... 99 TIMES!
3. 333 LIFETIME MARATHONS OR ULTRAS!
Not sure how many are actually in the Maniac Hall of Fame, but I have met one aspiring member- Van Phan is nearing the end of her 3 consecutive years of 51 marathons or ultras. Incredible!