(Ultra) Marathon Monks

Watch the Marathon Monks documentary on YouTube
Watch the Marathon Monks documentary on YouTube

A short documentary describes the training of Japanese monks at Mt. Hiei who run heroic distances daily. For seven years they undergo trials and tests which include running 52 miles every day for 100 days on little more than a diet of rice and noodles, wearing hand-woven straw sandals and tabi. In total, they will spend no less than 1000 days on the road during their training and that is without the benefit of engineered food or technical clothing. What is truly amazing is their commitment. If at any point a monk in training cannot complete one of the daily training runs he must immediately commit suicide. Monks have died in training.

At the end of their training a monk will subject himself to a 9-day fast wherein he will not eat, drink, or sleep. If this final test is completed successfully the monk achieves the status of a living saint.

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