The idea of running a hundred miles through the mountains today is beyond the realm of normal thought for most people. In 1974 it was more than unheard of, it was considered impossible and dangerous. But when Gordon Ainsleigh came face-to-face with the prospect some three decades ago, he was undaunted.
With equal measures of wisdom and bravado, Ainsleigh set off on a journey that others before him had only done on horseback. Twenty-three hours and forty-seven minutes later, Ainsleigh emerged as the first person to have run the arduous Western States trail in one day. He had done the unthinkable, and solidified his place as a pioneer in the sport now known as ultrarunning.
Since then, the sport has grown wildly popular among the bravest of the bold. Thousands of athletes from all walks of life regularly test their physical and mental extremes on courses around the world. But the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run is commonly referred to as the birthplace of the ultramarathon, and the man simply known as Gordy is considered a living legend.