You can call him crazy. You can call him driven. But now you can also call him a world-class athlete.
Adam Lint, a Patton native and an Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate, has been selected as a member of the national 100-kilometer ultramarathon team. He and 11 other men and women will travel to Italy in November, competing against entrants from other countries in the International Association of Ultrarunners’ 100-kilometer World Cup.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Lint, 25.
Just how amazing? Like “pure, absolute bliss,” which is how he puts it in the press release announcing the selection.
The national team is a part of USA Track & Field, the governing body for American track and field, race walking and distance running.
And the race it will be running is to be held Nov. 8 in Tarquinia, Italy. It’s a road race combining both straightaways and 14-kilometer loops. But at 100 kilometers total, this one works out to a bit more than 62 miles.
Sounds long. But Lint has had longer runs.
He has been running ultramarathons since 2003, when he first competed in the Laurel Highlands Ultra, a 70.5-mile trail race that is run on the length of the Laurel Highlands Trail, a hiking path that connects Ohiopyle, Fayette County, to Seward, Westmoreland County.
Lint became a candidate for selection to the national team this year with his finish at the Mad City 100K. Held in Madison, Wis., the race doubled as USA Track & Field’s national championship. Lint took third, finishing with a time of 7 hours, 19 minutes, 6 seconds.
That was in April. And he had been waiting all summer for word on whether he was selected.
Finally one day in August a letter showed up in his e-mail. The first word he was read was “congratulations.” And that was about as much as he needed to know.
Lint is the youngest on the men’s team, made up of six. And he’s the youngest of both the men’s and women’s teams, which includes a 26-year-old woman from San Francisco. The rest of the members, however, are in their 30s and 40s.
That’s largely because the sport, at least in America, doesn’t draw an abundance of younger runners, said Nancy Hobbs, chairwoman of USATF’s mountain ultra trail running council.
Many distance runners, she said, focus on marathons and marathon times and just don’t make the leap into even-longer races, which requires competitors to think on their feet.
Strategy, patience and perseverance are every bit as important in an ultramarathon, Hobbs said.
And those things, she said, come from experience.
So she thinks this year will certainly be an experience-getting year for Lint.
Lint said he won’t be satisfied with simply having the experience of competing in the world cup. He’s looking to win.
“I won’t be satisfied unless I know I ran my absolute best,” he said.
So Lint, who has moved to Seattle to look for work and to train, said he’ll spend the coming weeks preparing. But by preparing, he means more than running. He’s going to have to become a fundraiser, too.
The team pays for some of the travel expense, but not all of it. He – and his teammates for that matter – have to foot most of the bill themselves.
Donations are welcome and may be sent to Fund for National Ultrarunning Teams, P.O. Box 1807, Madison, WI 53701-1807.