A lot of good athletes have come out of Stanislaus County. Some of them excel in college and go on to participate in the Olympics and-or professional sports. We try to keep up with them in our Sports pages.
And then there are the very few who achieve the pinnacle in their field. Jon Olsen is clearly in this last category. As our regular readers know, the Modesto teacher won the International Association of Ultrarunners 24-Hour World Championship over the weekend in Holland.
He was gracious enough to share the 167-mile experience experience with us in an article that appeared on Tuesday's front page and in a blog on www.modbee.com.
First, we have to say congratulations, Jon. What a remarkable achievement.
And then, we want to add thank you, Jon, for representing Modesto is such a positive way.
Finally, we have to say wow. Twenty-four hours of nonstop running at a pace many of us couldn't keep up for an hour or even a mile. And you do this not for money but because of an obsessive love of the sport and dedication to a level of training that very, very few people are willing to achieve.
There are professional athletes who do not work anywhere near as hard even those making millions. A couple of the online comment posts say it well. Wrote one: "Utterly amazing. Very inspirational, and makes me more determined to increase my fitness (not that I aspire to run 24 hours!)."
And from Sam Pierstorff, a Modesto Junior College professor and former poet laureate who is a swimmer, "The power of the mind and the body in sync is an unstoppable thing. Congrats, Jon!"
Jon Olsen, you have every reason to be proud and celebrate and your community is right there with you, at least in spirit and support.OUR VIEWS