On the streets of London an experiment on the effects of sleep
deprivation is being played out by six Europeans. On March 2 four
men and two women set out on the first Flora 1,000 Mile Challenge
(above), which requires the participants to complete exactly one
mile every hour for 1,000 hours or be disqualified. Inspired by
the exploits of British sportsman Capt. Robert Barclay, who
covered 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours to win a bet in 1809, the
race's madcap format allows competitors to rest (in a bus that
accompanies their route along the London Marathon course) for
little more than a half hour at a time for six straight weeks.
Competitors who make it to the end of the race, which coincides
with the start of the April 13 London Marathon, will receive
7,000 pounds ($11,200). The runners can then run the 26.2-mile
race, for which the group's first male and female to finish in
less than seven hours will get 3,000 pounds. "I'm feeling good,"
says Sharon Gayter, Britain's top female ultradistance runner.
"Five weeks from now you might get a different story." --Kelley
COLOR PHOTO: MICHAEL CRABTREE