100 Days of Milo: Day 41 — Divine Madness

Back from a much needed break, and back to 100 days of Milo. For day 41, here’s one of the most popular pages on the website, my collection of links and resources about Divine Madness, a religious/spiritual community /cult with a serious interest in ultra-running. Over the years, I’ve received emails and phone calls from many people who were associated with the group and I’ll update this page with information garnered through those conversations in the near future.

Top Ten Stand Alone Posts and Pages

Of the over 700 posts and pages on this website, here are top ten “stand alone” pages which are neither Boston Qualifier Questionnaire responses nor book reviews. Its a funny grab bag of stuff. Check ’em out below:

  1. Fitness Habits of Disgraced Generals
    A silly little piece chronicling the fitness habits of Generals McCrystal and Petraeus.

  2. The Egoist on the Fixed Gear
    Some thoughts on the bad behavior of some New York City cyclists.

  3. Divine Madness
    A resource page on the cult/new relgious community/running group also know as “the Community”.

  4. Running Heroes – The Six Women of the 1972 New York Marathon
    A short piece on the running activists who protested the 1972 marathon

  5. Milo and the Calf
    The story of Milo of Croton after whom this website is named.

  6. The Hero Brought Low: Representations of Milo in Art
    s the title says, a short piece on the way Milo of Croton has been represented in art.

  7. Phil Coppess – Hero to Working Stiff Runners
    An appreciation of the incredible amateur runner whose twenty year old course record at the Twin City Marathons still stands.

  8. 12 Thoughts on the New York Marathon Course
    An overview of the New York City Marathon Course

  9. Weight and the Marathoner
    On the role body weight plays in marathon performance

  10. Alex Honnold and the Viewers Guilt
    My thought on climber Alex Honnold and watching free soloing.

“The Community”: Cult or Spiritual Seekers?

I’ve long been interested in the out edges of the running community – ultra runners, streak runners, and mega-mileage runners are all areas of the sport I’ve written about frequently.  A fascination with those willing to take the sport to the edge coupled with a lifelong interest in new religious movements* has lead me to a years long investigation into a group of runners and spiritual seekers known as the Community or Divine Madness.

Over the years I’ve had the chance to speak with ex-members of the group, and have done quite a bit of research online.  I thought I’d read just about everything written about them.  And then last night while googling around, I came across this article by Daniel Glick which appeared in Women Outside.  For today’s reader, Glick’s article seems prescient.  Written in 1999, it predates the tragic death of Mark Heineman, but it includes detailed discussions of the accusations of cult-like behavior which would follow the group for years to come.

As in most articles, Marc, “Yo” Tizer does not come off well.  At best, he appears to be a misguided guru, at worst, he’s a manipulative, abusive cult leader.  While most of what I have heard from ex-members of the group is deeply critical of Tizer, I’ll give Glick credit for finding members, and ex-members, who were willing to stand up for the man.

If you’re interested in the Community, this is well worth a read and as always, I am looking to learn more. If you have any information about Divine Madness, the Community, Marc “Yo” Tizer, or any of the other members or former members, please get in touch at miloandthecalf at gmail

*or cults, depending on your view of the group.

The Outer Edges

As I have written here earlier, I’m obsessed with running. I am thinking constantly about the science of training, about running history, and perhaps most significantly, the outer edges of the sport. Ultra marathons, running streaks, running cults, mega mileage runners, I love it all. I may be a middle of the pack average runner trying desperately to get a little faster, but I’m very drawn to the stories that happen at the extremes of running. So, in addition to the training reports and Friday inspiration, I hope to do a lot more writing on here about the aspects of the sport that fascinate me.

Currently, I’m doing a lot of research into a running group that was big in the Boulder area in the late 1990s early 2000s called Divine Madness. Divine Madness produced a number of top ultra runners including Steve Peterson and Janet Runyan. It was exceedingly controversial group run by a man named Marc “Yo” Tizer and many have referred to it as a cult. Unfortunately, one of its runners, Mark Heinemann, died after running an ultra. If you know anything about Divine Madness (sometimes known as “The Community”) or any of its runners, please get in touch.

My email is dearjtd at gmail dot com.