100 Miles Later  | by Tom Sperduto

After viewing photographer Tom Sperduto’s photo series “100 Miles later” we were, to say the least, a bit intrigued…. we dropped him a line to find out more about his inspiration behind the series……..

How did the project come about?

I had completed a marathon and I began wrapping my head around the idea of running an ultra marathon. I learned that their were runners who complete 100 mile runs. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea. It didn’t sound possible. I photographed the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile run. I stayed awake shooting pictures for 36 hours while many of the runners stayed awake running that entire time. I was exhausted but I was exhilarated. I was truly moved by the perseverance of these amazing runners running on such steep and difficult terrain for 100 miles. I remember looking into the eyes of each and every runner who crossed the finish line. I saw something in each one of them that moved me deeply. It may sound corny to some but I found the experience to be very spiritual.  I knew two things. One – I had to shoot portraits of 100 mile runners before the race and a portraits less than five minutes after they finish to see if I can capture that “look” in pictures. Two – I had to run 100 miles and know that feeling. I have since run several 100 mile races including the Midwest Grand Slam (four 100 mile races in three months) and even completed the Brazil 135 Mile Ultra Marathon. A race equivalent to running up and down Mt. Everest.

Do you personally know the subjects?

At time I did not. Today, I consider many of them my closest friends. Ultra Marathon runners is an amazing community. It’s much like a big family. Thanks to social media it’s easy to stay connected and constantly be inspired by the achievements and challenges of your ultra running family.

Is this part of an ongoing project?

I hope to continue the project but I have stepped back from it for awhile. I feel like I have seen what I was hoping to see and its led to me accomplishing some amazing dreams. I’m excited to see what’s next.

To see the rest of the photos from the series and view more of Tom’s work click here.