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Power of shared pain triggers extreme self-sacrifice -- ScienceDaily

There were five hypotheses: shared experience promotes willingness to perform extreme pro-group action; shared negative experiences make individuals contribute more than euphoric experiences; the more intense the experience the stronger the pro-social effects; the effect of shared negative experiences on pro-social behavior is much stronger where groups compete directly against other groups rather than if they cooperate against nature; and the effects of shared negative experience can be stronger than those of kinship. The hypotheses were then tested empirically in a variety of different study populations, including U.S. military veterans of the Vietnam war, college fraternity and sorority members who had undergone hazing, English Premier League football fans, martial arts practitioners of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who sometimes use painful belt-whipping, and twins to examine the level of fusion. From both the theoretical and empirical research, the study concluded that overall shared negative experiences are a powerful mechanism for promoting pro-social behaviors, which under certain conditions can be extremely costly to the individuals concerned.

Charlie Engle Runs for His Life, Once Again - The New York Times

there was a small gravel track. A little at a time, Engle began running on it. […] he decided to run 135 miles, the same length as Badwater, and to do it on the same day in July that Badwater was being held on the West Coast. Of course he had to prepare — at one point the prison was in lockdown, and he couldn’t get outdoors to do the 15-miler he had planned that day. So he ran the equivalent of 15 miles in place in his cell. And although it took him two days — because he had to go back to his cell at night — he pulled it off, running 81 miles the first day and 54 the next. “Prison officials weren’t too happy about it,” recalled Howell Weltz, a former prison inmate who befriended Engle and confirmed Engle’s account of prison life. “They tried to bust it up by saying he was violating the rules by not wearing a T-shirt,’’ Weltz said. “Charlie calmly walked over to where his T-shirt was, put it on, and then continued running. He has a lot of guts.”

From meth to ultras

After her arrest, she was thrown in the women’s jail […] Her boyfriend accepted the blame, and the judge, taking her job and first offense into account, let her go through diversion. […] She moved away from her friends, and her old life, and decided to get a job at Whole Foods, more for the discount on produce than a paycheck. […]She went to the gym, mainly because it gave her a way to fill her life and burn off her excess energy since she wasn’t clubbing anymore. She started walking her dog three miles a day, and two years after she got clean, she decided to run the distance she usually walked. […] She finished the three miles and was proud of herself, so she looked for a 10K to run because her father loved that distance, and she wanted to honor him after his death from an unexpected heart attack at 49. […]The 10K was tough — she wore black and ran too hard — but afterwards saw a flyer for the San Francisco marathon on her windshield.[…]Her first long run was supposed to be nine miles, so she drove the distance to measure it. When she finished, she was thrilled.

From meth to ultras

After her arrest, she was thrown in the women’s jail with everyone else, the grandmothers and the gangsters. […] Her boyfriend accepted the blame, and the judge, taking her job and first offense into account, let her go through diversion. She called her mother and told her about her addiction. […]She moved away from her friends, and her old life, and decided to get a job at Whole Foods, more for the discount on produce than a paycheck. She’s still there, and has been there 16 years, now as a supervisor in the nutrition and body care department. […]She went to the gym, mainly because it gave her a way to fill her life and burn off her excess energy since she wasn’t clubbing anymore. She started walking her dog three miles a day, and two years after she got clean, she decided to run the distance she usually walked[…]She finished the three miles and was proud of herself, so she looked for a 10K to run because her father loved that distance, and she wanted to honor him after his death from an unexpected heart attack at 49.

Man who broke Appalachian Trail record also broke rules, says Baxter State Park - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Formally, the summons issued to Jurek was for consuming alcohol within the park, hiking with a group larger than 12 people, and littering, which occurred when champagne sprayed into the air on the 5,268-foot summit hit the ground.