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Bart Yasso was never more himself than when he was on a long run. As the chief running officer of Runner’s World magazine, he generally logged about 80 miles per week. He regularly trained for marathons and had finished two Ironmans, taking comfort in the distances he traveled. That all changed one cool April day in 1990.
After running a 50-mile ultramarathon around Lake Waramaug in Connecticut, Yasso lay down in a grassy field to recuperate before his drive back to Pennsylvania. A week later, he started feeling sick, unusually fatigued, and achy. He had a fever. On his neck, he found a red rash in the shape of a bull’s-eye. Yasso had never seen anything like it, and he had no idea what it was.
“I went through a series of doctors, and no one could figure out why I was just not feeling well,” Yasso recalls. “I’d try to run every once in a while, but it was awful.”