At just after 3 p.m. E.D.T. Sunday, Atmavir Petr Spacil of the Czech Republic flew across the finish line of the world’s longest certified race. Stopping the clocks at 49 Days +09:48:58, he was a tad off his fastest effort on the famous Jamaica Hills course, but still averaged 62.7 miles per day (100.99/ Km).
Now think about that for a moment: 100Km+ per day, day after day for 49 days– no days off or even sleeping in past 6 a.m. Getting in that mileage (which, in Atma’s case, was consistently in the 59>64 mile range, no real low days) by midnight (18 hours from the start). Now think about any 100Km (which remains the #1 most raced distance in the world, despite what some U.S runners think) race– how many runners take upwards of 12 hours, not to mention some over 18 hours? And while the New York Self-Trans. 3100 mile course is all paved, it contains one significant hill (at least 10 feet) per lap. I contend that many runners’ legs and feet could not survive two days on this tough course. Interestingly, Atmavir wore lightweight Saucony Kinivaras/ Mirages much of the time, always with the toeboxes and heel tabs carefully trimmed down. When his feet were tired, he did revert to more substantial Nike Pegasus and the like.
One thing that makes Dr. Spacil unique is that he is in great all-around shape. He often runs with a ripped, cut-up singlet, making obvious how strong his abs, back and arms are. He is flexible like a gymnast, sometimes hopping up in the air or jumping out from behind a tree to surprise fellow runners and entertain spectators.
He is famous for bouncing a raquetball much of the time in his multiday races. He claims that this year he never lost one (in the past an errant ball had been known to roll down onto the Grand Central Parkway on the north side of the course), but he did wear a few out. He also picked up several handballs that bounced over the wall of the handball courts in Joe Austin Park. Atmavir also had a large Teddy Bear who sometimes sat in his chair or at his table, providing a hat rack and smiles for all the runners and helpers. Sometimes, late at night, this big Gund bear would actually talk to the runners …
For his efforts, Atmavir Petr received a special cake, a bouquet from a local florist, a skinny trophy, several nice t-shirts and other running gear, and a can of new raquetballs and pair of Asics shoes from one of the race benefactors. But the REAL rewards are all inner in nature. He got to share 49 days on the road with runners, helpers and spectators from different cultures (with his outgoing nature, who knows how many friends for life he made). He discovered inner reserves of mental, spiritual and physical strength he probably was unaware of before the race started.
|1||Grahak Cunningham||AUS||3100 miles||43:10:36:39|
|5||Atmavir P. Spacil||CZE||3100||49:09:48:58|
|Pradeep M. Hoogakker||NLD||2842.24|
|Arpan S. DeAngelo||USA||2742.35|
|Baladev P. Saraz||SVK||2585.4|
|Ananda-Lahari Robert Zuscin||SVK||2524.48|
Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race 2012 more information,results and photos: