Mark Dorion is in New York helping out at the Self-Transcendence 10 Day Race in Flushing Meadow Park which started on April 18th 2012 with 19 men and 15 women. Mark posted this account on the ultralist and its worth re-posting here.
The 34 runners are enjoying a forecast of 71°F today and the forecast is predicting rain for tomorrow, Sunday, the start of the six day race.
Race updates are available on the race website at the links below and Utpal Marshall provides coverage in his inimitable style on Perfection-Journey.
48 Hour Update/ Names of the 20 Countries at NY Self-Transcendence 10 Day
This is my count (I may be leaving some country off– apologies) of the record-tying TWENTY (20) Nations with runners in the New York Self-Trans. 10/ 6 Day Event:
I propose a number of reasons for the big international turnout. Firstly, the race has a tremendous reputation worldwide, starting with its providing top-notch, endless amounts of FOOD (NOT the case at all multidays, I can say from experience). They always manage to find a few professional chefs (there is no shortage of great chefs in New York City, though this year’s head chef travelled all the way from New Zealand to manage the large kitchen facility). to donate their time to the races. Among other reasons for the big international turnout, do not underestimate how much easier it is in all respects for Europeans to get to an ultra in New York than one in the midwest, Rocky Mountain or west coast regions.
Speaking of New Zealand, the guest starter at this year’s race was none other than ALLISON ROE (Boston and NYC–2:25 marathon winner 1981, many other world class 10Km>marathons around the globe). At 57 she still looks the same as she did at 35, and could likely jump in this multiday ultra and crank out a good 1 or 2 days. And meanwhile the racers are heading towards the 2.5 day (60 hour) mark.
48 HOUR SPLITS:
1) Kaneenika Janakova, 167 miles 1) Vasu Duzhiy, 177 miles
2) Sarah Barnett, 155 miles 2) Yuri Trostenyuk, 175 miles
3) Elena Kareva, 148 miles 3) A.L. Zuscin, 146 miles
4) Ilvaka Nemcova, 145 miles 4) Shashanka Karlen 138 miles
5) Nidhru. Zimmerman 144 miles 5) Vlodymyr Hluschuk, 137 miles
There ARE USA and Canadian runners in the field, but they are a ways down in the standings. I can’t emphasize enough that these frontrunners are WORLD CLASS INTERNATIONAL ultrarunners, and multidays are much more common in other regions of the world than they are in the USA. As for other countries having more holiday/ vacation time, that is both true and not true.
In the U.S. we easily boast one of the longest summer vacations for schools (teachers, college and grad students on down through my kids in elementary) in the world. I also see plenty of U.S. runners take more than a full week off work to go to a race like Hardrock, Barkley, Western States, etc. and train on the course, socialize, then do the actual race. And how many folks with “normal” jobs and families are in the midst of taking off 3>6 months to run across the country, hike the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails, etc.? I DO concur that RACING neck-and-neck with top class runners for 6, 10 or more days on a smallish loop can be stressful– yet, paradoxically, it can also be very relaxing and peaceful (less logistics to worry about, more time to take in one’s surroundings and “get in the zone,” get to know other runners, etc.).
Best wishes to all ultrarunners,
Race website: Sri Chinmoy Races.org
Race chat, interviews and photos on Perfection-Journey