Posted on the Ultralist:
There is an unconfirmed rumor that a well-known international celebrity ultrarunner will be a last-minute addition to the starting field of the 16th annual New York Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile (5000Km). I will post more info. as I receive it! As you can imagine, it can be a real trick getting time off work/ from family/ etc. to participate in a race that lasts up to 53 days!
Meanwhile, three fast, world-class multiday runners are entered, and figure to set a quick pace from the start. It has not been uncommon for any of these three to throw in a mile or two at <10:00 minute pace in the midst of a long, hot day on the 890 meter loop. These guys are all capable of averaging 70-75 miles PER DAY, day in-day out, for the full 3100 miles:
1) Grahak Cunningham, 35, Australia (previous finish time of 44 Days+ 09:08:58)
2) Sarvagata Ukrainskyy, 39, Ukraine (” ” ” 44 Days + 13:38:52/ also 2011 winner)
3) Atmavir Petr Spacil, 34, Czech Rep. (” ” ” 45 Days + 03:44:21)
Well-known U.S ultrarunner Arpan S. DeAngelo, Esq., will also be on the line at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning (Father’s Day), as will “Pops” Stutisheel Lebedyev, whose daughter Alakananda (a critically-acclaimed photographer from Chicago) will be helping him off and on.
One of many “life lessons” that I have learned at these super-long ultras is that runners or helpers who may at first appear “stand-offish” could end up becoming your good friends and favorite conversationalists. Many, many years ago I was trying, during a multiday, to chat with a wiry, very youthful and speedy runner from Slovakia, Ananda-Lahari Robert Zuscin. To me at that moment, he seemed a tad grumpy and distant.
Flash forward to 2011-2012, and he is one of my VERY favorite people with whom to chat. I have tremendous respect for him in running and in life. There is a GREAT action photo (see website) of the two of us in full stride talking away and laughing during the 2011 New York 10 Day (he cruised through 610 miles, I staggered to 544). I know that I and other runners sometimes forget that even a world class, friendly runner may have a bad day or rough patch, and this rough time may be a real aberation, and not indicative of who they are at all. Lord knows I have had as many “bad days” or down times as anyone! It was my friend Ananda-L who taught me the multiday mantra “WHO is to say who the winner is” in any super-long race. One could be in last place and shuffling along, YET be the “winner” in SO many ways (if not in actual finish time).
For UPDATES on this year’s 3100 MILE, please go to:
On course race phone: (347)824-9805 (for updates 6 a.m. to midnight daily)
Best wishes to all the 2012 3100 Mile Racers, and to all ultrarunners around the globe,
El Paso, TX, USA