5 years ago when Galya Balatsky last ran here it took him 46 days to complete the 3100 mile race. In the long 5 year period that lay between then and now he continued to run, train, and obviously improve. Last night, in the dwindling minutes before midnight he ran across the finish line once more. This time nearly 4 days faster than his previous attempt.
He carried his nation’s flag, his face lit bright by a smile, and his self transcendence offering was completed at last.
This morning as he completes the few laps that will give him an additional Ukrainian record I ask if his waiting 5 years to come was worth it. “Yes of course.”
The additional record that he now holds as well is one of almost shocking consistency. For all of his 43 days on the course he never ran l day less than 70 miles per day. It has never been done before and many people suggest strongly that it is a record that may never be broken.
“I am surprised because it is actually difficult to plan.” It is almost as if even he himself is surprised at his accomplishment. He even ran 72 miles on his last day. “You can never be sure. You can be injured with each step. Anything can happen.”
Stutisheel who is running with us says, “I just feel that this record will stay, if not for ever, than for a very very long time. When grace descends, and personal effort and personal determination come together, than that is when this kind of miracle can happen.”
“But it is very very rare, and very powerful miracle that happened.”
“To be sure there was lots of pressure particularly in the last few days.” His only answer was to simply do what he had done every other day, reach the goal that he had set. “I have just got to go to the end.”
Galya tells me a story of how he once ran a 24 hour race and finished with 199km. His goal had been to complete 200km. From then on his goal was always to run till the very end.
“I have a feeling that there is some kind of magic here. Not just some magic but real magic. I was hoping that I would be a good instrument this time. Earth and heaven came together here.”
Galya now has just a few more laps. He says he will be both happy and sad when he no longer has to run.”
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