April 24… What You Do Here

He has held the lead for 5 days and shows no sign of easing his pace in the still long journey that lies ahead.  He is after all only half way to his goal.  There are still 5 more days to go.  In some ways a 10 day race would look easy compared with what he has already accomplished in a race he ran each year consecutively for 7 straight years, just a few miles away.

Atmavir Spacil completed the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race in the allotted time each year that he competed.  But last summer 2014, was a year off for him.  But now as you watch him gracefully running the loop here in Flushing Meadow, it would appear that there is a lot more competitive running left ahead for this 36 old runner.

avenue-of-trees

I mention Gerogs Jermolajevs who is twice his age and at the half way point of the race is just 48 miles behind.  “We like each other.”

“Sri Chinmoy had great respect for him.”  (He won the 2700 mile race in 1997)…..”He is like a legend.  Because of his age he is really inspiring younger people, and he is also pushing the age limit.”

I ask Atmavir if he could see himself doing this same competitive running when he is 72.  “Actually this thought came to my mind.”  He admits that as he pondered this, and admits that at first he was a little scared, but then realized…..”come what may.  Why not.  I love multi day races.”

atmavir-and-board

Atmavir, originally from the Czech Republic is now currently living in Ottawa.  He says that one of the reasons he decided to run the 10 day race even though in about a month he will be taking part in the 3100 was because so many of his friends had decided to take part.  “There is such a family here.   There is such a spirit of oneness.”

He also describes how fleeting a moment victory really is, even for professional athletes.  “What counts is what you did here.”

Click to Play Interview:

Dipali had an incredible first day of 103 miles.

dipali-good

The weather has been cool and gusting for much of the past 24 hours but there is no rain as yet in the forecast.

dipali-van-wyck

“I will be honest with you.  I only found out about this yesterday afternoon.”…Adrian

Last night I was told that Adrian had the most mileage for day 4 of the 10 day race.  Of course all kinds of unusual things can do happen here over the length of the race but getting the top mileage for the day is a particularly significant thing to occur.

He has a number of reasons why this happened. “I had 27 hours of sleep.  I was well rested when I got here.  My body had been conditioned to the course.  So I didn’t go out like last year heavy on the first and second day on the course, and give myself problems.”

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“I wanted to run a negative split.”  (do more miles the 2nd half of the race.”

“Last year I was too keen, I went too soon.  This year I thought, get used to the conditions over the first couple of days, and then go out there and see what you can achieve.  That 64 miles is a result of that strategy.”

“I remember going around here that day and felt great.  I felt fantastic.  Now I am all wrapped up.  Then I was running in my shirt sleeves.  It was one of those moments when everything came together.  The nutrition the rest, the temperatures.   It was great.  I knew it wouldn’t last for ever.  That is why I went out and just did as much as possible at the time.”  He says the period lasted from about 7 pm in the evening until 7 am the next morning.  “I didn’t feel tired.  I just kept staying out and going and going.”

The next day he realized that the 6 day runners were starting the next day so he decided to give them some extra space and take a rest.

Adrian confesses that  he followed up the 64 mile day with 21 miles yesterday.

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I suggest to Adrian that he can now take back the road because the 6 day runners have had it almost to themselves for the past 24 hours.  He confesses that he would like to have another good day and do at least 70 miles.  “To reach one million meters I am going to need to average 80 miles a day.”

“So I know I have to pick and choose my moments.  When the temperature is right and my body feels good.  I am going to go out there and just keep going.”

He is wrapped up right now.  A combination of the effort and the cold has caused him to be a little more cautious and reign his pace back.  “He admits, “it is a risky strategy. But I thought if I get my rest on day 5.  Try and get my throat better than I have 4 days to go out there and do my best.”

Click to Play Interview:

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Such a beautiful day.

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Milan coming through the camp.

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Wai after 24 hours on the road.

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Little flowers easy to miss

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Vasuprada

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George Biondic gets his 300th mile.

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Helpers Tatjana and Akbota.

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The sun shining on Sarah who leads the women

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Steven Battle from Notinghamshire

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Ratuja crossing the line

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Sergei Komelkov lives in Chelyabinsk Russia has run the race several times.  He says, “only from a distance does the race look hard.  When you are here doing this all the hard things go away.”

Click to Play Interview:

some park visitors are not in a great hurry but still want to exercise.

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Shirley Kolakvich from White Lake MI has 63 miles.

shirley

Michael

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Karteek feeling a little under the weather

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The fan club/support team

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Don Winkley had 78 miles his first 24 hours

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He has a great support team

Don-and-help

His main competition, Ed Rousseau had 75 miles

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Olexsander

atmavir

Albena

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Aidas

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Anna

anna

Flowers flowers everywhere.

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The banner from afar.

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Bayarsaikhan

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Bipin taking a picture.

bipin-and-ratuja

The numbers accumulate

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Chris Mak

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Little decorations

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Gregg

gregg

Ananda-Lahari passes the clock

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Janos

janos

Little flowers

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Sanjay running his first 6 day race.

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Mark Dorion checking the board.

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Nataliya

nataliya

More decorations

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Ed keeping up his strength

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Michel

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Things that pass quickly.

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Last year 49 year old Andrey Andreev from St. Petersurg ran a personal best here in the 10 day race of 605 miles. He describes being here at the race as a constant inspiration.  “I know that I can and I can go forward.”

*Special thanks to Lyalya for her translation*

Click to Play Interview:

Not what you say,
Not what you do,
But what you ultimately become
Is the only thing that God cares about.

flower-good

2 Comments to “April 24… What You Do Here”

  1. nada says:

    I can almost smell the flowers, feel the breeze and hear the footsteps of the runners, so wonderfully accurate are your reports that make us, “readers”, feel entirely connected and joined in oneness with everybody in this tremendous race. Thank you and SUPER HUGE SUPPORT TO ALL THE RUNNERS!
    nada

  2. Baridhi says:

    I feel really the same what Andrey is saying. That is the reason I am interested in Multi Days – you really get amazing, true and sincere experiences of yourself. And you don’t need to be close to death to have them.

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