April 20th…A Perfect Day To Run

The conditions at the race for most of last night and now, for most of the day, can only be gently described at best as challenging.

For several million New Yorkers, April 20th rolled in as a cold and rainy day, accompanied by generous gusts of wind.  A day which glowered in grim contrast to the glowing Spring day which immediately and brightly proceeded it.  For several million residents of New York city the unrelenting weather conditions were a damp inconvenience, that only briefly set back the inevitable triumphant return of Spring back to this now grey dull city.

For the 50 runners of the Self Transcendence 10 day race however there is no escape and no way but not to confront head on a day in which most of us would rather duck and hide and grab a warm hot coffee (sugar optional). Mileage must be completed no matter how ferocious is the weather.  Particularly when as the days slip past the miles do not get any easier.

tree-reflection

Telling the story of just how bad it was here today is not easy.  A small comfort for the journalists whose toys and technology do not mix well with such conditions.  But for the runners there are no safe excuses if the course floods, your tent gets wet, and every article of clothing has suddenly become drenched, and nearly impossible to make dry once more.

water

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April 19th….The 10 Day Race Starts

Under the best of possible conditions the Self Transcendence 10 day race started.

Before the start there was still lots of preparation going on.  Rimas sets up his tent.

rimas-tent

Budjargal from Mongolia is relaxing because soon he will be running

Budjargal

Runners pick up their race numbers from Sahishnu.

start-sahishinu

Others find time to relax in all kinds of ways.

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April 18th…. The Day Before The Start….”Feeling Young”

An Interview with Manoshri Sykorova, who is running the 10 day race, her first multi day event.

Like Manoshri, George Biondic is also running his first 10 day race, and by coincidence they both are from Canada.   George however is 62 years old.  He has nearly 30 years on her and was probably competing before she was born.  He is a well seasoned and very experienced ultra runner. Yet like all great adventurers he, like all the remarkable athletes who will call this one mile loop home for the next 10 days, is keen in reaching out for new experiences.  Even one as challenging as running for 10 days.

He jokes as he tells me that his warranty is expiring on his body.  “My knees are evidence.  My ankles are evidence.  Things that once upon a time, like a little sprain would be gone.  Now a week……2 weeks.  It just takes a lot longer for my body to recover.

I throw back the obvious question to George after he says this…… so why would you do something like this?

George-2

“My neighbors said it…..George you are obsessed.  At first it kind of hurt a little bit.  But you know what….. They are kind of right.”

“Running is something that is so deeply ingrained in my psyche, at the same time it brings me such joy.  It makes me feel youngOnce you get past 60 you don’t want to get older.  The highest point in my year is a race like this.  Everything else disappears, and I am young and I am flying.”

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6 and 10 Day Race 2015…Set Up