Saturday, September 29, 2007

In 1978 I was fortunate enough to be present when Don Ritchie came to New York and ran the NYRRC 100 miler in Flushing meadow, around the lake. This was my first exposer to Ultra running and I was really impressed. I had run a few marathons and later that year would be inspired to run my first Ultra a 47 mile race. I later helped to organize the first Sri Chinmoy center 24 hour race, as I entered into my late 20's I decided it was time for me to run one. For the next few years I ran anything from the marathon up to 24 hours, getting my marathon time down to 3:09 and running 100k in 11:43, but somehow never managing to complete more than 93 miles (150k) in a 24 hour race. In 1984 I helped out at the first New York 6 day and a whole new world opened up for me. I had become friends with Don Choi a couple of years before and was fascinated by this type of event reading all about George Littlewood in the 1880's. I now got to see Yiannis Kouros break world records that had existed for almost 100 years. I continued to run 24 hour races for some years, but in 1986 ventured into the multi day scene. I ran in a 5 day race in November of that year completing 252 miles, though I experienced physical problem s like I had never known before I wanted to do more of them. For the last 21 years I have run on average 1 multi day race every year, I found that my focus was so much turned to this kind of race and I stopped running in 24 hour races and other shorter ones. Last year I developed a foot problem that had bothered me for 10 months and I finally managed to fix it a few weeks before a 6 day race here in New York. I decided it was too soon to run in this event but went out to help some runners I know. My running was improving and I decided to run a local 50k race some weeks after the 6 day, something had inspired me to try and run some shorter races again. The race went quite well and now that I am in my early 50's I was quite happy with my 6: 36 time, one thing I did feel though was that I was a little heavy. So over the next month I went on a raw food diet and lost 17 lbs. Next stop was to run in the open division at the 24 hour world championships in Quebec Canada. I managed 73 miles and was now excited about running shorter races to hopefully help my multi day performances. I have since run 80 miles in Ottawa Canada and plan to run a 50k race in Chicago in 4 weeks time. I have somehow re discovered the spark in my ultra running.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Last night I suddenly had developed a weakness in my right ankle, it felt like a compression in the joint and it wouldn't bare any weight. I know in the past when I have had this kind of problem that the real cause is in fact the calf muscle, so I worked on that. This morning it was still there but not so bad, also when I walked around a bit it seemed to get better.Undeterred I went out for my usual Sunday run with my friend Utpal. I decided it would be nice to run out to Flushing Meadow Park and run part of the course where the Ultra Trio would be being run at this moment if they were still putting it on. If I was still running in the 1000 mile race it would start today. Anyway we had a nice easy run extended in to different parts of the park and ended up running for 2 hours. There is still some soreness in the ankle but it seems to be OK. I have signed up to run The Lakefront 50K in Chicago in 5 weeks time and may run a 6 hour race here on Long Island in 3weeks, so it's back to serious training.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today was the usual 2 mile race. With the head cold I had earlier in the week and the humidity being 94% I wasn't sure what to expect. Fortunately there are a few runners that I seem to run with the last couple of weeks and I just tried to run with them. They are my gauge. I did feel like I was work quite hard but still comfortable. My first mile was 7:24 which was the quickest so far, with my second mile of 7:17 matching my fastest second mile this year, giving me a total time of 14:41. Again an improvement and the third week running that I have been under 14:52 my previous best for the year.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two weeks before the Ottawa 24 hour race I ran a marathon in 4 : 51:43, the next 2 weeks were recovery weeks with just a little running. I flew up on the Friday, my flight went from New York to Washington DC, then to Ottawa.I was lucky to stay with friends and arrived early at the track on the morning of the race. The weather was pleasant and as you can see from the photo's, sunny.My main goal in these races is to remain cheerful and I think you can see that I had a smile on my face. Every time I approached the counters I tried to smile and thank them. Other than the fact that I am slow and of course I got tired as the day went into night I think I had a pretty good race. I had no problems with blisters and just general aches and pains after the race, which 5 hours of sleep in the afternoon seemed to help. In fact I think I actually felt better after the 24 hour race than I did after the marathon 2 weeks earlier.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Laurie Mc Grath is a Canadian runner who was in the Ottawa 24 hour race I ran 10 days ago. She ran A Canadian Women's 24 hour record of 211 km 6 weeks earlier at the World Championships in Drummondville. In Ottawa she was trying to break that record, she only managed 201 km, but on the way she set a new Canadian Women's record for 100 miles. This photo was taken at the point at which she did it.Her time was 15 hours 59 minutes and 7 seconds.The photo was sent to me by Utsahi st Amand, one of the race directors. Although she was reduced to a walk at the end, she remained cheerful.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Over the years I have been lucky enough to have met some great runners, ranging from Carl Lewis to Yiannis Kouros. The majority have been in the ultra running field since I have been involved in this for almost 30 years now. Some one recently said to me that all ultra runners have huge ego's and this may be true in some cases, but there is one runner that I have considered a friend for the last almost 30 years, who I don't think falls into this category. In 1979 I saw Donald Ritchie run in Flushing Meadow Park in the New York 100 miler, setting at that time a world road 100 mile record. Since that time we have been friends and have over the years corresponded and visited with each other in both Europe and America. To this day he still has the fastest time for 100 miles, 11 hours and 31 minutes, set on a track. I have to say that he is the most humble person I have met, though maybe Ted Corbet would be on even par. He often gave me the impression that he did not know what all the fuss was about when people paid him a lot of attention. In this world where we see many sportsmen with seemingly huge ego's, it is people like Don and Ted that show me the true way to behave. Not to feel that you are better than someone else, but to strive to be better than yourself, having the proper respect for the other runners who inspire you to do that and showing the true spirit of sport, to those who are inspired by you.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Last weekend I ran a 24 hour race in Ottawa, this was the track it was on, the Terry Fox track.I haven't been running 24 hour races for about 20 years, but after recovering from a foot injury in April I started to get the inspiration to run them again. My main goal in running these races is to enjoy myself and share something of myself with the other runners.
The weather was great and the field of 32 runners seemed to have a good time, I managed to chat with about a third of them. The top runners completed over 200 km. I did 130 km and I am quite happy with that.
I used some frequent flyer miles to make the trip from NYC, this involved me taking 3 flights to get back on Monday. During the week I felt pretty good and just ran a couple of times.
Every Saturday morning there is a 2 mile race around a school about5 minutes walk from my house. This morning I ran a time of 14:46, which is my second fastest time this year, so I guess my recovery from the previous weekend's adventure went well. I am looking at other ultra races in the coming months, but my running just goes on.
I like to run so this blog is about my running. The races I run in range from 2 miles to 6 days. So my posts will vary quite a lot. Stay tuned.