Sunday, December 5, 2010

To the edge of Helsinki

When we started out today we knew that by the end of the running we would at the Helsinki city border and would sleep there that night. we had some interesting meetings at some enthusiastic schools. When the days running was finished we were near to a sports complex and we thought it would be a nice idea to maybe go for a swim in the pool. It turns out that the owner of the swimming pool has followed us on the internet and also knows about the great feats of one of our Finnish runners. He met with us and offered free entry into the swimming complex which also included sauna. He even gave free rental of swimming suits for those that did not have them as we could not use running shorts in the pool. We were then treated to a very nice dinner by our hosts

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Long day.

On our second full day in Finland with the whole team we faced 180km of running. Actually our ultra running friend was going to run 50km himself. The countryside was very beautiful and inspiring and I think I personally got to run about 25km that day. It was broken up over 6 shorter runs, though the last 3 were uphill. I climbed a series of hills and my run would finish when they leveled out. I was however rewarded with a nice downhill on my last run of the day. We got to stay in small cabins on a camp ground and also enjoy a sauna before dinner. Lots of nice meetings and runners on the road.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We start our run to Helsinki.

Where was I. Oh yes during our second night in Vaasa the rest of the WHR team arrived from Iceland. So in the morning we started at a ceremony in the city square near a market. Then with a police escort we ran once again to the park where the statue was. On the arrival of a local runner we made our way to a nearby stadium where the Vaasa marathon would begin. We were introduced to the runners, did a lap around the stadium track and started off on our run towards Helsinki. Some time after our departure the marathon began and as our runners ran with the torch we were joined by the the competitors as the first part of our run covered part of the marathon course.
Since the full team was now here and we had 2 vans we split up into 2 teams we use a method called leapfrogging to cover the distance and also make various ceremonies along the way. The final ceremony was near the place where we would stay the night and we were greeted by a former winter Olympian and medal winner in cross country skiing. We spent our first night on the road in a log cabin

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


On arriving in Helsinki and finally getting our bags we drove with 2 of our friends to Vaasa in the north, where we got to stay in another friend's apartment for the night.
We had 26 schools to visit on our first WHR day in Finland, we split into 2 teams of 3 with one team visiting 17 schools that were close together and the other visiting 9 schools further apart. It was very cold and windy, but at each school we had a warm welcome. There are 2 official languages in Finland, Finnish of course and Swedish. each of the schools spoke of these. I was on the team that visited 17 schools. We ended our running in a park where we joined with the other team, some school children who came with us and some local officials, near a statue of Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the run. There was a ceremony at which a Peace tree was planted and everyone got to have their photo taken and some interviewed by a local newspaper

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just to get there.

So I have been back from the WHR for 11 days now, so here is the start of my report.
We were scheduled to fly on Baltic from Belgrade to Riga and then on to Helsinki on September 1st.
We arrived at the airport and proceeded to go to check in, but there was no check in. We then looked on the departure screen for our flight and it was not there. After an inquiry at the information desk, we found out that Baltic does not operate flights to Helsinki via Riga between September and February, even though they let us book a flight for September 1st. It seems they had been trying to inform us of this without success. So they had an obligation to give us an alternative flight and booked us on an Austrian Airlines flight through Vienna for the next morning. This did not create a big problem with our Finland schedule so we were happy and we had a better flight.
We arrived in Helsinki mid afternoon the next day instead of late evening the day before and apart from the fact that our bags were delivered to another terminal everything was good. I was in Finland for the first time ;)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

World Harmony Run European team

I have just come back from spending the last month of the European leg of the World Harmony Run as part of the team. I got to go from Finland, through the Baltic states, Belarus and to the closing ceremony in Moscow. Spending a month living out of a van during the day and having to go out and run several times during those days can seem like a tough deal. That is so far from the truth. Yes there are days when the body is telling you it maybe does not want to run so much, but I am a multiday runner and I am used to that. Even if you struggle a little bit some mornings the feeling you get when people greet you on the road, or the look in the faces of people ( especially children ) when they get to hold the torch, takes away any tiredness that may be present.
Over the next few posts I will try describe what it has been like and focus on each country I ran in. I hope you will enjoy my journey.

Monday, August 30, 2010

2 more days

So this morning I picked up my visa for Belarus and I am now ready to go. We fly on Baltic Air through Riga to Helsinki on Wednesday afternoon. I am not sure if I will have any internet access during the trip, but when I do I will post something. You can check out how I am doing here

Monday, August 23, 2010

Almost time to go

Today I picked up my visa from the Russian consulate, tomorrow I go by bus to Belgrade where I will get a visa for Belarus and in 11 days time I fly with 2 friends to Finland where we will join the final leg of this years World Harmony Run. Starting in Finland we go to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. Before entering Russia via Smolensk and finish in Moscow late September. It should be quite an adventure. Not sure if I will have much internet access, but when I do I will try to post something.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New adventure

in a couple of weeks time I will be off on another leg of the World Harmony Run, actually the last leg of the European run. The run will end with a closing ceremony in Moscow on September 27. I need a visa for Russia and spent 2 days this week trying to get one. The invitation that my friends in Moscow sent me had some mistakes in it which were pointed out to me by the clerk at the Embassy here. He made a call and said they would fax a new one to them and I should come back tomorrow, which I did only to find out that the invite had not come. He made another call and I ended up waiting a couple of hours for it to eventually arrive. The staff at the Embassy treated me very well and I was most grateful. I should now get my visa on Monday and leave for Belgrade on Tuesday, where I will get a visa for Belorus, which does not have an embassy in Ljubljana. Then on September 1 I fly to Finland to start the run.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday 2 mile race

I have been managing to run the 2 mile race the last few weeks and gradually getting a little faster though not yet up to my times in New York. It was a little foggy with what felt like a slight drizzel. There were 3 of us at the starting line and I managed to post a time of 16:35. I have been experiencing some tightness and soreness in my lower back the last few weeks, but I am able to run without too much discomfort. I think it is improving but need to do a few more things to help it along.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trans-Slovenia weekend

So on Saturday morning I got a ride out to the 3rd stage of the Trans- Slovenia Mountain Edition race where my friend was running. There was some tough mountain running and I got to do some of it with him. I also got to stay in the Youth Hostel where the race ended on Saturday night and where the runners and organizers stayed. On Sunday I got to share the running and helping duties with my friend Milan. The last 30Km or so of the final stage was on the same road as last years classic race so it was familiar to me and I liked the downhill section into Koper.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Trans-Slovenia mountain edition.

My friend Namitabha Aleksander Arsic is running in the Mountain Edition of the Trans Slovenia run I helped him last year in the Classic edition. I was not able to help him this time, but will be going out for the end of stage 3 today and plan to stay overnight and help on the 4th and final stage.You can check out how things are going or how things went here; Hopefully I will post something in a couple of days about the race.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cool running

It has been very hot here for the last few weeks, but yesterday the rains came and everything changed. It was quite a bit cooler for the 2 mile race this morning and it was jut starting to rain as I got to the track. As a result only 2 people showed up, so I decided I would also run this week. In the middle of the race we got a big downpour which included some small hailstones. I ended up coming first in a slow time of 18:43, just 19 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. I t was fun to race and I was grateful for the cool refreshing conditions.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Right knee

After running in the Pohorje winter series in January I jammed my right knee on the decent. I have noticed some occasional pain in the kneecap from time to time. This morning there was a definite soreness in my right knee, but by the time I went out for my run in the afternoon it was gone. I have the feeling that something has finally worked itself out, however time will tell

Monday, July 12, 2010


I feel as though I am getting some consistency back in my running these last few days. Believe it or not I think it may be because of the hot weather and that I may have lost a few Lbs ( Kilo's).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Middle of the month

In the middle of each month, along with a few friends, I try to run for 1 hour on the track near my home. Up until now I have been doing this at 9 am on a Sunday morning, but since the weather has become much warmer we are now starting at 8am. Yesterday I was in Zagreb with some friends who swam in an open water 5km race while I ran 5km. I really enjoy a nice easy run with friends on a track, though I have noticed that for the last week my right Achilles has been a little sore.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


It has been 1 month since the 6 day race in New York when I ran and 1 week since Ultrabalaton when I was a handler. I am now seeing what the aftermath of these 2 events are. I am still losing some skin of the bottoms of my feet from the 6 day, this is normal and not a problem. The main thing from Ultrabalaton is my desire for sleep, I still wake early as usual, but I get quite sleepy during the day. This of course will pass and is all part of the recovery process.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ultrabalaton 2010

This was such a great adventure.
I met up with my friend Tomaz on Friday morning and after a shopping for a few last minute things we left his home for 3 plus hour drive to Tihany on Lake Balaton. Along with 5 other Slovenians we had rented an apartment very close to the race start/ finish. After checking in at the apartment we went to race packet pick up and the pasta party, during which time a thunderstorm came and went.
Back at the apartment there was some race discussion and then we watched the world cup games involving Slovenia and England, which also included our own pasta party. The forecast was for rain over the weekend and we got a lot overnight, but Saturday morning was beautiful. The race started with about 200 runners, 85 of which were individual racers and the rest members of relay teams. The runners carry a code key which they have to insert into a box at checkpoint/aid stations of which there were 51 I think, spaced approximately every 5 km. I was very impressed with the support the race gives, you could do the race without a handler without too big a problem. The course often goes on trails and bike paths, which are not accessible by car so this was a challenge for me. You are given a booklet with individual route maps from each town to the next, which can be a little confusing until you get used to them. On a couple of occasions you have to make long detours. Some runners used handlers on bicycles which means they can stay with you all the time.
Tomaz and I had talked about race strategy and his aim was to finish inside the 32 hour cut off. There are also a few time cuts during the race. My feeling was that he could do it in about 26 hours.
After about 1 hour I had to make a big detour and would not see him for an hour or so, I gave him extra water and energy bar, but knew that there were also aid stations during the break and off I went. Unfortunately due to some confusion I joined the course later than expected and it was 2 hours before we saw each other again.Which was a little unsettling. He was doing well though was feeling the heat. After that I think both of us settled in and became more comfortable as the race went on. After about 5 or 6 hours the field was beginning to spread out and by nightfall there were not too many runners to be seen. At this time Tomaz had passed 100km in around 10 1/2 hours. During the night hours there were maybe 4 or 5 runners running fairly close together and small friendships developed between them and the handlers as we helped each other master the course and it's interesting movements. There was one runners Dr Szylvie Lubic I think was her name, she was having some major problems in the late night hours and dropped back a little , but I was very impressed with the way she came back quite strongly and finished second female and about 30 minutes ahead of Tomaz. Having got through the night hours and struggling with tired and sore legs was within 60km of the finish and I think we were both confident that we could get there, I felt that maybe he could finish closer to 25 hours. Tomaz was now slower but steady and in the last few hours the rain came first some showers then a thunderstorm which made the arrows marking the course a little hard to see and Tomaz being tired and having to concentrate more was a little frustrated. We were so close now and there were 2 runners just a few minutes ahead. There was one last long uphill before you enter into Tihany where the race finishes, I gave Tomaz one last energy gel and told him I would see him at the last turn before the finish line. I parked the car and started back to that point when Tomaz suddenly came tearing around the corner, in a final sprint he had passed the 2 runners in front of him and I barely made it to the finish line before he did. He crossed in a time of 26 hours and 15 minutes plus some seconds and looked quite good if somewhat sore and tired. Peter, a Danish runner who we had befriended during the night came in a few minutes later.After you cross the finish line you are presented with a finish line tape with your name printed on it, which I think is a great idea. After we both had a shower and some lunch and experienced another thunderstorm, it was time for me to drive us home. Tomaz got to sleep a little in the car and somehow I managed to drive back safely despite having not slept for 36 hours. Both of us were extremely happy with a good weekends work.

Tomaz was 17th overall and 15th male.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another word on World Harmony Run

I have been back from the World Harmony run now for a couple of days and just wanted to post something.
It is always a great experience to participate and this year was quite interesting for me. The International team included an American, a Canadian and a Guatamalan along with the usual Europeans. The run, which is organized mainly by my friend Marjan, can be quite intense at times, but really takes care of the runners. We had some great meetings with lots of schools and such dignitaries as the President of the country and President of the parliament.By the time the week was up many great friendships had been made. Personally after the first few days I had more soreness than usual in my legs, but this improved over the week and the whirlpool and swimming pools in our hotels really helped. In September I get to run in the final leg of the European run which ends in Moscow, which should be quite an experience.

Friday, May 21, 2010

World Harmony Run

Tomorrow a few of us will drive from Ljubljana to the border with Croatia near Rupa. There we will receive the torch and will then combine with the International team to run to Postojna. Then due to a change in the schedule for Monday, the Slovenian team will try to cover the distance between Postojna and Ljubljana over the weekend. I hope to give a report of everything that will go on during the next week in my next post.

Friday, May 14, 2010

24 Hour World Championships

I stayed up most of the night and probably missed only about 5 hours of the live updates. I have friends on both the American and Italian teams, so I had a lot to look at. Congrats to Scott Jurek who got the indivual Sliver medal and set an American record in the process. My friend John Geesler, who I was running in a 6 day race with just a few weeks ago. Did not have such a great race, but still comes home with the team Bronze medal.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Self- Transcendence 6 day race

On April 19 I manged to fly out of Trieste airport in Northern Italy when the ash cloud that had closed it for 2 days moved and allowed my flight to take place. The airport was closed again the next day, so there you go. I arrived in NY an hour late and my bag arrived a day later after spending an extra day in Rome. I had 3 days to to get my stuff together which included recovering from a bad cold I had the previous week.
The race began a noon on April 23. it was a sunny, but not too warm day. Though I quickly got into my usual pattern of running and walking and sharing some news with fellow runners, I ended up with a first day total that was about 8 miles short of usual. On the evening of the second day the rain came and along with it my cold became bad again. For the next 3 days I pushed on as best I could, but found that my sleep breaks were longer than in previous races and my mileage was low. It sort of worked out that I was a day behind on my usual daily numbers, so that my final distance covered in 6 days was 222 miles. My total last year was 277 and this is about my average for 6 days. Anyway I have always felt it is not about the mileage, but more about the experience and once again I learned a lot about myself and many of the other people in the race. This is what multiday racing is all about.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Last winter cup race

Sunday I drove with a friend up to Maribor to participate in the last Pohorje winter cup race of the season. It is the 13th race for this edition. This was the 3rd time I participated. With the recent problem I have had with my back and hip I was not sure how I would hold up, but I felt pretty good at the start and the temperature was quite mild. The race started and within the first few minutes my breathing was hard, this is normal and usually settles down after a time, then I lose my legs which also settle down. This time my breathing never got better, I had a problem the whole race, but my legs stayed strong. It was only after I finished and developed a chesty cough that I realized, I had a cold. I was happy that I had a good workout and finished the race. To cap it all off we got free pizza after wards.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Trans-Slovenia winter edition.

Last week a Slovenian friend of mine ran in the Trans Slovenia run Winter edition. It is a 220km run across Slovenia.The original plan was for me to help him for the whole race, but for various reasons that did not work out. On Friday the race came within 3km of my place, so I ran out to meet it. I then ended up running and also getting rides with a helper to the end of the stage. I got to meet some old friends from last years Summer race and then got a ride back to Ljubljana with one of the crew.
On Sunday I took an early train out to Sevnica, where the last stage would start another friend with a car had driven down from Ptuj and together we acted as support for my friend Tomaz. It was only Tomaz's second Ultra race, having previously run a 100km. Out of a field of 34 runners which included 4 women, he finished 9th among the men.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I have had a running streak going for the last 5 and a half months, well that came to an end over the weekend. Something happened to my right hip last week and on Friday I kind of realized that I had Sciatic nerve problems. I still planned to run a Half marathon on Sunday, but on Saturday circumstances did not allow me to run and it started to feel much better. I decided to help out at the race instead and give my injury 1 more day to rest. I do not try to feel any pressure to keep a running streak going and when 1 stops another one can begin. I plan to go out today and see how it feels.

Friday, January 29, 2010


I have managed to keep going out everyday, but lately the temp's have been very low. I did go to Rijeka in Croatia a few days ago and it was relatively warm there so that was nice. However when I got back into the cold my body did not seem to like it and I now have some tightness in my lower back and especially my right buttock. It is uncomfortable, but has not stopped me from running. I had planned to run a Half Marathon this Sunday, but we will have to see how I feel on the day of the race.