A few weeks ago, I bought a copy of Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes and also Extreme Running. Laziness had really begun to lose its charm and I was looking for something to kick start my running career again. A bit of inspiration if you will. Extreme Running is a coffee table compendium of some of the most intense races in the world.
But it doesn’t include the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race held annually in the borough of Queens, New York. Perhaps this is because the 900 metre or so loop that the competitors run around - for at least 15 hours a day - for around 50 consecutive days, lacks glamour. The field for this race is of course composed of a select few and many have completed the event multiple times.
Rathin, who I share lodgings with, has completed, ‘The 3100,’ three times. Surely anyone who has run over 10,000 miles in the last 4 years should be considered a Running God? Why didn’t I just turn to him for inspiration in the running world, instead of buying a few books? Who knows? Anyway, I’m sure glad that we can do races together or train at the same time on rare occasions.
There are a couple of cool things in Dean’s book, like when he meets an American Indian on his first ultra trail race at an aid-station. The Indian tells him, “Suffering is the price that the body pays to rid itself of weakness.” I like it. It's so hard to get good shamans these days!
Here is an interview that Dean did. It is quite long, but very interesting. Check out the part where he talks about his attitude to training or running in general. His advice is: “Don’t consider it a chore. Enjoy it. Love it.” I’m paraphrasing a bit of course, but that is the lesson I am taking, the experience I am making, of my running lately. It took me a while to appreciate it in this way. Like 10 years.
Here is a poem I wrote on my 2 mile loop Wednesday night:
Every run is a chance
To trample the face of