1997 Self-Transcendence Ten Day Race
Sri Chinmoy Ten Day Race- 1997- The Sly, Old Fox Beats the Young Lions
Cloudy skies and scattered showers greeted 13 runners at the start of the second Annual Sri Chinmoy Ten Day Race, held again this year at the one mile road loop on Wards Island,NY, right across from Manhattan. Many of the major players of previous years' events either had graduated to longer races or had called it quits in the multiday arena. Therefore the field was small but the outcome was less predictable. Christophe Rochotte was the favorite, having fresh legs and 7:33 100km speed, to challenge Georgs Jermolajevs' 725 mile record of last year. The runners were joined by speedster Tom Possert from Cinncinati, who was poised to break Brian Purcell's 48 hour US record of 240 miles.
Tom pulled everyone along as he hit 120 miles after 20 hours, but his shins began to hurt from the pounding of the pavement. He later stopped with 123 miles, leaving Purcell's record intact for a few days. Rochotte rocked along for 100 miles, ten ahead of Misha Pavlovic of Yugoslavia and 20 or more ahead of the rest of the field.
Don Winkley,59, the most experienced runner in the race, checked in with 57 miles, finding himself way back but content to be the tortoise while the young kids ran up big numbers. Don had come second in a 2000km track run in Mexico only a month earlier,(he ran just under 1100 miles) and his legs were a little shell-shocked. Christophe widened his lead with 170 after two days, and was feeling well. Even intense showers and high winds on Days Four and Five could not delay what seemed like a sure win for the lanky Frenchman. But on Day Six, shinsplints hit Christophe and Misha, his closest pursuer. By seven days, the rookie Norbert Karoly from Budapest had ventured into the lead. He, too experienced shin splints. By then Don Winkley came alive and a race was on to see who could finish in one piece. Don finished with 530 miles and nary a blister. Misha gamely hung on for 519 miles, and Sutushti Lang led the ladies with 510 miles, a PB by 237 miles.
Although the field was smaller this year the multiday runners were like family. They hope more of their friends can come back to join next year in this rite of spring in New York. Good luck to all who run ultras.
Sri Chinmoy Ten Day Race
Wards Island Pk,New York April 24-May 4, 1997
1-mile loop, paved
(with 24-hr,48-hr,six day, seven day splits)
1. Don Winkley,59, TX, 530 miles
2. Misha Pavlovic,43, YUG 519
3. Sutushti Lang,44, CT 510
4. Michael Purwins,39,GER 502
5. Nirjhari DeLong,46,NY 500
6. Christophe Rochotte,35,FRA 493
7. Norbert Karoly,21,HUN 482
8. Kelvin Sherrington,36,UK 460
9. Mariana Nagy,24, HUN 450
10. Pete Coffin,51,UT 422
11. Michael Moilanen,52,AZ 361
12. Marvin Skagerberg,59,CO 142
13. Tom Possert,34,OH 123