Unable to race this year, legendary ultrarunner Mark Dorion has been a much-valued part of our race crew
April 29, 2012. I came back on duty at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, trying to stay warm and work the giant scoreboard. Record high winds on Friday played havoc with the large scoreboard numbers, some of which got blown 20 yards away into the bike path on which the runners passed. On several nights, both at the computer and the scoreboard, it seemed as if the numbers were "coming to life" and moving around of their own avail, sometimes spinning around in circles in front of my eyes. Having now run in many multiday races and worked this one, I can say the sleep deprivation of working and running were about the same for me. Obviously my body is not so sore and beaten up as it would have been had I been racing, though I AM sore, especially in my back.
April 27 I am on a short break from helping out at the Self-Transcendence 6 and 10 day event in Flushing Meadows, NYC. I have been on duty since 1 a.m. The super-high winds (which show no signs of abating) that blew all night have played havoc with tents, chairs, gear, cones, etc. But the USA's MOST international ultra field is toughing it out, in this case transcending every challenge Mother Nature has thrown their way
Defending overall 10 day champ/ record-holder Kaneenika Janakova, who lives in New York City, is in a nip-and-tuck battle with Australia's legendary multiday runner Sarah Barnett. Both have been within 3 miles (one way or the other) of each other for the past 12+ hours. They have have been throwing in surges at 10:00 mile pace, have taken only very short (1 hour at most) sleep breaks, and seem poised for a race to the wire (noon Saturday). As of 10 a.m. both were around 620 miles, a remarkable pace given the rough weather. This is the worst several-days stretch of weather New York and the northeast have seen since prior to the recent 6+ weeks of record-warmth and sunshine.
The ever-popular Smilin' Yuri Trostenyuk of the Ukraine is on a fantastic pace in the men's 10 day, with 660 miles as of late morning. Over 700 miles is a truly world class performance for 10 days, perhaps comparable to 150+ miles in 24 hours, or a sub-13 hour 100 mile (that is just my very rough, amateur comparison).For example, women's 6 day road world record holder Dipali C. Cunningham, Esq. has run 723 miles in 10 days, comparable to her 513+ mile 6 day PR/ record. Speaking of Dipali, she is chasing the top men in the 6 day race, where Galya Vladimir Balatskyy keeps staying about 10 miles ahead of Scotland's William Sichel. Asprihanal Pekka Aalto, known for his tremendous finishing speed (e.g., 100+ miles in the final 24 hours of a 6 day) is within strking distance.
There are various websites/ blogs/ newspapers covering the race daily-- one excellent one is www.multidays.com Or the srichinmoyraces site. The NEW YORK TIMES, a film crew from Finland, another from Russia, and also noted American independent filmaker Alexander Hamlin (see www.worldrunfilm.com ) have all been covering the race daily. TO ALL U.S ULTRARUNNERS-- this is a BIG race, followed by ultrarunners all over the world. Multiday races have been going on since the 1870s. What else can I say??
I am off to pick up my family at LaGuardia Airport, then get back to the race to help work the giant scoreboard, fill cups of water, and encourage ALL runners.