Seven Steps to a Successful Marathon by Arpan DeAngelo
Arpan De Angelo - Short Running History and Bio:
As a youth I loved neighborhood sports and ran around quite a bit. I played lots of baseball, basketball and football and loved to run fast enough to get away from the older kids who always seemed to get joy in chasing us youngsters.
As a gymnast in High School I knew what it took to get into fitness shape, but I never could relate to running around in circles just for the fun of it. It was not until my second year of University that I was urged by some friends to take up running on a regular basis, mostly for spiritual reasons. I struggled through my first one mile run which seemed to take forever, in 1972. And now, 40 years later, here is a brief description of some of my running and racing experiences.
My first official race was a three mile open race on our University of Connecticut campus in 1973. I am not sure of my time which was well over 20 minutes, but I do remember pushing at the end so as not to be in last place. I started running one mile races and shorter sprinting races with the Sri Chinmoy Centre later in 1973. The next year we were doing 2 mile races and the mileage kept increasing year after year. By 1976 I ran in the Madal Marathon, which was actually a 13 mile race around the Lake at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, NYC. In 1977 I ran my first full marathon,(26.2 miles or 42 Km), in the New York City Marathon in 3 hours, 12 minutes. I was so sore the next day I said that I would never run another marathon again.
Since then I have run over 300 marathons or longer, which includes races and training runs of at least 26.2 miles, (42 Km). The longest of these races was a multi-day race called ‘The Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race’. In 2004, at age 52, (having been born in ’52), I finished on the 52nd day, averaging 60 miles per day. I consider this my greatest achievement so far, but I give all the credit and gratitude to Sri Chinmoy who inspired me to run it and encouraged me to stay in the race even when I wanted to quit. In 2012, at the age of 60, I attempted the race again, achieving over 2800 miles within the 52 day cutoff.
Most of my standard length marathon races have been run under 3 hours 30 minutes, with 45 of them faster than 3 hours. My fastest marathon was 2 hours 43 minutes in the Long Island Marathon in 1985. I have run in quite a few ultra-marathons including 25 forty-seven mile races, placing 2nd or 3rd eleven times. I have run in many 6-hour and 12-hour races and about ten 24-hour races, my best mileage being 131 miles in 23 hours. I have run a number of multi day races including some 6 day races, 700 mile race, 1000 mile race and the 3100 mile race.
God only knows where this will lead and when it will end, but I am trying to enjoy this ongoing running journey. I feel that is has offered me fulfillment in various ways, but to me the most important fulfillment is the spiritual fulfillment which comes with the conscious efforts of trying to fulfill the Will of the Supreme in His Own Way.