June 16, Utpal: Happy and Grateful to Be Here Again

When Surasa first entered the 3100 mile race in 2010 it was a monumental moment. The previous year the great Suprabha Beckjord had run the race for the last time.  From its inception in 1997 no other girl had even attempted to run the race prior to Surasa’s entrance in the 13th running of the race.  But Surasa had an extraordinary history of distance running reaching back nearly 20 years.  Even at age 51 she was not fearful of trying to run the longest race in the world.

But this race is like no other and in her valiant effort that year she completed 2760 miles.  Of course the door now was wide open.  So Surasa came back again the following year, once again the only female entrant, but this time she had found what was needed to complete the race before the cutoff. She finished in 53 days, 15 hours.

Not content with her achievement  in 2011, she came back once again in 2013 and had an even better race.  She came in 5th overall and completed the distance in 50 days and 4 hours.  At this time she also set the record for being the oldest runner to complete the race.  A record that lasted until last year, when William Sichel ran at 60 years of age.

When I welcomed her back to the race this year, she said, “I am just happy and grateful to be here again.”

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