Archive for the ‘race interviews’ Category

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

June 16, 2015
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.”

June 15, Utpal: More Enthusiasm

June 15, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all. Ashprihanal said, “I have taken a year off and now I have more enthusiasm.” Many significant moments during a race this long and hard can sometimes be obscured by the shear immensity of it all.  It is convenient to find therefore from time to time little sign posts along the way.   To be able to better take stalk and attempt to comprehend even fragments of this grand miracle taking place in full public view. If you do not pause and observe from time to time and grasp for a clearer perspective than it becomes impossible to appreciate what is truly happening overall. The race record set by Madhupran in 2006, was 41 days and 8 hours.  It has long been the pinnacle that the best runners have sought after but none have been able to really get that close to.  In that year he averaged 74 miles a day an incredible achievement.  The only one to get close was Madhupran’s previous record of 72 miles a day in 2002.  After that comes Ashprihanal’s performance in 2007, which was an average of 71.8 miles. Yesterday a new record was set by Ashprihanal that, if it does not speak of great things to come, than at least demonstrates that this 44 year old runner from Helsinki may run his best race ever.  All this considering that he is running it this summer for the 13th time…….which ties the record held by Suprabha for most times running the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile race. “My previous best was…

June 14, Utpal: A Chance To Make Progress

June 14, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all. This is the 19th summer that a group of runners has gathered on this sidewalk here in Queens NY to embark upon a monumental challenge.  Each has been summoned by some deep inner call within themselves to come and run for 18 hours a day, and do what is nearly impossible for most of us to even comprehend, complete 3100 miles within 52 days. There is a tangible and profound sense of peace that spreads out well beyond the limited dimensions of the concrete as they, and all those gathered around and about them, meditate in a brief silence before the start.  There is no shouting, no awkward demonstration of bravado, no trivial display of strength and cunning.  This is not that kind of race where this kind of mind set or behavior could possibly help. Each runner has to pull from within themselves enduring qualities that are well above and beyond just strength of mind and talent of the human body. Time and again it has been shown by all who run here, that this race has more to do with the unbounded power of spirit within than the limited capacity of mind and muscle. But it also must be noted that this impossible Self Transcendence task of running 3100 miles has been completed 131 times over the past 18 years.  37 different athletes have come and found within themselves the strength, courage, and inner resourcefulness to complete the distance.  But of course just to stand at the line and strive…

June 13, Utpal: To See Tomorrow

June 13, 2015
These are the champions who will by tomorrow no longer have time to stand still or even rest for very long.  Tomorrow the relentless challenge of completing 3100 miles begins.  Only 52 days to complete this Himalayan summit goal.

June 13, Utpal: Just Being Grateful

June 13, 2015
 “No Matter what’s happening I just want to be grateful to be out there.”
“I definitely know at the end of it.  No matter what shape or form I finish, to even to attempt to challenge something like this.  The sense of satisfaction you get out of it.  You can’t put a price on it.” close-up Read more

August 5: Something Beyond by Utpal

Augu 6, 2014

“It is a very very special morning.  This is the last morning of the race.” Jayasalini describes how now, with just 41 miles to go, she wants to absorb every last drop of the experience she has had these past 51 days.  “The fragrance of the course, the beauty of the course.  To be grateful, grateful, for every morning.  For every step.  It is a very special morning.”


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August 4: Doing What We Love by Utpal

Augu 6, 2014

How Sarah feels about completing the race. Which will happen in just a couple of hours. “It is just absolute gratitude.  A runner’s life is up and down.  Success and failures and everything in between.  I think especially after last year definitely I value it.  But it is just such a team effort.  Because nothing would happen without all the track workers and the race directors.  Everyone who adds to the race in any capacity.  So it is definitely that we are all traveling together.  It is not just personal success.


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