I have been pounding the pavements lately,  training to compete in the longest certified road race in the world - the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. In the race, runners must complete 5649 loops of an 883 metre footpath around a New York school block and must deal with fatigue, boredom, humidity and temperatures hovering around 40 degrees. Competitors must run almost 100 km a day to complete the race in the 51 day cut off time. Feet swell an extra size during the run which is held on a cement footpath. For their efforts the winner receives a plastic trophy and a t-shirt.

The annual event aims to promote going beyond ones present capacities. The event aims to showcase our human potential. During the event we use our determination, focus and resilience to stay positive, inspired and uplifted despite the grueling and repetitive nature of the run. 

This year the race brings together 12 to 15 top international ultra-runners from countries such as  Ukraine, Finland, Switzerland, Ireland, Russia, Czech Republic and Slovakia. I have already completed 20,000 kilometres around the block. Knowing what the run is like and how hard it is, I have struggled to even enter. Getting to the start line is really difficult so I will grateful just to begin.

Ultra Training

I have definitely had to manage injuries this year and a lack of motivation. I was running quite well at the beginning of the year. I did a number of 2 mile and 1 mile races in Bali but missed the podium, in four races I got fourth! I got home, was injured, then started running to work and back for some mileage. I did one week of 200+km's in March and a number around 150. I Raced a 40 miler slowly in early April, fly to New York that day and raced 24 hours upon landing, a marathon. Stupid. I was injured again. After a long plane trip I always usually wait 72 hours minimum before racing. The long flights take a toll on your muscles. Not this time though and I paid the price. Four weeks of keeping runs to 3 to 10 km when  I need to be doing 50-60km runs to train for the 3100 so it wasn't looking good.

I informed the 3100 race directors of that very fact. Come May 9th I managed a 5 hour run and built from there. I have done 1 week of 180 km. Another or 231km and another of 200. All incorporating 5 to 8 hour runs. Now I am beginning to taper. One five hour run left and that's it, thank heavens. I have had some problems so am not expecting anything great but to finish would be wonderful.

I know the key to making it: If you are genuinely more heart felt you will be more positive. In the run you are forced to stay happy as the mind and body are constantly overwhelmed at the thought and problems of dealing with the almost 5000 kilometre distance. After overcoming all the hurdles that crop up, at the end you come out a better person. So really, I do get much more than a plastic trophy!