Posted by Grahak Cunningham on Monday, July 20, 2015
Ukranian Galya Balatskyy has made two records here. He has completed the most number of 70 mile days in a row ever. 37 and counting. He is aiming to finish on Sunday in 42 days. An outstanding result. In fact outside of this race only the current world record holder Wolfgang Schwerk has gone into or beyond the 42 day realm (twice). Galya would have won all bar 3 of the 3100 mile races with the time he is going to do in 2015.
Galya speaks five languages and looks the strongest out of all the runners both mentally and physically. You can pick him from a mile away. Muscular and strong and nearly always happy he has a unique style swinging his core and torso from side to side. He then comes through the counting area, shows his gapped tooth smile and carries on. He had great times in his previous 3100's but struggled with time management. His breaks would often balloon out to an hour and this chewed up too much time off the course. Thankfully this year he has kept his time management problems to home (he apparently spends 45 minutes getting cleaned up and another 45 minutes eating food and dozing off at the kitchen table before climbing into bed around 1.40am). Early on in the race, knowing that he could go home every night at 10am and still have 60 miles in the bag he mentioned to me. "Somehow you can't be satisfied with yourself unless you do your best everyday." What a champion.
The other champion record Galya holds is unofficial and perhaps only known by me. He wore the same pieces of paper tape over his nipples for 25 days. I don't know whether this means he doesn't bathe properly or the tape he was using was extra strength but it certainly prevented some chafe. "It was funny," he laughed. "When it finally came off."
The Irish Champ
Irish runner Nirbhasa Magee is one of the toughest competitors. He doesn't fit the usual "IT Guy" mould. He took some time off from computers to work as a carer and recently discovered he was pretty good at ten day races with results over the 70 mile a day average. He boxed when he was younger and currently at the 3100 he looks like he has been through a few rounds. He fell a couple of days ago and took skin off his knees, hands and forehead. He probably needed a stitch or two above his eyebrow, but he just poured hydrogen peroxide over everything, got it dressed and carried on like nothing had happened. He only changed the bloodied dressing after 36 hours as the shocked expressions from the helpers and volunteers was starting to get to him.
After Ashprihanal's finish I am most looking forward to Nirbhasa's. It should be very moving. While he does have a long way still to go. It is his first finish, he has gone through a lot of struggles, his parents, sibling and many friends will make the flight to watch him cross the line. For awhile he was on the cusp regarding his mileage but he has never given up. Once he got to half way he realised what was needed. "I am staying to midnight everyday," he stated one day. This stoic resolve is going to get him to the goal.
Ashprihanal's Post Race Bucket List
The weather has been really hot here but Ashprihanal knows he has the record pretty much in the bag and doesn't have to kill himself in the heat. Yesterday after he made 74 miles (below his usual 76 mile average) I mentioned that the really fantastic thing is that he is beating his best time by about 3 days. "That doesn't even matter." he said, "What matters is getting the world record."
He is starting to think a little about what he is going to do the day after he finishes. So far he has come up with or mentioned the following ideas. All of them involve too much activity for someone who is going to complete 3100 miles and 5000 km's in 40 days.
- bush walking
- Spa World
- 6 Flags Adventure Park
- Woodstock visit
It is possible he may try all of them!
Tags: running ultra motivation fitness time management