Picture: Perfection Journey Blog

Sarvagata turns into a super athlete during this race. His skin goes really tanned, He comes in a little overweight and on occasions with his busy work schedule saving for the race, slightly under trained. Then he begins to shed kilograms, sometimes up to fourteen in total, and then he starts churning out the miles. Sarvagata UkrainskyI is set to finish around 1pm during day 44 and beat his best time ever. He is an incredible ultra distance runner. A natural, yet it took him a few years to enter this race.

In my first races I had seen Sarvagata come and watch the event many times, a good indication of his interest to compete in this race. You could tell he was soaking it all in. Observing how the runner's went about their day. However his ten-day result was below the standards for qualification.It wasn't until 2011 that he was able to compete. Determined to enter he put his hat into the ring with he came up with a solid performance in the 2011 Self-Transcendence Ten Day Race, where he reached 605 miles (974km) and that year Switzerland’s 3100 mile runner Pushkar Mullauer was a late withdrawal from the 3100. A position became opened up for Sarvagata and so did his ability.

His first race in 2011 race was of high quality. Outstanding in fact. It remains the fastest debut in history. Sarvagata comes into his own in the 3100 mile race. No one picked him as a winner beforehand in his first event or realised how good he was. A brilliant chaser, he was heavily motivated by having someone in front of him to reel in and catch up to and Finnish speedster Ashprihanal provided the perfect bait. A few times Sarvagata ran 80 mile (129km) days and could then back it up the next day with something comparable. During the race’s four ten-day segments he ran 653 (1051km), then 710 (1143km), then 745 (1199km) and finally 720 miles (1159km) and all his first race. Any one of those segments far transcended his 10 day personal best.

Once in 2012 when I was competing, I watched him run one of those 80 mile days. He was unstoppable. The energy, power and strength emanating from him was palpable. Pranjal liked to sniff the air as he ran past, flaring his nostrils. "Can you smell that burning rubber," he would comment. In 2014 he has been out in front by himself. No one to chase or pushing from behind. Days ahead of everyone. In terms of victory there was no pressure to perform day in and day out, yet he has maintained his motivation and remarkable standard. That is what this race is about. Transcending and competing with yourself and trying to better your best. I think he has the ability and capacity, if everything goes his way to run under 43 days. Congratulations to the champ!