Sopan Tsekov is Mr Consistent this year at the 3100 Mile Race. The last 6 days in a row he has done 62 miles on the dot (that's about 103km). Sopan hails from Bulgaria and spends time in the ski slopes outside of running. Finding motivation in the mountains is something most trail and ultra marathoner runners can relate to, but is very different to the 3100 mile course. Sopan Tsekov was 24 when he first completed the 3100 mile race, the youngest in history. I was 30 when I entered my first 3100 mile race.

Age can’t become an excuse for poor performance. If we become complacent or lackadaisical at any time in our life a type of fossilisation sets in and our progress comes to a grinding halt. Suprabha Beckjord is the oldest competitor to finish. In 2009 she was 54. Arpan DeAngelo entered last year (and has ran over 70 sub three marathons) and turned 60 during the race. He didn't make it but still made over 2700 miles, I find that pretty motivational but also upsetting, it still means I have another 25 years of ultra running left in me! (picture by Utpal Marshall)

Sopan's consistency is definitely helpful mentally. You can set hourly targets, run to a routine, gain confidence and break up the day. The mind starts playing havoc on you if you get behind or can't make the minimum 60 miles a day to finish. So Sopan has a buffer of 2 miles a day if he keeps it up. It is still early days and I am sure he will get even stronger.


Based in Australia, Grahak Cunningham is a motivational speaker and business speaker and four time finisher and 2012 winner of the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race, which is the world’s longest ultra-marathon.