Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel, has announced that he will be attempting to become the first Scot, first Brit and first person over 60 years of age to complete the World’s Longest Certified Footrace – the Sri Chinmoy Self Transcendence 3100 Mile Race – within the current 52 day time limit.
Described by the New York Times as the “Mount Everest of ultra marathons”, the 18th edition of this event will, once again, take place on a half mile street circuit in Queens, New York from June 15th to August 6th this year. A small field of about a dozen runners is expected.
“I wanted to make this year in particular rather special, it being my 60th year and also my 20th in ultra distance running. I’ve always specialised in standard road and track ultras so, to me, this is the ultimate in this type of race. Clearly it is way beyond anything I have previously attempted and I’ll need to use all my experience to try and finish the race!
Sri Chinmoy was an Indian spiritual master and teacher of meditation, who established himself in New York in the 1960′s and who died in 2007. The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team organise many running events world-wide, including in Scotland, England and Wales.
“My first ever standard ultra was the Sri Chinmoy 100km race in Edinburgh in 1994, which to my amazement I won. Since then I have done loads of Sri Chinmoy ultra distance events world-wide and up to 6 Days in duration. Their events are always well organised and have the best interests of the runners at heart.”
William has known about this incredible event for a long time but never thought he would be able to participate or realistically consider himself a possible finisher.
“Trying to clear a two months gap in your life isn’t easy and in fact that becomes part of the challenge. It will be the most incredible trial for me – the ultimate really in long distance running.”
For organisational reasons the race is run a bit like a stage race with the runners and organisers having an enforced break between mid-night and 6am every day. The clock doesn’t stop of course.
So in effect the competitors have 18 hours a day to cover the daily average of 60 miles required to complete the challenge within the time limit.
“I’ve run 153 miles in a single day as a one off. In six day races I cover 80-90 miles as a daily average and in my only 1000 miles race I averaged 72 miles a day. To attempt a daily average of 60 miles, week in and week out, will need the most astonishing effort and conservation of resources.”
Welshman Abichal Watkins, was the first British person to compete in the event, finishing five times in five years, with a best performance of 54 days 11 hours in 2008. He is now a race organiser and this year is promoting the Celtic Ultra Fest in Weston-super-Mare in September.
William is working on Project165.com in which he will attempt to have set 165 ultra running records before his 65th birthday on October 1st 2018. Amongst William’s current 95 records he holds ten world age-group records including the fastest time to run 1000 miles.
William is dedicating Project165.com to raise funds for CLAN Cancer Support and his dedicated web page can be found here: http://www.justgiving.com/William-Sichel
William is grateful to main sponsors Orkney Micro Renewables and the Orkney Islands Council.
E-book Review: ‘Running Faster’ by David Murrie
“This reference e-book is about training to run faster using researched
and tested methods and principles. It is for runners, athletes, games
players and sports coaches that want to train speed effectively for their
sport or event, using good evidence and experienced practice.”
This is taken from the introduction to this new e-book, part of the Applied Sports Science series, by renowned sports scientist, coach, academic and specialist in performance analysis and conditioning – Dave Murrie – someone I have worked with since 1997.
This isn’t so much a text book but a 47 page summary, an overview of all the key points to be aware of, under a range of areas that need to be considered when training for more speed.
That speed development might be for a range of games players looking for game-specific speed, out and out sprinters, the middle distance athlete or for those involved in marathon and beyond in to ultra marathon events.
Liberally illustrated throughout and with “Key Points” highlighted in all the different areas this is an easy book to get to grips with and will appeal to the scientist, coach or sports person alike.
Short chapters including “Sprinting faster”, “Environmental considerations of training”, “What is your speed training designed to achieve?” and “Summary of training methods to run faster (for longer)” indicate the range of areas covered by this small but highly focussed volume.
As spring approaches and racing calenders start to bulge, now would be a good time to spend a very few pounds to delve into the subject of speed – something that every one needs, to some extent – whatever their sport or racing distance. I recommend “Running Faster” to you.
Thanks to all at Stockans – Scotland’s finest oatcake maker based in Stromness, Orkney – for additional supplies of their great products.
Large range of oatcakes and biscuits, including wheat-free oatcakes and all available by mail order too.