The world is full of ultra-running legends that you’d really like to meet. Only to be in the same race as someone who has accomplished big things, is humbling, and gives perspective to all the pain and obstacles. During a 24-hour event you’ll be in pain for sure. A lot. But this time it’s gonna be worth it, because I’ll run with a legend!
Not so long ago, I came up with a quite unexpected plan — to race in a 24-hour event in London on the 19th of September (ending on the 20th). At first it was just an idea, something to keep my mind occupied after I failed at my last 48-hour attempt in Skövde. That day everything went wrong — or really, only one thing went wrong, but it’s all that matters: energy. I couldn’t hold any food, and after running without energy for 10 hours, it became impossible to go on.
Well, that race was my big goal for this year, and needless to say it was a huge dissapointment. I even thought about putting my ultra racing to rest. I’ve had a year filled with many small problems. However small, they've caused me major trouble. I’m sick of it.
Dissapointed or not, I didn’t quit. I found a 24-hour track race in London: Self Transcendence. I hope I’ve solved some of the issues that went wrong in Skövde, and I think this race will suit me well. The name has got that lovely spiritual air to it, and an outdoor race in London in September, offers at least a chance of a decent running temperature, and if I’m lucky — even some rain.
The new come-back plan was good from the beginning, but it just got better! I received a copy of the starting list and there he was: The Legend. William Sichel, now 62 years old and maybe, just maybe, this means I have a chance of beating him? ;-)
William Sichel has run numerous successful races, both championships and other major races. He has been no 1 in distances from 100k to 6-days. It seems like the really long distances, is his cup of tea. He has run an impressive 813k in a 6-days event, and was the first person ever to reach 1000k in Monaco “No Finish Line” 8-day race in 2011. And if this ”Self Transcendence” suits me well I can do as Sichel — run the race with the same name in New York City. That race is 3100 miles long! William Sichel was the first man over 60 years of age to finish, and he did it in 50 days, 15 hours and 6 minutes.
To me, the most interesting thing about this man is his innovative training ideas. E.g he trains a lot with a weight vest, to gain extra strength and prepare the body for the long distances. I hope I get a chance to ask him what else he does in order to feel ready.
And now, with only a few days left till race day, all I can do is hope that I’m prepared.
That my body is ready. Because I am.