Face off: NB856 vs Asics 2100
I have been running in New Balance for years now with occasional head turns in moments of panic.
So my last long run was something of a surprise when I ran 10 miles last Sunday in the Asics to discover the personality of the shoe. Not only is it a smaller, lighter shoe but it is a faster shoe. It’s design makes me want to run fast. The NB is a heavy shoe for the heavier runner and have lots of support in the places that a big, heavy runner moving slowly will need: Its a slow shoe. This is a real revelation. I am a little on the heavier side, last weigh was 180, but the usual reason I wear the 854/856’s is because of the awesome comfort they provide especially during a race. They break in very quickly and the cushioning lasts. My only problem is the heel wear (see Sept. 16th) which means the shoes last no more than three days. Somehow I have to develop a new style that minimises this drag. It will save me hundreds of dollars.
Most activity is happening on the Bravenet blog at the moment. Todays posting is a little look at the shoe problem I have had for the last 3 years. Part of the problem is the concrete and last year, after kindly waiting for us to finish the race, a substantial part of the course was replaced with fresh concrete which is very rough in places and extremely abrasive for running shoes. However we all survived to tell the tale and will be back next year to see how many more shoes we can go through in 64 days.
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Pradhan (left) and Vajra
Pradhan Balter travels 1000 miles a week from Chicago to New York to help the 3100 runners. We asked for his thoughts about the race and they will be included in a small magazine we are putting together to commemorate this years event.
“The 3100 mile race is an absolutely phenomenal event and each of the runners who participate are doing something which is also phenomenal, inconceivable almost from a mental stand point. From a medical stand point it is interesting to watch and it’s also interesting to participate in. First of all from a deeply personal stand point by virtue of having the opportunity to treat each of the runners you really feel part of their experience and you feel glory in their success and it really is very joyful for me to see each of these runners finish and their accomplishment feeds me tremendously.
Secondly also from a physical stand point it’s interesting to see runners coming in with injuries which would stop them in a normal course of events, severe shin splints, blisters these are the kinds of things which if you are working that day you would call your boss and say I can’t come in today yet the runners persevere and run through these injuries and resolve them themselves and I have to use the term miraculously resolve them themselves. The physical surrenders to the determination of the runner and instead of imposing it’s will, it surrenders to the will of the runner who says “I know that you are injured but you have to heal yourself so that we can continue in this incredible task” and it does. It’s just amazing. I’m watching shin splints disappear in two three days or at worst two weeks and afterwards they are running and they are running really well. I see blisters disappear and infections come and go. You will see a runner come and have absolutely no life energy and the next day he is putting in more laps than everybody else.”
This was the tenth year of the race on this site. The first race was the inaugural 2,700 and since then as the number of runners has increased so has the nature of the facilities provided also evolved. In this years race there were three vans that have been kitted out with a bed and lockers for daily gear storage carpeted of course. On the roof was a retractable awning that served as shelter from the sun and from the storm. These customisations were carried out by Bipin, pictured here. There are also two trailers attached to vans. One contains chairs, tools, cooler, ice and food storage and the other was the medical trailer where the foldable benches were stored. At midnight everything was broken down into smaller parts, stored in the vans and driven off for the night and brought back at 5:45 the next morning. Breakdown required 3-4 volounteers each night to ensure a quick getaway after the long shift.
4 Porto-sans had to be organised and taken care of and Bipin fitted a small sink to the end one and runners were able to keep hands clean. Very important.
Medical care was provided by a small but dedicated group of personnel. Pradhan, Vajra, Tejaswi, Mitch, Aklanta and a crew of ladies who took care of Suprabha everyday.
Then their was the website updates that Sahishnu took care of when he got home after the evening shift and the results that we recieved each morning of the previous days progress.
Permits from the Parks dept. and the necessary paperwork/permissions that can take Sandhani a lot of running around plus accomodation for the runners all summer. Then at the end of the race there’s the design and production of the t-shirts, awards, certificates, photo albums.
This level of support has been a hallmark of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team races over the years and is unparalled.
Counters came from Florida
One of the main reasons that there are so few multiday races is the amount of logistics involved. Hosting a multiday event requires a crew of people to take care of all the details necessary and there are a lot of man hours to cover especially in the 3100. Running time for this years race amounts to 1138 hours. For most of the race this required 2 counters at all times to record the runners laps. The counting day was split into three shifts.
Three Race Directors split the day into 3 shifts. There were four cooks preparing three meals a day. They also made soup and snacks between lunch and dinner and late evening snacks as well. Plus of course miscellaneous items that visitors brought and ice cream. The RD’s made sure that the water table was always stocked with water in cups which had to be imported in large containers several times a day plus snacks like fresh fruit and cookies, chips etc.
To bel be continued.
Aid station from behind the fence.
Some people do spend time walking but it is difficult to walk 50 miles everyday, which is why 50 miles used to be the daily minimum. If you look closely at what the runner has to do to complete his mileage a clearer picture can be seen. The day is 18 hours long so from that deduct all things that a person has to do to live on the track for 2 months.
Depending on the food there can be between 2-5 stops for the bowels plus from 5-10 urine stops.(1 min per hr)
Skin protection procedures.
This includes prevention and treatment of blisters and hotspots. Chafing prevention. Sun protection.(1 min per hr)
It is often necessary to change clothes or shoes. After the first day when the feet have increased by one or two sizes often the shoes have to be customised. Also the changing weather conditions often require appropriate protection.(1 min per hr)
Food and water
Intake of calories is on an enhanced level – 5-10k per day. Assessing whats available from the table and matching that with the bodies desires/needs,putting food into cups to eat whilst moving still takes time.(2 mins per hr)
Most runners take short breaks throughout the day from 10-30 minutes broken into varying sizes. This totals a minimum of 70 minutes a day of absolute basics.
Most runners have about 16 hours a day give or take a few minutes.
Every day is different but all of the above have to be factored in for the basic issues. Other things can and do develop; for example, injuries. The course of the 3100 is completely on concrete which is an extremely hard surface to spend one’s day plus the concrete wears the shoes away very quickly which can also lead to stress injuries. Every runner has some physical issue over the duration of the race and shin splints is not uncommon plus a host of repetitive use problems that occasionally arise
So this requires about 3.1 miles an hour to cover 50 a day and 3.8 to cover the 61 to finish in 51 days. This is the basic without having to deal with any extra problems.
The 2005 Self-Transcendence runners
With the race founder Sri Chinmoy
Srdjan Stojanonich receives the winners trophy
Sri Chinmoy gave a short talk to the runners and one of the things he mentioned was the importance of smiling. Recently Sri Chinmoy said that a smile meant new energy and new life and this could help the runners when they were feeling a little down.
Todays pictures courtesy of Adarini Inkei
Now that the race is over, the recovery begins, especially for Suprabha and as we work our way back up the list of finishers the runners are getting stronger and stronger. Srdjan finished almost 3 weeks ago now. Tonight there will be the official ceremony to present the awards.
Mitchell Proffman is a Chiropractor who donated his services to the race free and he wrote a short article about his experience that can be found on the Sri Chinmoy Races site.
Tsvetan beside a scoreboard that records a remarkable achievement. Think you could run 3100 miles? Less than 10 months before the next 3100 mile race starts.
Suprabha completes the picture, gets her cake and she gets to eat it as she celebrates running 3100 miles for the 9th time.
The penultimate day and the temperatures are getting even higher hitting 100 degrees at La Guardia.
Here Suprabha is being taken of by long time friend, Shadri.