by Daulot and Stota Fountain, RDs
The inaugural Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 13 Hour Race in Seattle, Washington, started at 6:02 a.m. with first light, rain and wind of the day. Undeterred, the runners set off into the weather and the long trail ahead of them while lap counters wrapped themselves in blankets and fired up the camp stove for hot drinks, and set up refreshment tables.
Steve Walters set out with an impressive pace that remained solid the entire 13 hours and set a high mark (73.92 mi.) for future runners to aspire towards. Steven Lazen at second ran 61.6 miles. Del Scharffenberg had signed up for the 13 hour race last year but due to low entries that race did not happen. Thanks for hanging in there, Del! He completed this 13 Hour Race with 53.9 miles. Deborah Erdemon, 1st woman, was 4th overall with 52.36 miles. Michael Breeze, a truly seasoned ultra marathoner from Canada, turned 80 years young the day before, then ran 46.2 miles! We will add an 80+ category next year, Michael! His friend David Westdorp, also from Canada, ran his first ultra, studied, steady and smiling for 50.82 miles.
Starting at 12:02 p.m., the fifth running of the 7 Hour Race welcomed back four-time competitors and brother and sister duo Jill and Keith Hudson. Jill had to finish the race early to watch over her school’s prom as principal. Keith stayed to the end and won a pie! Alan Smith stayed well ahead in his race, finishing with a best in his third 7 Hour Race at 41.58 miles. Gabrielle Orsi, another solid and steady athlete won the women’s race for the second time with 38.5 miles. You can see Gabe Loh (35.42 mi.) in mid-leap in the slide show of the event! How did he do that? Our photographer Yatkara from Vancouver Canada captured many smiling moments.
The rain let up, a little sun broke through and crew and runners huddled their tired selves into the shelter of the tents for a hot meal prepared by our friends at Silence-Heart-Nest Restaurant (Fremont), awards, prize pies (from A la Mode) and awesome cake (TM Dessert Works). Great job everyone! Our smilers were as well-worked as our legs. Some of you reached your mileage goal and were satisfied with that. Your efforts to transcend your previous capacities were truly humbling to us. You each found the best in yourselves in order to persevere and finish, encourage and cheer others’ efforts along the way.
After the race, we hope your long travels home were safe: Steve, Del, Cyndie from Oregon; Peter from Vancouver, WA; Michael and David from Canada; Bobbie, Dena from Olympia, Janice from Selah; James from Aberdeen; Mitch of Federal Way, Deborah of Sammamish; Suzanne, Georgeta of Bothell; Gabrielle, Lori of Issaquah; Gabe of Bellevue; Keith of Lake Forest Park; Steven, Alan, Jill, Sunny, Samarpita of Seattle.
We are already eagerly anticipating next year’s races. We would appreciate your feedback on how to improve. For example, the timing of the 2 events: Ideally we feel that if both races finish together it brings an increase in enthusiasm and celebration to all the runners and helpers. Perhaps if we started the races 1 hour earlier (5am for the 13 hour and 11am for the 7 hour) then we could finish together 6pm. Any thoughts?
Big thank you to our Sri Chnimoy Marathon Team volunteers, and to Sri Chinmoy, our founder and guide, for his boundless enthusiasm for the sport of running.
Is very long.
But the journey
Is richly rewarding.