Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Spartathlon 2014: A stranger in a strange land following in the footsteps of Pheidippides.

USA Spartathlon Team! Who will be next?


I definitely was feeling a bit apprehensive as the final ten seconds were counted off by the throng of 349 fellow Spartathletes; my heart was definitely beating hard; could feel my pulse throbbing in my neck; butterflies in my stomach. After all it had only been 66 days since I finished the Badwater 135 in strong fashion. It was anybody’s guess how I’d be able to handle another 200km++ race so soon after.

However, I had no reason to worry. I had a pretty good race overall. Had some stomach issues mid way through the race that gave some scares about my ability to keep under the strict cutoff times but I rallied and finished well. Honestly had no expectations going into this race other than to survive to the finish. My final finish time was 31:46:50 (12:26 pace) and 49th place overall and a healthy 4h 13m 10s under the 36 hour cutoff. By virtue of Katalin Nagy, a dual US-Hungarian citizen who finished in 28:55:03 and 16th overall, choosing to represent Hungary I was technically the first finisher from the United States, and first from the Western hemisphere (North & South America). Not too shabby!

Read on for more detail about my race. Warning: it is quite lengthy in my traditional stream of consciousness narrative kind of way!