The race around… a block in 42 days: The Italian longest and craziest marathon runner in the world won last Sunday, covering nearly 5,000 kilometers in a month and a half around one block of New York buildings.
« It was really monotonous! Andrea Mercato crossed the finish line Sunday evening, holding the Italian flag in hand, screamed to the cheers of the crowd, after she circled a school complex in the northern New York borough of Queens 5,649 times. So we traveled 3,100 miles or 4,888 km.
With a lap of 883 metres, an average of 116 kilometers per day – that’s more than two marathons – the incredible athlete, a nearly 39-year-old Superman, has been running and walking for 42 days, 17 hours and 38 minutes. Every day from 6 am to midnight. The remaining six hours, Andrea Marcato and her six competitors – a New Zealander, Taiwanese, Japanese, Russian, Ukrainian and Slovakian – spent sleeping, healing, eating, washing and responding to natural needs, in building huts installed in the street during the ordeal.
The race, which was totally insane but internationally accepted, is supposed to run for another eight days, barely disrupting New York auto traffic, not to mention the dealers, residents and about 2,000 high school students in this popular corner of Queens.
“Like every day”
To break the routine and gray of the urban jungle, concrete sidewalks, and black high school gates, the seven runners run one day clockwise, the next day counterclockwise. ” The first week is very difficult, especially for the mind », Admet Andrea Marcato. ” Then you end up getting used to it and accepting that it will be the same every day ».
Whether it’s raining or shining or the heat and humidity of sweltering New York City, it’s been running like clockwork since September 5, nearly 5,700 times around Thomas Edison Technical High School. The event was created and named in 1997 “The Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendance 3,100 Mile Race,” by Indian teacher-turned-New Yorker, Sri Chinmoy, who died in 2007. It advocated a combination of extreme sports, self-transcendence and meditation.
“Don’t think of anything”
On the physical side, organizers only accept super marathons who have already participated in races of the same type for at least six days. On the mental side, With a focused mind, don’t think of anything else, no fear, no worry, no doubt ‘ confirms Andrea Marcato. ” It is a test of stamina, effort, determination and talent ».
And what does winner Andrea Marcato gain after losing thousands of calories a day and 16 pairs of shoes? A cup but without money, he reassured the organizers. ” This is the absolute, my dream and I made it come true
”, rejoices the Italian, an employee of an agricultural trading company.
France Press agency
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