2011 Event: “5 Wonders Under 25 Minutes”

We are very excited at www.OneMileRunner.com to announce our 2011 event entitled, “5 Wonders Under 25 Minutes.” I asked permission to race a mile down the Great Wall of China last year, but my request  was denied. However, after completing “Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes,” I was granted access to race a mile on the Great Wall. This is one of my dream miles and probably the coolest mile that I will ever race.

Our 2011 event will span over a 5-month period with one race per month – very different than the last 3 years. We will race one Wonder of the World each month starting in China in May. There are a few “Wonders of the Worlds” lists: ancient, medieval, natural, and new. We tried to take a mix of all the lists. (It is difficult to use the ancient wonders of the world listing as only one, The Great Pyramid of Giza, still stands today). Also, these one-mile races will be “adventure” miles that are mixed with different elevations, challenging surfaces, and various climates – all with a “Wonderful” backdrop.

Here are our selections for our 2011 event:

  1. Great Wall (China) (New and Medieval list of wonders) 5/21
  2. Stonehenge (England) (Medieval list of wonders) 6/25
  3. Taj Mahal (India) (New list of wonders) 7/23
  4. Grand Canyon (USA) (Natural wonders list) 8/20
  5. Petra (Jordan) (New list of wonders) 9/9

With not having a race until next May, I will have one of my first extended breaks from speed training in the last three years. The speed training for my 2011 event will begin in February. I am looking forward to this time away from running to increase my flexibility and add more strength. I have already begun my biking, swimming, and active rest program. At the end of September, I will be meeting with my trainer and consultant, Juan Ruiz-Tagle, to formulate my 4 month fitness regime to improve my performances and prepare me for the unusual racing in 2011.

Tour of Trust

Sekyen and I took a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard when we returned to the USA followed by a hike up Mount Moosilauke in the White Mountains. I am back on regular sleep patterns and ready to begin my coaching and speaking commitments.

I had the opportunity when I got back to Florida to catch up with our “mental preparation” consultant at www.OneMileRunner.com, Jacqueline Moore, who traveled to our first leg of the “Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes” in Connecticut, US. Please check out our new video that tells how the tour began with “faith” and transformed to “trust.”

We have just received confirmation for our 2011 event. I will be announcing the details of our tour next week. We are anxious to share the exciting news with you!

Finally Back On East Coast Time

We have finally made it back full circle to Florida and E.S.T. After finishing our last race in Townsville, Australia, Sekyen and I flew to Sydney, Australia to celebrate for a few days. Here is a photo from the Sydney Bridge:

Then we flew from Sydney to Los Angeles, CA to meet with one of my sponsors, HeadBlade based in Culver City. Here I met with CEO Todd Greene and Marketing Director Eric Romer. After running around the world in less than 30 minutes, Eric set up a “David Letterman” event and made me run around the Headblade building in less than 30 seconds. It was great fun and the video is posted at www.headblade.com. Here is the direct link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov5M35pkuGo

Then we flew from LA to Phoenix to meet my marketing director and some of my family. And then it was onto to Atlanta to stop into my sponsor, Sigvaris,(www.athleticrecoverysock.com) who is the global leader in the area of compression therapy. Sigvaris was with me on this tour literally every step of the way as I used their Athletic Recovery Socks on every airplane ride and the Sigvaris Performance Sock in every training, recovery run, and race. Their socks are absolutely the best and I thank them for being part of the www.OneMileRunner.com team. I had the opportunity to speak to their management team, take a tour of their operations, and have in interview with their marketing and communications coordinator, Melissa Gwozdz. Here is a photo with Melissa:

After our stop at the Sigvaris headquarters at Peachtree City, GA, Sekyen and I boarded our final flight to Sarasota, Florida. It was an emotional landing as we finally completed our world tour. We are going to spend a few days decompressing at Martha’s Vineyard, MA then onto a hike in NH/Maine. We will stay in the east coast standard time zone for a bit of recovery.

Australian Race

As discussed and instructed before race time, I stayed upright and injury-free during my final leg of “Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes.” Due to my previous five races we thought we had enough time accumulated to enjoy this last continental mile race, so I went out in the first half of the race at about 2:28 and then just cruised into the finish enjoying the sights and sounds of the final 1/2 mile in 5:13.92. With 3 elevated sidewalks to cross over and 5 roundabouts to run through, this flat course had a few obstacles to be careful of as I raced.

The sixth and last race of our world tour took us to the Townsville Running Festival in Townsville, Australia. Townsville is a beautiful spot in northeast Australia that is about a three hour boat ride to The Great Barrier Reef. Here is a photo of Townsville behind me (with majestic Castle Hill in the background of Townsville) on our way snorkeling to The Great Barrier Reef.

The McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival has a marathon, 1/2 marathon, 10K, and a 5K. President of the Townsville Road Runners, Anthony Hockings (in photo above with sign), and Race Director, Brian Armit, were kind enough to stage a special one mile course for me. We were happy to complete our world tour in Townsville, Australia. As you can see in the video, we had trouble with my start of the race, but we finely got things right.

“Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes” was successfully completed in 29 minutes and 25 seconds (34 seconds ahead of our target goal) on August 8, 2010. I know many of you have been asking me about 2011. We are in the planning stages of another world event and we will announce the 2011 event very soon as we confirm locations. For right now, Sekyen and I will enjoy a few days in Sydney before flying back to the States. We stop in to see our HeadBlade sponsor in LA, marketing director in Phoenix, Sigvaris sponsor in Atlanta, and then finally back into Sarasota for a few days of rest on August 18th. Thank you all for your constant support. It has been an unbelievable event that we will always remember.

At www.OneMileRunner.com this fall, we are going to have many interesting blog posts from our Consultants and others as we look forward to sharing new ideas on keeping you “accelerating at any age.”

Asian Race

India was a magical week for us at www.OneMileRunner.com. Seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and giving two speaking presentations, we were busy from start to finish. It was a pleasure to see the boom of Chennai. Construction, business, and development is seen throughout the city. It has changed so much since my days when I lived in Chennai (Madras then) from 1986-91, before the days of the internet, cell phones, and email. I remember it took me two years to get a land line phone in my apartment. Now cell phones connect the country and IT businesses are all over the lands of India.

Our hosts for the week, Savera Hotel, www.saverahotel.com, and O2 Health Studio, www.o2healthstudio.com, both directed by Nina Reddy made our stay for our Asian Race very special. My race took place along Bay of Bengal as it is the second longest beach line in the world. I used to run with my tennis proteges in the deep sands of Marina beach in Chennai. After running up and down the beach for 4.5 years, I was suddenly chased by a crazy bull a few months before I was to leave for the USA. Luckily, I barely got away. The location of this run did bring back memories of me screaming at the top of my lungs back in 1991. This race in 2010, I escaped without disturbing any animals and actually felt in the best race form during our tour of Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes. This is actually the best I can race on a flat, straight course recording 4:35.75 for race #5.

Please check out this video of our Asian stop, I think you will enjoy the warmth of India:

Sekyen and I are currently in Singapore on our way to Brisbane, Australia tomorrow afternoon. Then we fly to Townsville on the 4th of August as we prepare for our final leg of our around the world event. I race on Sunday, August 8th.

I had the great fortune of running tonight with Christy Guna Desa, the friendly concierge manager at the Singapore Marriott Hotel where we are staying. Christy is into marathon running and triathlons and I appreciate his Singaporean hospitality showing me around this wonderful city. Singapore is soon to be hosting the first ever Youth Olympics from August 12-26th. I am sure that the city of Singapore will do a fantastic job in hosting the youths of the world.

O2 Health Studio in Chennai, India

My second speaking presentation took place on August 30th at the Hotel Savera, www.saverahotel.com. This was a fitness talk sharing our new ideas for injury prevention with the audience from Chennai. Not only was Savera Hotel our sponsor for the week, but also the O2 Health Studio, www.o2healthstudio.com.

Nina Reddy, Executive Director of Savera and O2, was an exceptional host. She is a progressive leader seeing the boom of fitness in India before it happened. Below is a photo with Nina and two members of her fitness staff – Dinesh Vallavan and Earnest Vijay.


It was a wonderful evening as the audience was eager to learn new ways to exercise without creating injuries.

Then it was time to race on Saturday morning…race #5 in Chennai, India representing the continent of Asia.

Global Adjustments in Chennai, India

It was great to be back in Chennai, India after a 14 year leave. I worked in Madras (now called Chennai) back in 1986-91 and then returned for a short visit in 1996. But since then, I have not been back to the special lands of India. I could have used the services of my good friend and co-host, Ranjini Manian, when I first came to India in the 80s. Ranjini directs her company as CEO called Global Adjustments Services Pvt. Ltd., www.globaladjustments.com, assisting ex-pats coming to live in India and Indians going to live abroad. Below is a photo with Usha Sridhar of India Immersion and Ranjini Manian of Global Adjustments on the night I spoke at their Chennai location:

Here is an excerpt from my speaking presentation at Global Adjustments on my new book, Creating Amazement.

I wanted to thank all the staff at Global Adjustments. Not only Ranjini and Usha, but also Chandrika Raman, VP of Business Relations, and Anupama Arvind, VP of Sales, and the rest of the extremely hospitable staff.

Thanks also to Sankaran Raghunathan and Sundari Ramakrishnan, Dean and Assistant Dean of The National Management School for attending my presentation and arranging to have my talk webcasted live.

African Race

Sorry that I did not write earlier this week, but I was in the “village” or “bush” in Nigeria unable to get internet services. Sekyen and I just arrived into Dubai on our way to Chennai, India for the Asian Race on August 1st. It was a remarkable week in Nigeria. We flew into Abuja, Nigeria and drove 3 hours to the city of Jos where many of Sekyen’s family reside. The next day we traveled another 1.5 hours to Ampang West, a village in Plateau State where Sekyen’s grandparents live. It is a very rural location where her grandparents still farm today. This was the first time that Sekyen has met most of these people in 25 years since she left Nigeria when she was 6 years old. As you could understand, it was a very emotional time.

We had the opportunity to take a few easy runs in the village as well.

Plateau State is situated in the middle of Nigeria on an elevated plateau providing cool temperatures and quiet living. Recently Jos, Nigeria has been in the news due to ongoing violence troubling the region. This has escalated a military presence and roadblocks. Our event directed by Daniel Mutfwang entitled the “Peace Race” was to use sports as a means of peace in Plateau State. We hope that the region stabilizes in the near future.

On July 23rd, we had the opportunity to present a fitness seminar to the coaches and athletes of Plateau State and check the race course in the hard driving rain. On the 24th, the “Peace Race” took place with many of the good runners from the area. We had the most difficult head wind yet on our trip as you can hear and see in video. Combine this with altitude and my strong cough and I was fortunate to run a 5:07.38 for race #4. We really thank all the participants and organizers of this special race representing the continent of Africa.

We fly to Chennai, India on July 25th evening. I speak at Global Adjustments on my new book Creating Amazement on the 28th and speak at our sponsors at the O2 Gym on my new fitness regime on the 29th. This should be our most humid and hot conditions on our world tour.

European Race

We have had a wonderful week in Symi, Greece. It was indeed a long journey from Argentina, but well worth the trip. Sekyen and I had the chance to take a boat ride around the entire island on Wednesday. The beach and cliffs of St. George were breathtaking. However, I paid for my day of swimming around in the cool crystal clear waters as I had developed a head cold/fever and spent the day before the race just resting. I did walk with the group wheeling out the course and setting up the 1/4 mile markers. This gave me good information to visualize the race over and over as I rested. Being a bit under the weather, I really focused on the task at hand and did not get “lost” in the middle of the race as in Argentina, because I knew where I was at all times. I also took advantage of two downhill spots on this course enabling me to run a 4:29.02. In the past, I have floated on some downhill portions, but today I attacked thinking I need every second before the altitude of Jos, Nigeria. The photo above at the end of the race with me from l to r: Austin Moench (who participated in the race with me as he is on the island for a summer internship with a local doctor), Deputy Mayor Haskas, Symi Visitor sponsor Wendy Wilcox and Dominic Lillicrap.

The video below shows our journey into Athens and Symi, a bit of the race (sorry for the shaky footage), and our cooldown through Tilos Harbor:

It was a special race as the Deputy Mayor of Symi, Ilias Haskas, who I met in Tarpon Springs in 2008. He traveled to Tarpon Springs, FL to establish a sister city connection between Symi and Tarpon Springs. On that evening, I promised the Mayor of Tarpon Springs and Deputy Mayor of Symi that I would take www.OneMileRunner.com to Symi in the next couple of years. So here we are two years later fulfilling our commitment to the sister city connection through athletic and cultural exchanges. Many thanks to Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accomodation www.symivisitor.com, for setting everything up for this European stop. She worked magic on the island during our few days here. Thanks to Nicholas Shum who was the race director for the Symi Mile – he did a great job getting everyone positioned in the correct places so the race went off smoothly. Thanks to Michalis and Fiona Nalkitis (in the photo below) and their son Nick as our hotel sponsor from Hotel Fiona.

We are departing this afternoon after the race as we will catch the boat back to Rhodes and then fly back to Athens for the night before departing the next day for Amsterdam. We fly to Abuja, Nigeria on the 19th evening as we have a speaking presentation on the 23rd and the race in Jos, Nigeria on the 24th.

Getting ready to race in Symi, Greece

We have finally arrived in Symi, Greece where the European race will be held this Saturday the 17th. After a 10 hour plane ride to Atlanta, 9 hour layover, 11 hours to Athens, 6 hour layover, 1 hour flight to Rhodes, and then an hour boat ride to Symi, Sekyen and I got some sleep on the 12th night. Symi is a remote island deep in tradition and history that is adjacent to the Turkey coastline. It is a small island with picturesque views. Symi was chosen due to my relationship with Tarpon Springs, FL as they are sister cities sharing cultural and political events with each other. In 2008, Tarpon Springs was my host city for the 20/20/20<5@45 event and I promised the mayor at that time that I would have an athletic endeavor in Symi in the years to follow. So here we are preparing for our race in July 2010. Here is as photo of Yilos harbor where I will be racing:

Sekyen and I had took a boat ride around the entire island today. We saw one of the most beautiful beaches in the world at the romantic hideaway of St. George. We have found internet access at small cafes in the harbor as we stay connected to the busy world outside:

We look forward to the 3rd race of “Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes” on the island of Symi, Greece at 8am on the 17th. I will post the video and blog of the race immediately after the race as we need to catch a boat to Rhodes, a flight to Athens, and then a flight to Amsterdam before traveling to Nigeria, Africa on the 19th.