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.
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.
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.
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.
We just flew overnight from Buenos Aires to Atlanta. We leave for Greece in a few hours, so I thought I would post our latest video from Argentina during our layover. Juan Lapadula from Urban Running Tours based in Buenos Aires, www.urbanrunningtours.com.ar, did a great job hosting our one-mile race. He was able to find a flat part of the city where we could run on Saturday morning and Juan organized all the details to make it official. If you ever take a trip to Buenos Aires, please contact Juan so his company can give you a running tour of the city. You will love the way you can see Buenos Aires!
Unfortunately, the “fair winds” of Argentina were in my face and not on my back during this point-to-point race. I ran a 5:07.72 and have now given back the seconds I gained in North America last week. I hope to run better in Symi and gain a few seconds before my difficult races in Nigeria and India.
We had a chance to experience America’s Independence Day in our first race in North America on July 4th and then travel to South America to celebrate Argentina’s Independence Day on July 9th. It was a long trip to Buenos Aires, but well worth the trip. Traveling from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Symi, Greece will take different modes of transportation.
It was 10 hours from Buenos Aires to Atlanta, it will take about 11 hours from Atlanta to Athens, then we take a small plane from Athens to the island of Rhodes, then a boat from Rhodes to Symi. It will be an exhausting couple of days, but I hope to recover from the long travel and find some speed on the island of Symi. I am supposed to race the final mile of their marathon course on the island as it enters into Yilos Harbor.
Time to catch our flight to Athens, Greece on our way to the island of Symi as the European representative in “Around The World in Less Than 30 Minutes.”
Sekyen and I arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina early Tuesday morning. We flew through the night from Atlanta. With only an hour difference in time zones, the time change was not that drastic. We were met at the airport by Juan Lapadula, owner of Urban Running Tours www.urbanrunningtours.com, who is running our event. Juan showed us the race course on Wednesday in Puerto Madero. Buenos Aires translated means “fair winds.” Let’s hope that the “fair winds” on this point to point race will be at my back and not in my face on Saturday morning.
Sekyen and I had the opportunity to train and to check out the beautiful, European style city of Buenos Aires.
We also had the opportunity to be amongst the passion for soccer during the semi-final of the World Cup in South Africa. Even though Argentina had lost earlier (the country was very disappointed), people still entered the plaza to watch the semi-finals on the huge big screen television. We will be on a plane before the final on Sunday afternoon, but we enjoyed being part of the throngs of people supporting and cheering the World Cup.
We race tomorrow morning in the cool temperatures of the Buenos Aires’ winter. Then we take the long trip from Argentina to the Greek island of Symi.
We began “Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes” on July 4th at 11:00am at The Boom Box Mile in Willimantic, CT. It was a hot day in New England and The Boom Box Mile started this year an hour later since July 4th fell on a Sunday. The Boom Box Mile always goes off an hour before the famous Boom Box Parade (which started at noon this year).
Thanks to The Last Mile Racing Management Company (www.thelastmileracing.com) for putting on another superior quality event with their new My Laps Bib System. This new and dependable timing system is state of the art as we no longer need to be lacing up chips in our shoes. The My Laps Bib System has the disposable chip on the back of your race number. There is no need to return the number, no need to return the chip – there is no need to worry. My Laps records your time when your chest crosses the finish line, just as the USATF desires. You will be seeing the new My Laps Bib System at the 2011 Boston Marathon.
I came in third place overall with a time of 4:52.16. Below Kyle Dunnack, one of the owners of The Last Mile Race Management Company, presents me with a commemorative plaque for my world tour:
It was a fantastic way to start our 2010 event! We now travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the South American Race. It is about an 11 hour flight from Atlanta to Buenos Aires. We will try to recover for race #2 as we race in Argentina in 6 days on July 10th morning.
I will post a blog mid-week in Buenos Aires letting you know how we are doing.
We just returned from a wonderful weekend in Atlanta. We picked up our Nigerian visas at the Nigerian Consulate on Friday. Then I attended The MidSummer Music Festival for one of my sponsors, Sigvaris, the global leader in Graduated Medical Compression – their new line of socks can be found at www.AthleticRecoverySock.com. I was doing a “meet and greet” at the expo. I had the opportunity to meet some of the dedicated Sigvaris staff as well (as their North american base is in Peachtree City just south of Atlanta). Here is a photo below at the expo (left to right) with 790 The Zone model Ashley and me with Clay Walker and Melissa Gwozdz from Sigvaris – all donning the Sigvaris Compression socks.
This is our last full week in Florida as we depart July 1st for our “Around The World In Less Than 30 Minutes.” Final preparations are under way. We are excited to get things started in North America on America’s Independence Day!
Just returned from our speaking presentation at Good Earth in Bradenton, FL. Not only were we treated to a wonderful raw foods meal hosted by Lori Johnson, but also we were supported by my Vega sponsor with local representative, Marissa Zaremba, in attendance. It was a great time to share ideas on how to take care of our bodies and minds. Here is a photo of Marissa and I before my seminar:
We ran a time trial half-mile this morning as we practiced the start of the Boom Box Mile on July 4th (race #1 on our tour of the world). I ran a 2:19 half which would be ;great beginning for the race as third quarter is a long incline and will slow you down.
We travel to Atlanta this weekend on behalf of Sigvaris to be a guest at their booth for the Midsummer Music Fest June 19th from about noon-4pm at Candler Park. Please come on out if you are in the area!
We travel out west to film our new website photographs and video at the beginning of May. This new video will give every athlete the proper exercises for injury prevention in their chosen sport. We are excited to share this with our growing audience. You should understand how to warm-up, cool down, and prepare yourself for peak performance. We hope to be able to post this video by the end of May. Also, we will be shooting new photos for our home page and other web pages as we launch our 2010 event, “Around the World In Less Than 30 Minutes” beginning on July 4th in America.
My running portion of my training begins on my return on May 8th. We will be providing weekly reports on the training for our world tour and video and written articles to help you with your speed training. I am looking forward to 8 weeks of training in the Florida heat!