jesseriley wrote: It’s fascinating how Aalto was able to surpass Schwerk’s time after several attempts. I always think there is vast, often hidden, talent for running out there. One must praise the organizers for their vision and belief. They change lives, truly.
It took Aalto more than 10 attempts, and he already had significant multiday experience going into the event before his first 3100 attempt. He just completed the race (winning it in the process) for the 15th time, a staggering achievement in and of itself. To tolerate the summer weather, and not have a single awful day from which you cannot recover is remarkable - to be a back of the packer one must average a minimum of 59.6 miles per day for 52 consecutive days. That is not to say he had no issues; a race this long produces inevitable issues one cannot anticipate. But the fact that Aalto could show up out of shape, run himself into shape, suffer some dehydration (which normally produces several low mileage days after) and other physical ailments, is testament to Aalto, not the ease of the race. It takes extraordinary physical ability, durability, flexibility and mental ease, strong fortitude, and positive disposition to do well. An enormous asset Sri Chinmoy disciples and others who find spirituality in their running who race the 3100 have is finding meaning and purpose through all of the inevitable undulations of the race.
As mentioned before, Schwerk is one of the few over 170 miles for 24 hours (perhaps #2 at the time, but certainly not now). Better stated, he's one of the few over 1000 km for 6 days, and was considered one of Kouros' few credible competitors. Other prominent race competitors included Rimas Jakeleitas, who split 600+ miles for 6 day enroute in a 10 day race in which he was trying to hit 1,000 miles. He came nowhere near Schwerk's mark, and Aalto lowered Schwerk's mark by about 23 hours, producing 40 days 9 hours >> 76.6 miles per day, a staggering feet.
A very recent conversation with the chief Sri Chinmoy statistician and Andy Milroy, both of whom have observed Kouros and the like run, had them agreeing that the limit a runner could likely cover 80 miles per day would be about 1500 miles. When we're discussing distances like these, leg speed matters, but I'm far from convinced that a 2:10 marathoner would do any better than the likes of a Kouros, etc.
The trouble with Aalto is that he really hasn't pursued with any vigor any standard fixed time event, such as 6 days. A few years ago he ran 83X for 10 days (not a standard distance), splitting 53X for 6 days in bad weather and while battling bronchitis. He might pursue it in the future, but it could be argued he's past his physical multiday prime. We honestly don't know - we shall (hopefully) see.