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Notes and experiances from the 6-day race
January 5, 2014 at 9:16pm
First of all we would like to thank Laura and Garry Jeanson for their warm hospitality prion to the race and Michael and Kimberley Miller (who also took part in the 72h race) for their warm hospitality after the race! We owe them great gratitude.
On the last couple of weeks of his preparation Yiannis Kouros got a flu during a training in Athens Olympic Complex due to a very cold wind of that day. As the days were passing his health situation became worse and effected a lot his final condition. At the arrival in Phoenix on Dec. 24, one of his baggage with the most important and necessary running gear (racing shoes, basic clothes of every kind and other equipment) did not arrive, resulting to many troubles, wasting time to look for the bag and putting the crew and him in a feeling of frustration. Having only a few days to acclimatize to the extremities of this period weather, plus having the flu going on it was hard to face all these problems without loses.
Seen the track, the night before the race Yiannis was very disappointed as he realized it was bumpy, with lots of small rocks, dust and humidity all around the course -especially near the resting tents where was full of grass. That meant there is no any opportunity to achieve any high performance as he was planning to try to achieve. It is clear that if Yiannis knew the course in details he will never come to waste his effort for non opportunity of hi performance.
The organization was very good and the settings of the kitchen, the electronic control tents arrangement and WC were also well set.
Then, the period of the year with so much cold and humidity during the night and the heat from the other hand during the day time (that forced him to ask for ice to put on his head, in order to avoid sun-stroke) was not ideal, but not promising at all to survive from new flu and other illness created by such weather extremities.
The negative issues did not stop hear. As the race started with so much stress and many goods missing from our staff, one serious problem was created from a member of the crew, who did a mistake in the dosology of Yiannis’s drinks that even from the first day -especially after 20hours a huge edema was created in all his body and especially on his bones, joins and arms that he couldn’t move properly.
Later on more mistakes from another crew member who was unable to find the specific gear that Yiannis was asking, brought him so much frustration and made him so upset that he lost his voice and started to get Pharigitis. After that, there was not even a single moment without coughing for the entire event. All these problems effected his pace and created a general drop of his running tempo.
Many times he was in danger to fall down because of the continues coughing and from sleep deprivation. Actually, it happens twice that he fall down.
In the last night a new trouble came as his nose was bleeding without stop for the entire night.
Despite all these odds Yiannis was focused to complete the race with maximum possible mileage in under such bad conditions for him.
However, on top of that he had to face something that disappointed him a lot. He never expected that the American runner will show such an antisportive behavior with antiathletic spirit, so that he was feeling pleased to see Yiannis suffering. Yiannis told him straight and directly all that he psych-out from his reaction: He told him that it seems he didn’t had a goal to achieve in miles/klms etc. His only goal was to take advantage of Yiannis’ situation to be sick, his lack of sleep and his lack of his running gear-as his bag never came.
His reactions and with the tactic running on his back was based on whatever Yiannis was doing. For istance if Yiannis had decided to stop on 480 mile mark, he would stop just after that mark, and, if Yiannis had decided to stop on 500mile mark, he would stop on 500 plus a few miles more. It was obvious that he was happy to see Yiannis suffering and therefore he was gaining energy from that feeling with antisportive inspiration, considering Yiannis as his enemy and with only whom he had to fight-not for performance. Performance came automatically as Yiannis was pushing to stay up till the last moment, as he did.