Transamerica Footrace from Los Angeles to New York

Posted: June 18, 2013 by smrtnsasy in Race Reports
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

An article from The New York Times about the 1992 TransAmerica Footrace.

RUNNING; After 2,935.8 Miles, Warady Is First to Finish Line

By ROBERT McG. THOMAS Jr
Published: August 23, 1992

Looking every bit as fresh as someone who had just run 2,935.8 miles in 64 eight-hour days, 35-year-old David Warady breezed into Central Park yesterday morning to claim victory in the first Tour de Tired, or, to use its offical name, the Runner’s World Trans America Footrace.

Warady, one of 28 ultramarathoners who left Huntington Beach, Calif., just south of Los Angeles, on June 20, was one of 13 survivors who made it to the finish line at Columbus Circle after traversing 13 states in stages ranging from 30 to 60 miles, in conditions that included temperatures of 120 degrees and mountainous climbs at 12,000 feet.

“I feel great,” said Warady, whose time of 521 hours 35 minutes 57 seconds (21 days 18 hours) became the foundation record for what the organizer, the Ultra Marathon Runners Association, and the chief sponsor, Runner’s World magazine, hope to make an annual event. Kept a Steady Pace

Warady, a computer programmer from Huntington Beach, won only 10 of the race’s 64 stages, but his steadiness had built up such a lead that his victory had long been virtually assured. He coasted through the last stages of the event, finishing almost 6 hours ahead of his nearest competitor, 32-year-old Milan Milanovic of Switzerland (527:16:21), who won 14 stages.

The race’s youngest competitor, Tom Rogozinski, 22, of Pittsburgh, who led the race for six days in Kansas and Missouri before developing a stress fracture and who led the field with 16 stage victories, was third (528:48:54). Richard Westbrook, 45, of Jonesboro, Ga., was fourth (537:33:04).

The Trans America was the nation’s first coast-to-coast race in more than 60 years, and among those who gathered to greet the finishers was 85-year-old Harry Abrams, the only survivor from the immediate predecessors, the 1928 Bunyon Derby from California to New York and the New York-to-California derby in 1929.

“This is the very spot where we began the 1929 race,” said Abrams, who did not fail to tell Warady of his own peak achievement: running 70 miles in 10 hours, an average of 7 miles an hour. By contrast, Warady averaged 5.6 miles an hour over the entire race.

Based on pre-race expectations, the victory by Warady, whose longest previous run had been 300 miles in a six-day race, was something of a surprise.

In part, Warady’s victory reflected a series of successive disasters that struck other competitors, including the pre-race favorite, 46-year-old Al Howie, a Scottish-born resident of Canada who had set a record in a trans-Canada run in 1991. Howie was forced out of the race after seven days when he developed severe blisters running through the Mojave Desert.

Warady’s main advantage, however, was his own meticulous preparation and the exclusive services of his own full-time crew: his wife, Kelly Babiak, who quit her job so she could accompany her husband in a minivan, providing him with liquids at three-mile intervals and with peanut butter and banana sandwiches two or three times a day.

While the other runners slept in sleeping bags and on cots in churches, community centers and the like — at one point camping out in the open beside a Utah highway for two successive nights — Warady stayed with his wife in the comfort of motels.

Thank you to The Atlanta Journal and Constitution: Image

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/23/sports/running-after-2935.8-miles-warady-is-first-to-finish-line.html (original article)

David Warady //

I will personally attest to Tom’s toughness. Without a doubt, in my 20 years of racing, Tom Rogozinski and Richard Westbrook (4th in TA) were the toughest runners I’ve ever competed against.   Rogo’s 8hr, 59 mile stage, might be the most incredible individual effort in the 1992 TransAmerica race.

Comments
  1. Kimberly Kahle says:

    That is absolutely amazing! It is hard to believe that there are people out there strong enough to accomplish this. I have been interested in extreme sports and often wonder what drives some guys to do what they do, considering the dangerous risks they are taking. This is in a whole other realm. Not only do you have to physically be able to to do this, but the mental capacity is very admirable. Way to go and complete congratulations!!!!!

  2. David Warady says:

    @Kimberely: There’s many different reasons we take on challenges like TransAm. For me, it was the opportunity to test myself against extreme conditions, to see how far I could push my limits, to see how well I had physically conditioned myself over a 14 year running career. I never really saw the beauty of the USA until my ex & I drove back to California after the finish in New York. I was too focused on completing each days run, putting in the least effort possible, trying not to dig into the reserve tanks until I absolutely had to. Richard is very lucky to be able to continue his running over the years. Arthritic hips slowed me to a stop less than 5 years later. A “stop” from running, BUT NOT a stop from challenging myself and living life to the max. I just turned to different arenas & kept pushing the envelope elsewhere. That’s just what guys like Richard and I do. We try to take advantage of every living minute, and not waste the precious time we have on this Earth. Hope this gives you a slightly different viewpoint from another extremist’s perspective. David

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