Doug Ulman, a three-time cancer survivor whose story appeared Oct. 22 in The Sun, wrote this report yesterday after running the first day of the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race in Sandakphu National Park, India.
Ulman, 22, originally planned to run only the Mount Everest Challenge Marathon -- the third stage of the five-day race. Now he hopes to cover the full 100 miles.
Ulman is a member of a team of able-bodied and disabled athletes sponsored by World T.E.A.M. Sports, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing diverse groups together through sports.
He is calling home, sometimes using a satellite phone. His mother, Diana Ulman, is posting the dispatches on the Web site of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
I DID IT! I MADE IT!
I'm perched on a mountain looking out at Mount Everest and the biggest mountains in the world. I did 24.6 miles in six hours and 48 minutes. I hurt all over.
This is so incredible!!! I went through every emotion possible I was crying with joy, and I was crying, thinking, "What in the world am I doing here?"
I am so happy that I made it.
Steve [Newman] made it in five hours and Smith [Maddrey] came in in six hours, 15 minutes. Tim [Mackie] and Shivanand [Manthalkar] aren't in yet.
They have an index that factors in the difficulty of the run, similar to the wind-chill factoring in weather reports, and they say that this is equivalent to a 36-mile run.
I believe it.
The first nine miles of the run went from 6,000 feet elevation to 10,000 feet. Then the next four miles were fairly flat. And the last eight miles went straight up.
It was all rock -- no dirt. My ankles and knees hurt. It was just amazing -- like nothing I ever could have imagined. Cows were running at me, and I just ran right through them. And people from the villages came out to cheer and clap as we went by.
This is the friendliest country in the world. The countryside is so green and lush and beautiful. The sun is going down now, and it's cold. I have all my gear on. It was hot, about 85 degrees, during the day. The clouds are floating by. We're at cloud level.
I've got to tell you -- this is nothing like running from the house to Centennial Park. It's not even anything like the Appalachian Trail. I'll call tomorrow.