Doug Ulman, a three-time cancer survivor whose story appeared Oct. 22 in The Sun, dictated this report yesterday after running the Mount Everest Challenge Marathon on the third day of the five-day Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in northern India.
Ulman, 22, originally planned to run only in yesterday's event. Now the Columbia resident hopes to cover the full 100 miles.
He 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 his dispatches on the Web site of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, which he created to help young cancer patients.
"We're at the highest point of the run, I think, and the most difficult point," Ulman said Friday, the second day of the race, from Sandakphu, India. "We are all walking together. It is very cold, about 25 degrees. The last 5 miles were hindered by the clouds rolling in, and running in the clouds made it very hard to breathe."
Here's his latest dispatch:
RIMBIK, India. Saturday.
Well I did it!!! I ran 29 miles in 8 hours.
I have got to tell you that the human body, the human will, and the human spirit are incredible tools. When I got up this morning I didn't think I could do it at all. This has been AWESOME.
I'm calling from the Sherpa Lodge in Rimbik. We are sleeping here tonight. It is very warm here, as we traveled down about 4,000 feet today. I feel fine -- just have really bad blisters on my feet.
We went through villages that have no roads. The people see very few outsiders, and they were so excited to cheer for us as we ran through.
We saw a large group of children -- maybe as many as 100 -- playing soccer on a huge soccer field, so we stopped there and played with them for about 15 minutes. They were really pretty good. We had so much fun with them. We took pictures. I gave one of the boys my FILA hat. He was thrilled.
We ran through such beautiful areas of green vegetation. There were streams and waterfalls everywhere and paths leading down to a large bridge over the big river. We saw cornfields and farms terraced into the hills. We also saw dirt soccer fields all over.
And again there were animals everywhere -- roosters, yaks, horses. There just aren't words to explain what this is like.
I'll call again later. I just can't believe I'm here.