LA-NY Footrace runners make an overnight stop at Northwestern

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LA-NY Footrace runners make an overnight stop at Northwestern

July 20, 2011 

LA-NY Footrace
The LA-NY Footrace, a 70-stage footrace where runners complete approximately 46 miles per day between Los Angeles and New York City, stopped at Northwestern on Wednesday so runners could rest, relax and rehydrate. This race takes place from June 19, to Aug. 27.

LA-NY Footrace Runners
Rainer Koch (center) of Germany, Patrick Malandain of France (left) and Italo Orrú of Italy (right) are three of the eight runners participating in the LA-NY Footrace - a 3,200 mile run from Los Angeles to New York. Making Northwestern a stopping point of their journey, the group arrived from Buffalo on Wednesday, slept for the night at Northwestern and left Thursday morning for Medford. After Medford, the runners will see several Oklahoma Cities including Ponca City, Pawhuska, Oolagah, Vinita and Miami.

Eight runners are taking time to rest in Coronado Hall at Northwestern Oklahoma State University after running 47.5 miles from Buffalo as part of a 3,200 mile footrace from Los Angeles to New York.

The LA-NY Footrace is a 70-stage footrace where runners complete approximately 46 miles per day between Los Angeles and New York City from June 19 to Aug. 27. This is the ninth race since 1928.

Runners experience the climate and various conditions of 14 states beginning in California through Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and ending in New York.

Currently, there are eight participants still running for the LA-NY Footrace title. Of the 14 who began the race there was a female runner (who had the support of a biker) and a 69 year old kick biker.

On a hot northwest Oklahoma afternoon, with temperatures well into the 100s, three runners took comfort in the cool air of the Coronado Hall lobby. Rainer Koch of Germany, Patrick Malandain of France and Italo Orrú from Italy explained their experience thus far of the LA-NY Footrace and how they prepared for such a strenuous run.

Explaining preparations for a run of this nature is a complicated task as it can only be determined individually. Overall, the men agreed that a runner has more difficulty planning for the heat.

“Everything before a race is preparation for another,” Koch said.

“I collect experiences and use them to get through the conditions.”

Koch also said a runner must read about various climates, talk to others and most importantly, try what works for the runner individually.

“There is no main recipe to tell you how to handle things,” Koch said.

Malandain personally ran from Paris to Istanbul to prepare for different climates in preparation for this race.

“Weather is more difficult to prepare for, but I try to find similar conditions to get used to the heat,” Malandain said.

Orrú explained in more detail his idea of training.

He starts out running 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) in two stages, daily. When the training process begins, he starts his training at 6 a.m. with another 6.2 mile run at 2 p.m. Eventually, he increases his distance in preparation for a big race. Another factor Orrú considers is clothing. He tries to run in proper attire for a given climate.

“Weather in Italy is similar to here, but with higher humidity,” Orrú said.

When discussing the trip from Buffalo to Alva, Malandain said that many people wave -something the men are trying to get used to.

Orrú and Koch agreed there are nice stone houses and windmills when entering Alva. They also mentioned the unique water tower with the horse symbol – a landmark you could for miles.

“All of us are working together to get to New York,” Koch said.

The runners agreed that they started together in Los Angeles and wanted to end up together in New York.

Ranking isn’t most important as long as everybody finishes.

“This competition is against ourselves, not each other,” Koch said.

Stage 33, a 51.8 mile run from Alva to Medford, began at 6 a.m. Thursday. After Medford, the group will run through other Oklahoma cities including Ponca City, Pawhuska, Oolagah, Vinita and Miami.

To keep up with the running results of the LA-NY Footrace contestants, visit www.lanyfootrace.com.

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