Imagining races with 10 – 20 times the distance of what an endurance runner would imagine, is no joke. Doing them, not one, but multiple times is truly jaw dropping. We threw a few questions at Ferenc Szonyi from Hungary, a 333 Km participant at the 6th edition of La Ultra – The High. This is what he had to say about him & his incredible amount of experience.
Q1) Hi Ferenc ! Congratulations on being one of the very few on the start line of La Ultra – The High. For people here in India and our followers around the world, can you tell us a bit about your amazing ultra running / endurance experience ?
Q2) I believe you are the 1st participant at La Ultra to have successfully completed Race Across America (RAAM) in the year 2012, can you tell a bit more about it.
Ferenc – I really thank you for this question, because the Race Across America is a very important part of my life. In 2012 I accomplished the RAAM second time, in that year I rode a special (string)bike, invented in Hungary. The distance was 3000 miles ~ 4860 km, from west coast to east coast. It’s a transcontinental race with lot of monotonous straight roads and lot of very interesting things. A great experience. It’s a hard race, daily more than 500 km, temperature changes between -5 and +40 Celsius, and sometimes the navigation is hard also.
Q3) Tell us a bit more about your RACE MACHINE title, do your fans in Hungary call you that ? Or that comes from the double Ironman, Triple Ironman & the DECA Ironman you have done.
Ferenc – The name “Racemachine” came from 2008, Mexico. I got it from Marcel Nico Heinig, because on the deca-ironman race in the last (420 km) running part my contestants couldn’t run. But I could with a constant speed, lap by lap. He said I run like a “machine”, like a “racemachine”. Then others picked up that nickname, and it spread in the ultra-triathlete community.
Q4) What are the distances in above for each in swimming, cycling & running ?
Ferenc – Not a full list, but the most important races for Me:
- 2008 Mexico, Deca-Ironman 38km swim, 1800km bike, 420km run.
- 2009 Mexico, 10 days — 10 Ironman, new world record, World Champion, Spartathlon 246km run Greece
- 2010 Double Deca-Ironman 76km swim, 3600km bike, 840km run Mexico, RAAM 4860km bike USA
- 2011 Le Mans 24-hours bike race France
- 2012 RAAM 4860km bike USA
- 2013 Italy 30 days – 30 Ironman, 114km swim, 5400 km bike, 1260 km run Milano-Sanremo 282km run Italy\
- 2014 Spartathlon 246km run Greece the sum is 109 Ironman (I attached a picture for this question)