Hassan Esufally has come one step closer to achieving his goal of becoming the first Sri Lankan to complete a full marathon in all seven continents of the world when he recently successfully completed the world-famous Boston Marathon.
“This marathon was by far the most brutal conditions I have ever run in,” Esufally says. “It was so cold that I had to get an aluminium foil blanket and chew on it to stop my teeth from chattering. It was unbelievably windy and every step felt like I was pushing against a wall. I was completely drenched before the race even started – my shoes and socks were wet and my clothes were soaked.”
The 2018 Boston Marathon, held on April 14, is described as an epic one in its 122 year history, for its grueling weather and running conditions. This year’s Boston Marathon saw around 30,000 registered runners from 94 countries brave 10 miles per hour headwinds and 38F cold at the starting line, which got progressively worse as the race wore on. Runners faced continuous pelting rain, which sometimes turned to hail, throughout the race.
Esufally, like hundreds of other runners, was forced to seek medical attention during the race to avoid hypothermia. Having received brief medical attention at the 35km and 40km marks, Esufally kept going, pushing through the cold, the pain and the urge to quit the race.
“One of the things that got me through was the mantra I kept repeating to myself ‘I am an IRONMAN’ – that I had succeeded at the hardest sporting event in the world,” Esufally says. “That I could do anything I set my mind to. However, there was no training or preparation or previous experience for what happened at the Boston marathon! I just kept repeating this mantra and kept pushing that is all I could do. Looking back, I think these are the moments that define who you are, when it is tough, when you want to quit but you don’t. If you want success badly enough you push on.”
Esufally’s determination ensured he completed the race and carried the Sri Lankan flag over the finish line on yet another global marathon.
“I’d like to thank my wife, my family, my coach, the BWH marathon team and my Boston community, my sponsors : Dhow Ventures, Commercial Bank, MSL Group, Wijeya Newspapers Ltd, Revival Physical Medicine Centre, and SriLankan Airlines for all their support “
Completing the Boston Marathon notches up the fourth continent in Esufally’s drive to complete a marathon in each continent, which will enable him to join a unique and exclusive club of the world’s greatest marathon runners – the 7 Continents Marathon Club™. Esufally would become the first Sri Lankan to be admitted to this exclusive club of elite global runners.
In addition to the Boston Marathon in the North American continent, Esufally has already completed marathons in the continents of Europe (Stockholm Marathon in June 2017), Asia (Colombo Marathon in October 2017) and Australia (Melbourne Marathon in 2014 and 2016) and this year he aims to also compete in the Big Five Marathon in South Africa, the INCA Trail Marathon in South America and the Antarctic Ice Marathon in Antarctica in December 2018.
The 7 Continents Marathon Club™ is an exclusive club of elite marathon runners who have completed some of the most grueling marathons in the world. At present, there are only 271 members worldwide, 212 male and 59 female members. The Club is exclusive and reserved for athletes who are carefully vetted to prove they have run a marathon within the Antarctic Circle on the Antarctica continent, as well as on the other six continents.
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