July 18th, 2009. Can you imagine signing up for a bus tour with no clue as to where you were going? Then to be let out at a random spot, having to figure out why you were brought there? That is just exactly what the organizers of 'Flux Factory' did to 40 'Fluxers' by bringing them to see the 3,100 mile race.
Jamaica, Queens. The Flux Factory is a 'not-for-profit arts organization supporting innovation in things'. Their latest 'Going Places (Doing Stuff) Part 11 was commandeered by members Jason Eppink and Matt Green. They had read about the 3,100 mile race (the longest certified foot race in the world) in the August 2007 Harper's Magazine article by Sam Shaw, Run like fire once more: Chasing Perfection at the world's longest footrace. Inspired by the race's extraordinary premise of self-transcendence, they got in touch with the Race organizers and Ashrita Furman, breaker of over 200 Guinness World Records, to request Jamaica as their destination and titled the journey Quest for Immortality. Within four hours the July 18th road trip was fully booked.
The 40 fluxers tumbled out of thier bus heralding the long-gone days of decades ago onto the Grand Central Service Road sidewalk, clueless and moorless. As they headed off in the wrong direction, a passing runner hinted they may want to go in the opposite direction. Fortunately they soon found their way to the 3,100 race command post and were taken in hand by Rupantar Larusso, the Race Director, who, with great animation, shared with them the many intracies of running the race. They heard all about blister strategies, second skins, weight loss, weight gain, but it was the Quest for Immortality that really intrigued them. The staggering determination, perseverance, self-transcendence and sheer towering inner and outer strength of the runners stirred their artistic imaginations no end.
And if that wasn't enough, they then surrounded Ashrita as he demonstrated a number of his more wacky and strenuous feats, including piggy backing his friend Bipin around the courtyard and trying to catch iced chocolate coated candies from a 15 foot distance at the summers' height of humidity and heat…. Still holding 100 con-current Guinness Records, Ashrita, along with the runners, has indeed as achieved immortality.