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Big Dreams: The Road to 1000 Miles

Aum Has Big Dreams

I walked through the streets of El Salvador days after finishing a six-day event at Across the Years. Still processing the events that unfolded over 122 hours, the brain fog was real. By day, exploration of the central American country’s streets kept me occupied. By night, I focused on building Run Tri Bike, which continues to grow at an exponential pace. Every moment in between, I wondered if that was me who just did that. 301 miles on my feet felt ridiculous. Six years ago, I could barely run a quarter of a mile. Now, the rest of the year’s schedule is waiting. The year is finally here, and it’s bigger than I could have ever imagined. Since I quit drinking in 2021, I decided I would choose big dreams for myself. I want to make myself, my loved ones, and my sponsor Merrell proud. Now it’s time to show up. 

I Laid in the Bed of my Hotel Room 

Weeks after finishing my first 100-mile race in April of 2021, I laid on the bed of my hotel room, head spinning. Drinking on the evenings of a civil engineering work trip was a normal occurrence. There’s some recollection of puking, also a normal occurrence when you’ve had five Saki bombs and mixed. At that moment, I decided I never wanted to feel like this again and begin down my path of sobriety. The world of ultras opened my eyes to the possibility of facing my demons head on. I wanted to be better in every aspect of life and keep moving towards that light. Having heard of 200-mile races, I opened myself up to the possibilities. A 100 seemed impossible at first. What about three 200-mile races in one calendar year? 


One Step at a Time

That night in June, I hit the register button. A lot has changed since then. Now in 2024, the time has finally arrived, and the journey has been nothing close to what I would have expected. This year, with Across the Years finished, I have 300 racing miles. A finish at Antelope 100 and the Triple Crown positions me for 1000 racing miles in one year, including a grand slam of four 200+ mile events. Honestly, it was scary then, but it’s even scarier now. One event at a time and one step at a time. To get through this, I have to stick to my core principles: push my limits, give back to the community, and lift others up. In addition to that, I have to keep failing big and showing up every day for my big dreams. 

The Road to Antelope 100

The road to Antelope 100 – which takes place in early March – has been a rollercoaster. On the mental side, I didn’t feel like myself again until the calendar was into February. On the physical, my body revolted periodically, even with the slow ramp up in training. Random bouts of cold sweats and hot flashes occurred. My aerobic pace had fallen off a cliff. Even into mid-February, I dealt with residual back pain. Back tightness was a constant challenge during my six-day race, which was all on flat and hard terrain. As the end of February arrives, I have stacked together a solid 4-week training block thanks to the support of my amazing coach Peter Mortimer and dietitian Kim Krapcha

We Get to Do This 

Pete made his goals for this training block clear. He wanted me to listen to my body and did not believe I needed any major long runs due to my aerobic fitness from Across the Years. Our goal was to build overall fitness and maintain my current aerobic capacity. Each week included a speed workout, a hills day, easy runs, and semi-long runs for time. The last three weeks have made training feel like a privilege again. Determined to build a stronger running body, I am supplementing my training weekly with strength and mobility. Days of mental fatigue were equalized by days where running without headphones felt like a true privilege. Last week, I did a run in the mountains and found my balance again through gratitude. After all, we get to pursue these big dreams. 

The Count is Back to Zero 

Life is tough and only getting tougher, Run Tri Bike is growing at a rapid pace. Training is ramping up quickly. Antelope 100 makes me nervous because of the 30-hour cutoff and the sandy terrain. The 100-miler historically has a 30% completion rate. Personally, I did not finish Antelope 100 in 2022, my first DNF. Today, I’m a different athlete and person. What happened in the past doesn’t matter when you’re chasing growth and big dreams. The road to 1000 miles continues and the count is back to zero every time we toe the line. 


Aum has Big Dreams.
Aum Gandhi Run Tri Bike Magazine Co-Owner

Aum Gandhi is a social media manager, content writer, and co-owner of Run Tri Bike. An active ultrarunner, Aum has a palpable love for the sport and the trail community. His purpose in all his professional and personal activities is to inspire others by leaving a positive impact. Aum maintains a personal blog on his website in which he shares both his running exploits and features of energizing endurance athletes to all audiences. In his free time, you’d probably catch Aum reading, crewing at races, playing video games, out on the trails, or watching NBA Basketball.