Picky Sponsorship Blog Series - William Sichel

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Name: William Sichel
Age: 66
Sport: Ultra-running

I started running in April 1992 at the age of 38 with my first ever race being the Hoy Half Marathon that same year. Since that time, I’ve competed in 109 ultra-marathon events, having won 18 of them.

Through the years, running has been a real catalyst for building up my confidence. Before becoming involved in running I was extremely shy and lacked any kind of confidence in public situations. I could never have stood up and given a talk for example.

Very gradually I was able to gain self-confidence through success at sport and in 2006 I gave a short talk to the Sanday Primary School! Since the, I have gone on to give many talks with audiences as high as 300 plus.

Much of the reason I’ve competed to the level that I have is simply personal curiosity and to know how far I can push myself. This is closely followed by pure enjoyment of the sport and wanting to see what I can achieve.

Training for these events gives me a daily structure and I enjoy the feeling of building up to something over a period of time, and then preparing meticulously for a peak performance at that specific event.

This year has had two main events that have proven both challenging and rewarding. I was fortunate to be the first to run the North Coast 500 early in the Summer. I then competed in the Six Days In The Dome race which is a six day race around a 443+ meter indoor track in Milwaukee.

At this race I added almost 60 miles to the World age group 6-day record, running 434 miles. I also set a number of intermediate records at World, British and Scottish level including age groups. This was at least 23 records in total.

Along with a ‘have a go’ attitude and the willingness to try things, I feel that much of my success is due to cross training. Since early on in my running career, I have undertaken additional activities such as weight and mobility training, walking, meditation, swimming and more. I strongly feel this has played a significant part in my longevity.

I’ve recently moved from Sanday to Kirkwall and am delighted that I can now go to The Pickaquoy Centre on a regular basis. The sponsorship has allowed me to continue my cross training and run on the track frequently to maintain my levels of fitness as I prepare for next year’s events.

In addition, I am honoured to have been asked to give a Q&A following the 3100: Run and Become documentary that is going to be shown at Picky on 9 December. The film showcases the worlds longest road race, the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile road race held each year in Queens, New York, that I have competed in twice. I am also the oldest person when, at the age of 60, I successfully complete the race and this record still remains today.

Each year brings with it new goals and challenges. Having the Picky facilities on our doorstep gives us the opportunity to work towards achieving those goals, and I feel very privileged to be a recipient of the Picky Sponsorship programme.