Just before sunrise last Friday, in front of the Oz Perlman Engineers Gate is one of the central park’s entrances. Wash your thighs and lower arms with this petroleum jelly, then remove the foot socks. This will not be a typical weekday morning through one of Manhattan’s favorite and most well-traveled grounds.
Dressed in Ukrainian national colors, and wearing two GPS watches to record distance and time, Perlman made his D-Glock snickers and sat down with a few spectators in front of the Ukrainian flag, in the middle of the East Drive. He intends to walk all day and into the night as he tries to break the record of the Central Park Loops, completed in a single day, while raising money to help the homeless Ukrainian children because of the Russian invasion of the country.
Pearlman, 39, who lives in Brooklyn, is known by his stage name, Oz the Magistrate. (Oz rhymes with “clothes.”) He finished third in Season 10 of “America’s Got Talent” in 2015, and has appeared on “Today,” “Live With Kelly and Ryan” and “Ellen.” His long run will be yet another exhibition of minds on the matter.
Perlman, who hopes to break the record, was founded in 2021 by Robbie Belanger, an ultra runner who rose to fame pushing the Multi-D Ultradistance Challenges. In 2019, Bellinger went to the continental United States. Last summer, he completed what he called the Colorado Crash: 1,176 miles of racing and 300,000 vertical feet of elevation achieved in 63 days, the Leadville Trail closed by a 100-mile race.
According to the fastest known time, digital platforms that combine “FKTs” and verify that the letters are both well – such as seven summits – and unambiguous, Perlman will have to do more than just run a mile and a half from Belanger. This will have to complete another full loop.
Although the park itself was built in 1858, the first fastest known time in Central Park was set in 2020 by Aaron Zell Hoffer, who ran 11 loops in just 14 hours. It was just one of thousands of FKTs set up during the epidemic when the races were canceled and racing was looking for new challenges. Many of these records are regional and relatively unnecessary, but this is important to many. Central Park is a global racing destination and is home to more than two dozen species every year. This is where the New York City Marathon ends.
To prepare for the Central Park Loop Challenge, Perlman completed more than 20 miles, usually on the road before or during the show. When he is home in Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and three children, he literally works out, sweating through drop-off and catch-up at school. He has trained in Central Park for almost 20 years and has committed to remembering every turn of the road, every hill and well. “This is the home ground,” he said. “This six-mile loop is my comfort zone.”
But there will be a ticking hour. Central Park is open from 6am to 1pm, and runners are not allowed on the road for five minutes until open. They should be out of the park five minutes before the closing time. It gave Perlman 18 hours 50 minutes to set a record.
At 6:05 pm, he dropped hot. Get up and down, with a speed of less than 7:30 mph. Mike Holovich, a fixture in New York’s ultra-running scene, was his only pacer for the first loop, which he finished in less than 45 minutes. It would be faster if not for a last-minute suggestion from a stranger who insisted on walking two big hills.
Perlman has won the New Jersey Marathon four times and the Hampton Marathon three times. His personal best in the distance of the marathon puts him beyond the reach of the men invited to the Olympic Trials.
“Oz is a true hook breed,” said Holovich. Referring to Perlman’s personal best time at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2014, he said, “You run a 2:23 marathon, it’s running.”
Pearlman wasn’t always up to his feet. He was the least runner-up on his cross-country team in high school, but by that time he was already doing magic shows at the restaurant. He divorced his parents in financial uncertainty after the divorce, he said, and he wandered into magic to enroll himself through the University of Michigan. After college, he was an entry-level analyst for Merrill Lynch and was under the moon as a magician.
He worked in a restaurant on the Upper East Side, had a bar and chatted to his friends at happy times. His world was shaken during his investment banking career when he was hired to perform a ceremony in honor of a Merrill executive. When Perlman replaced a $ 1 bill with several pictures of his fingers at several Benjamins, the boss was impressed, until he found out that Perlman worked for him.
“He said, ‘What are you doing here?’ And I thought, “What am I doing here?”
He gradually moved from standard magic to mentality. “It’s a little more cerebral,” he said. “It’s about trying to understand and thinking of people as a way to reverse engineer. Essentially, I’m trying to plant an idea in your head or get an impossible thought out of your head. From the
He asked me to think of the name of my first crush, a person I had not known for decades, why or didn’t think. He caught it. When he was walking. In 80 miles
After deleting every loop on Friday, he sent a question to one of his 812,000 Instagram followers. One asked, “Does walking help with your mentality?”
“Mentality helps me to walk,” he replied. “If I could get into your brain, I could enter my brain while I was accelerating, digging deep and running.”
The sun climbed from the clouds on its third loop, and its velocity remained as the sky became brighter and the miles shuffled, much to the relief of Holovich and his wife, Kate Pallardi, an elite distance runner and triathlete. They have learned from experience that a slow start usually produces better results in this type of event. Pellardi walked 18 miles with Pearlman tonight, just five weeks after giving birth to her third child.
In total, about 40 runners came out to pace him. In typical New York fashion, most of them just got on the go and joined properly. He spoke happily, and did his best to entertain them all. “It’s the actor in me,” he said. But like Pallardy and Halovatch, he knew that trouble would start at some point, and just 50 miles before, it was hit hard.
“Your brain plays tricks on you,” he said as he finished his eighth loop. “You start to think how much ahead and how long you have, and when doubts arise, they will only eat you up. It’s your mind that told you to count.
After twenty miles, on the 12th loop, his digestion worsened. He was drinking nothing other than jail (he sucked two or three in each lap), caffeine gummies, and orange gatorade. Maybe it took its toll. Or it could be that he worked late at night and only managed four hours of sleep.
He vomited twice and had to find a toilet. His speed dropped from 12 minutes to 12 mph. The color from his face disappeared. He noticed that the bottom of his feet are slippery. His right leg started to shake. His team filled his hat with ice, which he threw on his head to wake himself up. Once his stomach was down, he popped more caffeine gum to keep himself mumbled.
As is often the case with ultra, this period of pain and deep fatigue was pursued by an extended flow state. At the end of his 13th lap, he hit top gear. Turning to the playlists arranged for the occasion, he shouted loudly. His 91st mile was his fastest: 6:43.
Pearlman completed his 16th loop, and 98 miles, at approximately 8:20, to equal the record for the distance to Bellinger. He ran about four hours faster than Ballinger. Two miles later, he hit 100 miles in 14 hours 36 minutes, breaking his 100-mile record for two hours.
When he finished his 17th leap at 9:15 pm to set up the Central Park Loop Challenge FKT, he stopped by to embrace his wife and celebrate with friends who confirmed that her fundraising goal was over $ 100,000. Have done But he wasn’t done. His high-speed players, some of them taught ultra runners, will not let him go home. They insisted he take a few more laps to the new Central Park Loop Challenge FKT, so a few minutes later, he was once again driving uptown.
On his 18th lap, he enjoyed the slow pace and the mountains as they allowed him to walk. His expression was clear that his fellow Pandits were deteriorating. He popped ibuprofen to ease the swelling and soothe the pain, and kept going.
His 19th and final loop was his victory lap. “I told the people, we’re going to end the way we started: strong. And I just went for it.
He was running, going out, often closing his eyes. It was up to his pacers to make sure he stayed on the course, and they did. When he arrived at the engineers’ gate for the last time shortly before midnight on Friday, after running a total of 19 loops and 116 miles, he fell to the ground, happily still alive.
“I had a wonderful day,” he said. “There is no other way to explain it.”
Hillary Swift Contribute to reporting.