Ongkar Tony Smith


As most of you know our good friend Ongkar passed away in February of this year.   Many of today's runners who have run at Tooting before will fondly remember his total commitment in making sure that this race worked like clockwork.

With his usual smile and humility he would always say that the event worked because we had a good team making it work.   However, someone had to recruit and motivate the team to share the vision he had of putting on a great 24 hour race.

Having known Ongkar for the best part of 28 years I can tell you he wouldn't want a race held"in memorium" or for us to feel sad today, whether you knew him well or had never met him.   He would want us to be happy and"get on with it"! So let's make it a real celebration of the spirit of ultra-running and encourage each other to bring out some good performances.   That's what would make him happy!  

He used to feel anyone embarking on a 24 hour event was setting out on a journey of two parts.   The outer race of laps, numbers and figures which fade away; and the inner race of dreams and determination, highs and lows and the bad patches and good spells.   Ongkar could see and feel what the runners were experiencing because he had been there himself.

So for those of you that knew him, remember him with a smile as you circle the track.   I'm sure he will be here in spirit today keeping an eye on us all with that huge smile he always had.

Thank you Ongkar Tony, you made this race happen!
Thank you Shankara for continuing the tradition!

Tarit Adrian Stott