Still, Waquie looks forward to the race every year, even though he always keeps its organizers in the dark as to when, or even if, he will arrive. Indeed, last week he was somewhat reluctant to commit himself again for this year's race. He remembers arriving for his first, in 1983. "When I stood next to that building, man, I couldn't even talk," he says. "It was hard to believe that this world and my world could exist at the same time."
But each time Waquie has won the race and conquered the skyscraper, it has been a reaffirmation that, for him, the Indian way is better than modern life. He admits he might feel a twinge of longing when he watches the Olympic marathon this summer, but he can take solace in knowing he will probably be running in ceremonial harvest races long after the gold medalist has retired. "Most people stop running because it's hard work that they get tired of," he says. "For me it's fun, but it's also much deeper than that. It's why I'm sure I'll run the rest of my life."