USA’s Ms. Beckjord Runs Where No Man Has Ever Run
Tuesday, August 14, 2007 (Jamaica, N.Y.) – On Sunday, June 17, at 6:00 a.m. the world’s longest certified race began with 12 starters – eleven men and one woman. Today, the sponsoring Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is proud to release the results of the Eleventh Annual Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. In keeping with our race’s tradition, the results for all runners are announced upon the finish of the last runner, which was this afternoon.
Mr. Asprihanal Aalto, 36, of Finland, set a personal best of 43 days+04:26:32 thus winning the race for the fourth time in seven performances since 2000. His time was third best of all-time with the top two times set by Madhupran W. Schwerk (Germany) who, at age 50, set the world record of 41 days + 08:16:29 in 2006. Schwerk did not compete in this year’s race. This year, Aalto averaged 71.788 miles/day or 115.531 km/day. Next year Aalto aims to run an average of more than 72.9 miles/day to beat Schwerk’s second best time.
Ms. Suprabha Beckjord, 51, of Washington, DC, USA, set a new women’s Master’s World Record with a time of 58 days + 07:54:27, an improvement of some 44 hours over her finish time last year. She averaged 53.149 miles/day or 85.535 km/day. At age 42, Beckjord set the women’s World Record of 49 Days +14:25:37. She is the only woman ever to have attempted the distance and is the only individual to have completed the race all eleven times. Over the 11 consecutive summers that the race has been held, 31 individuals have attempted the distance and 23 have finished one or more times for a total of 73 performances (finishes) since 1997. Beckjord leads with 11 performances. The next best is Aalto with seven performances.
This years 3100 mile race gets under way in five days and the field has a few changes from last year. Missing this year are Wolfgang Schwerk and Hans-Jurgen Schlotter, Sopan and Rathin. The race will be welcoming two newcomers and an announcement will be made shortly listing all the runners. Sopan has a new site dedicated to the 3100 and is worth checking out. The weather in New York has been variable - what a surprise - with high temps and a fair amount of rain so far. The 10 day forecast says a 30% chance of T-storms and then nice weather for the next four days which will give the runners time to settle.
and the youthful Petr Spacil who had such a great race in this years Self-Transcendence 10 day race in New York in April. Also making his first appearance is this years emissary from Australia, Grahak Cunningham.
Ever present is the indefatiguable Supra Beckjord who has run every edition of the race since its inception in 1996 and this years Self-Transcendence 6 day Race winner Ashprihanal Aalto, last years second placer and is surely tryining to topple Madupran's record set in 2006.<p>
The race begins 6:00 am New York time and the weather looks to be in the 80's for the first week, a warm New York welcome for the runners.
And Off They Go...
With a crowd of more than 150 watching, the 11th annual Self Transcendence 3100 Mile Race began in Jamaica, Queens at 6:18 this morning. After a brief meditation by Marathon Team founder Sri Chinmoy, the 12 intrepid runners took their first steps towards their Himalayan goal. Good luck to all!
The Heat beats the feet...or so it was for some of the runners. With temperatures over 90 degrees on the first day and with similar temperatures on the second day, there was not much time for acclimatisation to New York weather. Ayojan and Pranab are suffering from what can be called "too much heat on the first day of a race" syndrome. Upset stomach, lack of energy, slight chill...that's no way to start a race. Ayojan recovered nicely, however, Pranab had to take the easy approach...rest, rest and more rest. By the afternnon of the second day he was up and walking again and by tomorrow he should be back.
What drives these runners to continue on their journey? Is it a desire to achieve some exalted spiritual state of ecstasy? or the dream of reaching satori? or maybe something as simple as...FOOD! Tomorrow meet the people who fuel these pilgrims: the cooks!