History of the 3100 Mile Race
In this grand test of endurance and survival, a small group of athletes attempt to negotiate 5649 laps of a .5488 of a mile course (883 meters) in the timespan of 52 days - an amazing challange. This is the longest certified footrace in the world (USATF Measurement Certificate NY97024PR Thomas Edison School Course). Runners must average nearly 60 miles per day to finish within the 52 day limit. The serious athlete must have tremendous courage, physical stamina, concentration and the capacity to endure fatigue, boredom and minor injuries.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team emerged as one of the leading pioneers of ultra distance running. This included the 6 and 10 Day Races and the 700, 1,000 and 1,300 mile races.
The predecessor of the 3100 Mile Race was the 2700 Mile Race (held in 1996), in which five runers finished the distance well within the 47 day time limit. Georgs Jermolajevs won in an outstanding time of 40 days. In 1997, Sri Chinmoy, race founder, upped the distance to 3100 miles. Edward Kelley of California won the inaugural 3100 mile race in a time of 46 days, averaging 65 miles a day. Suprabha Beckjord won the Women’s event and has been the only runner to complete every year of the race, from 1997 onwards.
The record for the event is currently held by Madhupran Wolfgang Schwerk of Germany. In 2006, Madhupran completed the race in 41 days 8 hours, averaging 75 miles per day. This broke his own previous record of 42 days 13 hours in the 2002 edition of the race.
The cornerstone of Sri Chinmoy's philosophy is the expression of self transcendence - going beyond personal limits and reaching new levels of inner and outer perfection. Whether it be in the athletic world or any endeavor, for someone to transcend his previous achievements is inner progress and an expression of a new determination, which can only bring us closer to our desitned goal - real satisfaction.
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team offers its best wishes to all the seeker-runners who share a dream of going where few have ever gone. The fourteenth running of the 3100 mile race will be testament to the new horizons of the running world, as 11 brave runners will again toe the line. We wish them good luck and Godspeed.