About the author:

Tejvan organises short-distance running and cycling races for the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in his home city of Oxford. He is also a very good cyclist, having won the National hill climb championships in 2013 and finished 3rd in the National 100 Mile Time Trials in 2014.

This is a translation of TV segmen broadcast on Austrian TV 5,000km race ORF TV (deutsch)

For English speakers this is translation

A very special sporting event is taking place in Salzburg - the word’s longest certified foot race. The numbers are hard to comprehend even by sports enthusiasts. Altogether, the participants have to complete 118 marathons within 52 days. A total of almost 5000 kilometres, which means that every day they run about 100 kilometres. Because of Covid19 restrictions, only 5 runners are participating. They run from 6 am to midnight every day.

The race is taking place in a small park in Lehn. Usually, this 5000 k race takes place in New York. Because of Covid-19, it was moved to Salzburg. One of the 5 runners was born here, he started running 20 years ago.

Ushika: “Even during my first few races I discovered that the inner motivation is much stronger than the outer motivation. That means that not the outer distance, or completing the distance, but the realization of inner goals becomes the main goal.”

It is day 32 of this race. An Italian is currently leading, he has already completed over 3500 k, but it’s not necessarily about that;

Priyavadin: “It is about self-transcendence, to grow beyond yourself, to go beyond one’s boundaries and expand the mind's capacity.”
 
Every day the runners are challenged to overcome their inner resistance and grow (go?) beyond themselves.

Nirbhasa: “Today is a very good day because I just finished 2000 miles but the thing in this race it to always stay in the moment. To think of every day and to never think too far into the future and to never think ‘the finish of the race is still two and a half weeks away’. I am still a long way away from finishing so the trick is to be in the moment, be happy and to take every day one by one.”

The runners are treated by an orthopedist (Niko’s father who is the Chief Medical Officer Red Bull Airrace since 2014). To complete 2.5 marathons each day is not only a tremendous physical challenge:
Nikos father: “To wake up every morning at 4am after a very short night, to be at the start at 6am and then with tired muscles and tired legs, start running a marathon, and once the first marathon is completed, to add a second marathon - and when that is completed then to add a half marathon in the evening - the psychological challenge is gigantic…”

And naturally, the feet are challenged as well:

Priyavadin: “I have shoes for Milan and they are always a little too big, he’s slipping out of them in the back, but he likes it when shoes are extra-wide in the front, so I’ve glued a little padding to the back.”

Question: How many shoes are used up on average?

“Depends a little bit on the runner. But I would say about 10-20 pairs of shoes.”

At the aid station, runners receive drinks every lap. They have to consume at least 10,000 calories every day.
Max (in a beautiful, thick Austrian accent): “Most runners have lost between 5 and 8 kilos, but some have only lost one or two. But Andrea, the leading runner, has lost a lot of weight. That’s why we try to feed him a lot.”

And so the Italian receives a family sized pizza every day. This longest race is most likely to end on November 2nd.

Cross-posted from www.srichinmoyraces.org
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The Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race

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