On 19th June, 12 intrepid runners lined up for the 20th edition of the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. Over the next seven and a half weeks, the runners will attempt to complete 3,100 miles - which requires an average of just under 60 miles per day.
The event was founded by Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual Teacher who saw ultra-distance running as an effective way to encourage physical and spiritual self-transcendence.
Last year, Asprihanal Aalto (Finland - lead runner on right in blue t-shirt) set a new course record finishing in a record time of just 40 days and nine hours to complete the 3,100 miles, averaging an astounding 76.7 miles a day. This year he returns to attempt a different record of completing the event for the fourteenth time - which will be one more than ultra-distance legend Suprabha Beckjord. Surasa Mairer (Austria) also returns a year after setting a female record for the event in a time of 49 days 07:52:24.
As well as the 12 runners, there are also numerous organisers, cooks, counters and volunteers who help to keep this unique race in motion over the summer months in Queens, Jamaica.
Start of 3100 Mile Race
This video, by Utpal Marshall captures a small glimpse of the opening moments of the race - the activity and dynamism of the runners and organisers, combined with an inner serenity as the challenge looms ahead.
How to follow the 3100 Mile race
The 3100 Mile Race in the media