Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team

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The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team was founded in 1977 and soon began offering running races for the public. The first ultramarathon was a 24-hour event in 1980. Today the Marathon Team worldwide offers hundreds of races at all distances, including the world's longest certified race - the 3100 Mile Race. Sri Chinmoy has set a high standard for all his running races and activities to help participants achieve their greatest potential. He says, "Try to be a runner, and try all the time to surpass and go beyond all that is bothering you and standing in your way. Be a real runner so that ignorance, limitations and imperfections will all drop behind you in the race." Sri Chinmoy has been invited to open several global sporting events with meditation, including the Pan American Track and Field Masters Championships in Puerto Rico,1980; the World Masters Games in Puerto Rico,1983; World Veteran Games in Melbourne,1987; the Senior National Olympics in the USA,1992, The New York Games, 1991-1995, and in 1996, the Rome City Marathon. Sri Chinmoy received the Fred Lebow Award for his contributions to the world of running.

First 1000 mile race

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team held a 1000 mile race in the spring of 1985, and later in the year held the first Sri Chinmoy Five Day Race at Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, which tasted for three consecutive years and led to the Seven Day Race, the forerunner of todays' Ten Day event. The first Five Day Race featured 15 competitors as did the first Seven Day Race. By 1995 the longer event grew to 34 starters. The quality of the competitions and performances has been outstanding considering that a race of this length is usually a test of individual survival. In the inaugural Seven Day Race in 1988, Marty Sprengelmeyer of Davenport, lowa narrowly beat women's winner Suprabha Beckjord of Washington,DC. 527 miles to 521 miles. In 1990 ultra legend Al Howie set a new record of 530 miles. The following year Charlie Eidel of Gardiner, NY ran 550 miles for a new course record, while Suprabha Beckjord ran 523 to claim the women's record again. Suprabha won the Seven Day five times for the ladies. In 1994 Antana Locs of Canada won the Seven Day overall with 518 miles Georgs Jermolajevs came all the way from Latvia to win the Seven Day Race in 1995, in record-setting fashion, running 578 miles, while England's Pippa Davis finally laid claim to the women's title as she ran 525 miles. In the 1996 inaugural Ten Day Race, Jermolajevs again fashioned a victory with 725 miles, but was hard pressed by Dipali Cunningham of Australia, who garnered 723 miles for the ladies. In a smaller field in 1997 veteran Don Winkley of Corpus Christi, Texas prevailed with 530 miles.

The birth of a legend

In the summer of 1996, six runners toed the line on a flat paved course around a park and a school in the neighborhoods of Jamaica, Queens, New York. Finally the vision that Sri Chinmoy had had was becoming a reality as the The worlds' longest race, the Sri Chinmoy 2700 Mile Race was born. The race lasted 47 days, with a remarkable five finishers out of six runners. Georgs Jermolajevs of Latvia again prevailed, setting new world marks for 3000km and 4000km as well as 2700 miles, in 40 days 11 hours. Suprabha Beckjord of Washington,DC finished first for the women in 43 days, one hour. In 1997 Sri Chinmoy increased the world's longest certified race to 3,100 miles, hoping the runners would again transcend their capacities and inspire the running world . Edward Kelley of Huntington Beach,Ca. won the race in 47 days, 15 hours, even running an additional 7 miles to reach the magical 5000 km barrier. Suprabha Beckjord followed Kelley two days later to finish the 3100 miles as the first woman ever to run that great distance in a certified race. 1998 saw Istvan Sipos of Hungary smash the 3100 record in 46 days, 17 hours. Miss Beckjord repeated as women's champion with another sterling effort in 49 days, 14 hours. In 1999, in the heat of a record hot July, Edward Kelley won the 3100 mile race in 48 days, 12 hours. Suprabha Beckjord also completed the distance for the third time. 2000 had only four starters, but also the youngest finisher in Asprihanal Aalto, a 29 year old Finn who dominated the race in 47 days, 14 hours. Beckjord again finished, making it four in a row. Rimas Jakelaitis, a native of Lithuania, set a new 1300 mile world best time of 16 days+00:28:10 in another remarkable performance at Wards Island Park.

In 2001, Dipali Cunningham from Australia returned to break the women's six-day road record with 510 miles. Ultra pioneer Ted Corbitt, 82, astounded the world by running 303 miles, an octegenarian record that exceeded the previous record,his own, by 63 miles. Rimas Jakelaitis set a new 10 day event best of 901 miles as the field for the two events swelled to 59 runners. A month later, Ashprihanal Aalto repeated his 3100 mile victory in 48 days 10 hours. Suprabha Beckjord continued to amaze with her fifth finish in a row. In the last race of 2001, Paula Mairer reset the women's 1300 record with an astounding performance of 17 days,21 hours, breaking Sandra Barwick's ten year old record.

Madhupran Wolfgang Schwerk rewrote the record books in 2002 with an amazing 3100 mile race of 42 days+13:24:03- some four days under the previous record. In all, Schwerk broke 74 marks for miles, kms and days throughout. In the fall of 2002, Paula Mairer broke two women's world bests-1000 km and 700 miles, both marks set in 1991 by Sandra Barwick, in the 700 mile race of the Ultra Trio.

Dipali Cunningham has maintained an unbeaten record in the 6 day race winning every race and several times won the race outright. In the womens 10 day race Slovakian Kaneenika Janakova won the womens race from 2008 to 2011 inclusive and came second to Sarah Barnett in the 2012 race after a closely run race finishing just 5 miles apart.

The races held by the SCMT are notable for their international quality, great vegetarian food, tremendous support from the race counters, crew and organisers.

Ultramarathons are held throughout Europe, North America and Australasia whilst shorter races including 2 mile events are held in many cities around the world.