Sri Chinmoy Challenge chosen most extreme endurance race in U.S.

By | Jul 29, 2011

We were grateful to  receive an e-mail from Art Weinstein, webmaster of where he says, “I run a small but rapidly growing website that posts stories of general interest. An  experienced marathon runner posted a story yesterday, the Top 10 Extreme Endurance Races in the United States. The Sri Chinmoy 3,100-mile event came in No. 1.” The following is about the 3,100 Mile Race. For the full article click on

Written by  Michelle Leach

You know the definition of “hardcore” in the endurance racing world has changed when No. 10 on the list is a comparatively “easy” marathon run, completed by some of the slower contenders, in five and a half hours — this following a 112-mile bike ride and 2.4-mile swim in choppy ocean waters. But consider the extreme competition on this list. In one race, you may find yourself hauling 32 pounds of pennies through a cold, rainy Vermont backwoods at 4 a.m. while memorizing Greek text. In another, you’ll run two marathons each day for 50 consecutive days, around the same track, over and over and over again. Given the choice, I’ll gladly pick the Ironman World Championship winding through scenic Kailua-Kona, Hawaii any day.

1. Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race

If you live near Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Queens, New York, and pass by the school track at 6 a.m. on your way to work each morning, you’ll see a group of 10 runners. When you get home, you’ll see that same group of runners — still circling the track. If you were to pass by the track at midnight, there they’d be — the same group — still running! These are obviously special runners, given that over the course of 52 days, they circle this same .5488-mile track in the heat of summer 5,649 times, logging on average 60 miles daily. Some runners go through a dozen pairs of shoes. Even those who find the Badwater Ultramarathon a breeze might have a hard time swallowing the sheer monotony of rounding a half-mile city block day in and day out for close to two months. But for these runners, many of whom are followers of Indian spiritual leader and race founder, the late Sri Chinmoy, running provides an opportunity to overcome their preconceived limitations — what Chinmoy called “self-transcendence.” Like a lot of the races on this list, this, the world’s longest footrace, is less about physical strength and more about pushing the limits of what is possible.



6. Race Across America

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