Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team
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.
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 mites. 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, Georgs 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 Donald Winkley of Corpus Christi,Texas prevailed with 530 miles.