***April 13 Ultra History/ News***
On this day in 1964 someone who would go on to become one of the most prolific ultra visionaries/ organizers arrived in the USA. Sri Chinmoy, a native of what is now Bangladesh, founded the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team (despite the moniker, much more known for their long ultras than marathons) in 1977, and a 47 mile Birthday Run was held in 1978.
Early 100 mile and 24 Hour events orchestrated by “Guru” and his Team saw various US and world records (these include Yiannis Kouros’ first forays up over 176 miles in 24 hours, Rae Clark’s STILL standing US 100
mile mark of 12:12:19, Ann Trason’s then-24 hour mark, etc.). Sri Chinmoy passed away in 2007, but his Team continues to put on all sorts of races in over 20 countries, from 2 mile “sprints” through super-long
ultras, triathlons, ocean swims, track meets, etc. The Team have organized over 100 multiday races in the USA alone.
One of the best-known of their many international races gets underway in just 6 days time (high noon on Monday April 19– Patriots Day) in historic Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in NYC. The Self-Transcendence
10 and 6 day races will again attract deep international fields including Germany’s ageless (now 57) Achim Heukemes, the even more ageless Ukrainian distaff star Pratishruti Khisamoutdanova (67 and still going strong), women’s world record holder Dipali Cunningham, and runners from at least 19 countries. According to my research, THIS IS the USA’s MOST INTERNATIONAL ultra. Some of those representing the USA will be ultra vets John Geesler, super 73 year olds Don Winkley and Marv Skagerberg (winner of 1985 trans-USA race– by 16 minutes!), very fast 50 year old David Holt of Massachusetts and very slow 50 year old Mark Dorion of Texas (former college rivals), multiday vet Bob Oberkehr, and Company.
This week’s well-attended celebrations in Queens remember Sri Chinmoy and all his contributions to the athletic world, and include a 12 hour race walk and a competitive marathon that took place this past Friday
(won in a good 2:45, with prolific ultrarunner Arpan DeAngelo running 3:28 and Dipali C. 3:33 as a tune-up for the NY 6 day).
I will post specific info. on links to the 10/ 6 Day race website/ race phone/ blogsite/ etc. in a few days. For starters one may check out — www.srichinmoyraces.org
Is the heart
Of a new journey.” –Sri Chinmoy
Best wishes to all ultrarunners,