Andrea Marcato wins the World's Longest Race
On Sunday 17 October, Andrea Marcato won the 2021 Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile in a superb time of 42 days plus 17 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds. The time placed him as the third fastest runner of all time. Even more remarkable is how during the race he was able to increase his daily mileage totals towards the end of the race - running 30 consecutive days of 70+ miles.
On the final day, he ran 76 miles, to finish towards the end of the day. After nearly 43 days of running 16 hours a day, he was inspired to run very fast the last few laps to beat the previous 3rd best runner by just one minute 21 seconds. Andrea reported feeling unaware of his body for these last momentous laps, a reflection of the real self-transcendence runners can achieve during the race. It was Andrea's second consecutive first place in the race, and 18 hours faster than his previous time in the 2020 Salzburg edition. In an interview, after the race, he explained why he wanted to do the race and paid tribute to his helpers:
“It is a drive that you feel from within. Once you do it there is this inner call.”
“Without my helpers, I would not be able to perform at that level. Definitely I could finish the race, but not in this way.”
To Andrea, like other runners, the race was as much about the inner challenge as the physical feat.
“The inner part of the race, somehow I realized that the race for me was already done. It was meant to be like this. When you struggle in the race you think it is about you, and your effort. But in the end I realized it was already meant to be like this. The inner part already knows in advance what is going to happen.”
Marcato a student of Sri Chinmoy, grew up in Lughetto, a suburb of Venice in Italy. He currently works in a vegetarian food factory in Zurich, Switzerland. To complete the race he had to eat about 10,000 calories per day in small portions while running or walking. He did not take a nap but ran almost continuously for 18 hours per day. He went through 15 pairs of running shoes and consumed over 10,000 calories a day. He ate an alkaline diet of avocados, watermelon, mandarin oranges, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, steamed vegetables. Despite consuming 10,000 calories he lost 10kg during the race.
The Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race started on September 5 and continues until October 26. The contestants each have 52 days to complete the race. To meet their goal of 3100 miles (4989 km) in 52 days, the participants must log an average of 59.6 miles per day - more than 2 marathons. This adds up to a total of 118 marathons in succession. The race has been described as the "Mount Everest of ultrarunning".
However, more than 4,000 people have reached the summit of Everest since 1953. Only 49 have completed a 3,100-mile race in 24 years.
Seven elite runners from seven countries took up the challenge in the world’s longest certified running race.
The only woman competitor 46-year-old Harita Davies (USA), who was born in New Zealand, will finish the race late in the evening on Monday, October 25 if she keeps up the pace.
Taiwanese runner Lo Wei Ming (58) is expected to finish second on Saturday, 23rd October. He runs in sandals, is known as a rock star in the running world of Taiwan. Vasu Duzhiy (Russia) is in position to finish third. Takasumi Senoo (Japan) is hopeful to finish on Day 52, the final day of the race. The other competitors are Stutisheel Lebedev hailing from Ukraine and Ananda-Lahari of Slovakia.
The 25th Annual 3100 Mile Race is taking place on a 0.5488 mile loop around Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School (165-65 84th Ave). The 3100 Mile Race was initiated by Indian born spiritual teacher, athlete and musician Sri Chinmoy in 1997. Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) himself participated in many marathons and ultra-races. He described the benefit of a multi-day race in the following way: "Self-transcendence is the only thing a human being needs in order to be truly happy. So these races help the runners tremendously, although outwardly they go through such hardship. Eventually, when the race is over, they feel they have accomplished something most significant."
Top 5 Finishers of all time
1. 40:09:06:21 Ashprihanal Aalto,44,Finland
2. 41:08:16:29 Madhupran W. Schwerk,50,Germany
3. 42:17:38:38 Andrea Marcato,39, Zurich SUI (Italy) (2021)
4. 42:17:39:59 Galya V. Balatskyy,43,Ukraine
5. 43:10:36:39 Grahak Cunningham,35,Australia