Retired Marine Corps SSgt Heber Meraz takes a closer look at the world’s longest certified foot race which covers almost 5,000 kilometers around a single New York City block.
Held each year since 1997, the so-called ‘Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race,’ created by Sri Chinmoy, entails running almost 5,000 kilometers around a single extended block in Queens, New York City, over the course of more than 50 consecutive days. A retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and keen marathon runner from Hartford, Connecticut, Heber Alonzo Meraz uncovers further details of the event, currently the longest certified foot race in the world.
“The Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race, in which runners must complete all 3,100 miles within 52 days, has been described by The New York Times as the Mount Everest of ultramarathons,” reveals Meraz.
The record for completing the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race is held by Ashprihanal Aalto, finishing with a time of 40 days, nine hours, and six minutes in July 2015. “The previous record was held by Madhupran Wolfgang Schwerk who had completed the event in a time of 41 days, eight hours, and 16 minutes,” adds keen marathon runner Heber Alonzo Meraz.
Since 1997, the incredible race has been won by runners from countries including Hungary, Finland, Russia, Serbia, Australia, Ukraine, and the United States. Current record holder Ashprihanal Aalto, from Finland, has participated 15 times, winning on nine different occasions.
Only runners with proven ultramarathon experience may compete, running for up to 18 hours each day, and changing direction every 24 hours, according to Meraz. “The race was originally created by Sri Chinmoy,” he explains. An Indian spiritual leader, he was, says Meraz, an advocate for athleticism, including distance running.
“Sadly, Chinmoy passed away from a heart attack at his home in Jamaica, Queens, not far from where the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race takes place each year, on 11 October 2007,” he adds, wrapping up.
Heber Alonzo Meraz has previously written at length about the health benefits of running, the world’s biggest marathons, and his own local marathon event, the Hartford Marathon, held each year in Hartford, Connecticut.
Meraz has also explored the world’s oldest annual marathon and the world’s toughest endurance races, as well as opening up about the latest maritime industry innovations, his American Red Cross Lifesaving Award, his Connecticut General Assembly citation for lifesaving, and the incredible ongoing work of nonprofit organization Toys for Tots, for which he served as a project coordinator in 2010, 2011, and 2012.