Yiannis Kouros: “I Don’t Believe in Long Runs”

By LetsRun.com
August 31, 2021

In 2019, LetsRun.com did a month-long exploration of the ultramarathon sceneduring which we spent a lot of time searching for the greatest ultramarathon world record. At the end of the exploration, we declared Yiannis Kouros’ 24-hour world record of 303.31 km (188.68 miles) to be the greatest ultramarathon record in history. After all, no one else in history had even come within 21 kilometers/13 miles of it. That all changed last weekend as Aleksandr Sorokin of Lithuania broke the record by running 309.40 kilometers (192.25 miles).

It reminded us that we never published a fantastic emailed interview that Robert Johnson did with Kouros in 2019. We didn’t publish it at the time as there was a delay in getting the responses back — Kouros had some problems with his eyes as he had been busy welding iron as he worked on his house. By the time we got the responses, our ultramarathon exploration was over and Robert had stopped looking for the reply. Thus it was AWOL in his email inbox for many months until being discovered. Since then, we’ve been waiting for an appropriate time to publish it. Now is that time.

Few excerpts from that interview:

I think that my records last so long because the majority of runners believe in fitness. Ultra-running is a mental sport that touches metaphysical/spiritual aspects of the human [being] and this is the main reason why it is not for the masses. Organizers who leave it open and accepting everybody –regardless of their abilities – are wrong, using people who love running, while in those of the participants who do not belong to the sport, there is lack of self-knowledge.


There is no distance or time-limit event in which I performed with -not just ideal, but not even- good conditions, either personal or weather/course conditions


In the last few decades may they came some good runners in the scene, but I don’t follow as they really [race] based just on fitness.


Continue reading the full interview

Secrets of the 3100-Mile Race. Meet the runners online!

27 November 2021
10:00 New York
16:00 Zurich
17:00 Kiev
18:00 Moscow
YouTube Live Stream https://youtu.be/fi58tHhoOMA

Meeting with the 5 runners of the world’s longest 3100-Mile Race in 2021. Race took place in New York Sep5 – Oct 26

Languages: English and Russian.

Andrea Marcato, Italy
Harita Davies, USA/New Zealand
Vasu Nikolay Duzhiy, Russia
Ananda-Lahari Zuschin, Slovakia
Stutisheel Oleg Lebedev, Ukraine

Also Race Director Rupantar LaRusso, USA

The race takes place annually over a 52-day period. Traditionally, it has begun on the third Sunday in June and ending in early August, with runners traversing a .5488 mile loop around a sports field, playground, and high school in Jamaica, Queens, New York City. (In 2020, we had to cancel the race in New York, instead it took place in Salzburg, Austria under strict health supervision.)

Conceived of as both a physical and spiritual journey, the race allows athletes to test themselves in a format, unlike any other ultra-marathon. In order to meet their goal of 3100 miles in 52 days, they must log an average of 59.6 miles per day.

The Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race was conceived by Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007), a spiritual teacher, athlete, artist, musician, poet, and humanitarian. His emphasis on self-transcendence and the triumph of the human spirit provides the inspiration which has powered the race since its inception.

Secret of Youth

I never thought that I would be asked the question about the secret of youth )

And the situation was such that the young team of the company that I lead (average age is 26 years) was shocked that I turned 50. They found out that by the fact that on my birthday I ran 50 km. And when I appeared in the office, they surrounded me and bombarded me with questions about how I was so well preserved )

I was happy to share the drive of my life.

I have two secrets: sports and meditation.

The fact that sport has become an integral part of my life I owe to my parents. Camping, kayaking, and then the ski racing – all this built a wonderful foundation for my passion for ultra-long distances. I like to be in shape and catch a flow on long runs, bikes and swims. That is why I say that the fullness of life is in motion.

Since ’91, meditation has entered my life. It is not just about calming your mind, visualization, affirmation, and so forth. This is the original purpose of meditation as a tool in self-knowledge, self-discovery. But also – as access to the Source of inexhaustible energy, motivation and a way to solve the most diverse problems of life. From overcoming ultra-long distances to solving non-standard situations in management.

The secret is in energy. When we are full of energy, we are dynamic and we use time to do many things — we don’t complain, we don’t feel pain — we fly and are full of joy. In contrast, when we experience lack of energy – even our long-forgotten injuries make themselves felt, all our weaknesses come to the fore as if they are ruling us – we complain about life, lose faith in ourselves and blame others for our failures.

Let me share a few things about the secret of energy. I’ll start from the “side of the sun” – with a story that happened during the 3100-mile race in 2014 when I set my personal best by finishing the race in 48 days + 03:57:19

At the end of the race, super doctor Kausal from Italy came to help us. Besides the fact that he is an excellent Ayurvedic doctor, a homeopath and – he is well versed in classical Western medicine. So, at the next express reception, Kausal runs his hands over my body, finds the blocking points, starts working, and suddenly says: you know, you are now in an amazing state. Everything is harmonious with you: you receive and transfer all the energy that comes from above into the physical. This energy, these vibrations that live in you – they are not only of a high order, but they are also healing!

So, when the Power comes from above, when you are full of energy when you have high vibrations, it fills life with deep joy, gives an impulse to dreams and new ideas and breathes new life into the physical body. In other words, every time we experience deep or high meditations, every time we manage to draw Energy from Above or through infinite Grace, joy, delight, bliss come upon us – each time it incredibly nourishes the physical body, straightens wrinkles, gives stamina, renews our cells. This is the secret.

But still the question remains – how to achieve this state? Through meditation – obviously yes. Through sports, catching the silence of the mind during long races, plunging into a flow of energy, attracting Grace from Above with your aspiration-cry – definitely yes. But there is one more thing.

The joy that we sometimes experience in mundane life from a successful purchase, from a salary day, from a delicious dinner and so on – cannot be compared with the inner happiness that we experience pleasing our soul. In other words, if we perform actions that are sanctioned by our soul and please it, our soul gives us an experience of joy that easily surpasses all our “earthly” joys together. Somewhere in the depths of the heart, we know what will please our soul. To sharpen this feeling and understanding, we invoke an ancient art of meditation.

It happened to me after the completion of various projects aimed at the progress of people: the first Peace Run in Western Ukraine, the “Song of the Soul” concert in the October Palace, the signing of the declaration “Ukraine – Sri Chinmoy Peace Nation”, the installation of the Sri Chinmoy Statue in Kyiv, the finish in 3100-mile race…


He who is happy is young.
One who is full of energy is preserving youth.
He who knows how to please his soul – flies.

Esoteric Project Management Presentation

On April 20th, Stutisheel presented his Esoteric Project Management approach at the Researchers Meet Innovators conference at the Kiev-Mohyla Academy. Stutisheel spoke to students from several Ukrainian universities who gathered at the conference.

Traditionally, he raised topics like setting goals, gaining a vision of the project, and mind management. He also offered practical exercises to calm the mind, breathing techniques, and talked about building plans from the final picture and living through the event in meditation.

The meeting ended with questions and answers, as well as the signing of his books Esoteric Project Management, Run. Journey. Become The 3100-Mile footrace of a lifetime.