3100-Mile Race Impressions in 2020

The longest foot race in the world Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race ended on November 3, 2020, in Salzburg, Austria. Of the 5 starting athletes, three runners met the 52-day limit. Andrea Marcato became the first Italian to finish the 3100-Mile Race. He managed to finish from the first attempt and immediately took the fifth line in the world ranking of 49 athletes who had conquered the distance in 24 years. His phenomenal result – 43 days + 12:07:26. Ushika Mukenhumer from Salzburg finished second with his PB – 49 days + 11:27:55. On the last day of the race, Nirbhasha Magi from Ireland also finished with a time of 51 days + 09:41:53. Ananda-Lahari Zuschin from Slovakia and Milan Javornicki from the Czech Republic stopped on day 51, having covered 2799.603 and 2713.997 miles, respectively.

Start of the 3100-Mile Race on September 13, 2020 in Salzburg

It is worth noting that despite the general cancellation of shorter events around the world, the organizers managed to transfer the race, which has been happening since 1997 in New York, to Austria and successfully organize needed service for runners for 52 days with the support of the local authorities of Salzburg. So the series of the longest race in the world, which was first held in 1997 on the initiative and Vision of Sri Chinmoy, as a manifestation of the unlimited capacities of the human spirit, was not interrupted.

In 24 years, only 49 athletes were able to successfully complete the distance, many more times than once. So far, the record for the distance belongs to the Finnish postman Ashprihanal Aalto – 40 days + 09:06:21 (an average of 124 km per day), who has 16 successful finishes.

For all the athletes who took part, the race goes far beyond a simple competition for prizes and, along with numerous sports discoveries and nuances, includes an extensive layer of spiritual practice, mantras, and visualizations for moving forward during extreme fatigue or challenging weather conditions.

Ushika at the 3100-Mile Race

I managed to visit the race in Salzburg during the week closer to the end – this time not as a participant, but as a journalist. I noted the great attention of the organizers, helpers, and volunteers to the runners. And, of course, the familiar spirit of self-transcendence that pervades this race.

For the first time in the history of the race, the current President of the country sent a letter of support to the runners. Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen wrote in his address:

«Dear participants of the 3100 Mile Race in Salzburg!
I can’t even imagine what it’s like to go through 52 days. Yes, I like to go hiking for a few hours. But running 52 days, 118 marathons – unbelievable! What a breathtaking endurance performance! My respect is for you.
I wish all participating athletes, especially the Salzburg local hero Hubert Muckenhumer, all the best, lots of success and the necessary perseverance for the extremely challenging days of the race»

I was very pleased to once again dive into the atmosphere of one of the most challenging races in the world and interview the participants on the run.

«Besides outer challenges and suffering you can clearly feel, that gold is only here exactly here on the track. No other place, no other time as during the race. Means spiritually you can climb or dive deep into the race, into experience, into yourself only only here»

And his favourite aphorism from the Race:

“Compassion is the voice of God
Patience is the religion of action.”
Sri Chinmoy, Flame-Goal. Daily Meditations

In his second finish of three starts at 3100-Miles, Ushika looked extremely happy! His whole face was transformed. In his closing speech, he said:

«First I want to thank my Guru Sri Chinmoy, who not only created this race, but is running this race in and through us and serving this race in and all through the helpers»

I was also impressed by one of the letters that the organizers received from people who live near the park, where the race took place, or who came from afar to support the runners and get inspiration.

Letter from kindergarten teacher
«I feel profoundly honored for this outstanding activity of the Sri Chinmoy 3100 Mile Race. In the name of the many people I would like to describe a subtle change that I experience since the beginning of the race. At this moment one can experience a much more peaceful atmosphere because of those who hoist this event. Im very happy for those who can experience all this especially the children. This race brings out atmosphere that is not about fighting or being better, faster. It has already created a desirable future of life side by side and of togetherness. A sincere and profound heartfelt thank you to all those who are part of this event. Yes, this is a gift to the neighborhood»

Runners told many stories of support, inspiration, and even miracles that happened to them during the race. You can hear some of them in the interviews directly from the track.

Video Reports on 3100-Mile Race 2020

Now we know that even in the most difficult year, you can find a way out with the organization of the longest race in the world! We look forward to the next start in 2021!

More inspiration

Official 3100 Mile Race Page
Photo gallery 3100-2020

The 3100 Mile Race started on September 13, 2020, in Austria!

Although the official start of the traditional 3100 Mile Race in New York, which was scheduled for June 2020, did not take place, the organizers hoped that the race could be held at another time, possibly in a different location, but still this year. Several European and American cities have been suggested…

And in early September, it became known that the authorities of the Austrian Salzburg had given the go-ahead to hold the longest race in the world Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, from September 13 to November 3, 2020.

The athletes actually did not have time to prepare and strategically plan their vacation – five people went to the start, who turned out to be not under the pressure of other projects and who had the opportunity to come to the start in Austria.

All my active runner friends from Russia and Ukraine were unable to participate due to Austrian entry restrictions. As always, this is a whole complex of circumstances and connections (which is usually called “divine play”) – we have what we have.

Five bravest runners started in Salzburg on September 13:

  • Nirbhasa Magee, 41 (IRL), living in Reykjavik, Iceland – 3 finishes, ranked 22nd
  • Ananda-Lahari Zuscin, 45, Kosice Slovakia – 6 finishes, ranked 25th
  • Ushika Muckenhumer, 52, Salzburg, Austria – 1 finish, ranked 30th
  • Andrea Marcato, 38 (ITA), living in Zurich, Switzeland – first time runner, two times over 1000km in 10 day race
  • Milan Javornicky, 46, Celakocice, CZE  – first time runner, 569 miles in ten day race

The racecourse was chosen in a picturesque place along the river – the lap is certified, the length is 1.04367 km (slightly more than our original 0.883 m in New York). Athletes need to complete 4,781 laps to finish 3,100 miles. The daily routine remains the same: the common start is at 6:00, the lap is open until 24:00. Runners rest from midnight to 6 am. There is a 52-day deadline to cover the distance.

Let’s wish them good luck!

Stay connected – let’s follow the news of the race together.

Trophy prize in the 7.5 km Oceanman swim

September 5, 2020, I finished in the Oceanman swim for 7.5 km in Odessa together with my wife!

In the middle of the summer, when almost all running starts were canceled, the inspiration came to join my wife, who was preparing for a 10 km swim after a not so successful start in Cherkasy across the Dnipro river. I then figured – there should be enough time to prepare for 2 months. And training began 5 days a week in the pool.

It took me a month to pick up speed, strengthen arms, and even out the balance. In August, I already confidently kept the pace of 2 min / 100 m during long swims of 4-5-6 km. I noticed from my past training sessions for a swim across Zurich Lake, with an emphasis on swimming, the shoulders and arms are strengthened, the legs are weakened) Correspondingly, the body balance in the water improves – the legs sink less and the body position is closer to the horizontal line. Our maximum swim was 8 km, and in that week we swam 26 km in total.
Now about the start itself in Odessa.

The distance was supposed to be 10 km, but due to difficult weather conditions, the organizers reduced it to 7.5 km on the day of the start. It seems the waves, wind, and rain intensified with each lap) The sea was stormy by 3 points.

We swam three laps of 2.5 km each. One stretch directly against the wind and waves with burunches was something! Despite having already swum  10 km in Miami and 26 km on Zurich Lake, conditions in the Black Sea were the most challenging.

But everything went very cool! Immensely happy! Swam in 3:04 (pace 2: 27/100 m or 2.4 km / h), Irina – in 3:20. She was attacked by seasickness, as in Cherkasy. The pills she had stocked up didn’t work very well …

Although I did not expect much from the organization (according to the stories of the participants of past starts), practically everything turned out to be ok. Of course, I would put more buoys for a reference point, otherwise, there were only four large buoys in the corners on the 2.5 km lap in the sea with waves. And even they were not always visible because of the waves! Plus the 5 km swim (they had two laps, and we had three) started when many of the 7.5 km swimmers finished the first lap. I got into the cyclone of the mess)

I was ready to swim another lap to a full ten! Sped up at the end. Although when I got out of the water, I realized that I did my best and was tired.

Super positive drive! Several times I caught myself thinking that I got the flow and made friends with the sea)

Another self-transcendence! As a result, we also won prizes in our age category 50-59 (Irina – the first, I – the third) and perfectly presented the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

The fullness of life is in motion!

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.

Another climbed peak – Zurich IRONMAN!

July 21, 2019, at 7 am in Zurich, I started in my second IRONMAN.
I was pleasantly surprised that there was no rush in the starting corridor. All athletes carefully and without crush and emotions dispersed into groups of their expected swim time. Unlike my first start in the USA, it was also pleasant to have soft music and a calm voice of the MC. With a Swiss precision at 6:40 pro athletes started, and at 6:45 a rolling start began – 8 people every 5 seconds. And for the promised 20 minutes, all 2100 participants were already in the water!

Swimming took place in the rain, quite normally – it was one lap of 3.8 km on Lake Zurich, near the downtown. I swam evenly – my Garmin showed 4102 m instead of 3800 and time of 1:21:15 (1: 59/100 m pace).

In the pouring rain, we started the bicycle stage, so I did not apply any sunscreen …
On the first flat stretch of 20 kilometers, I kept a speed of about 34.5 km / h – once again I was happy for the rented wheels. This time – Vittoria brand. In general,  Race Day Wheels service is very common in the USA, but in Europe, I almost gave up founding it. A week before the start, I accidentally found contacts of the Kyiv company that offered to transport bicycles to start in Poland. It turned out that they rent the wheels as well.

We drove two laps of 90 km. To be honest, I expected more from the asphalt pavement of the Swiss highway … After a flat stretch near Zurich, real alpine ascents and descents began! Moreover, the slopes also often turned, and we were constantly slowed down by volunteers – either a narrow place or a sharp turn. I managed to accelerate to the maximum 57.7 km / h versus 74.4 in Louisville. And of course – the protracted serpentine rises – the total altitude gain was 1600 m!! If on the first lap I still overtook someone on the climbs, as I included special training in the hills during preparation, then in the future many people caught up with me on the even areas. On the second lap the sun came out and my shoulders were well roasted – I would say almost to the embers! The color was exactly black)

And here on the dead legs after the bicycle stage, which took 6 hours and 41 minutes to complete (175 km according to Garmin), I run out to the marathon distance. In transit – a small climb to the bridge. And I understand that there are no legs) They just refuse to gain altitude.

But after running half the marathon I came to life a bit. 37 years of running didn’t pass in vain …

The running track passed through the central part of the city – mostly asphalt, sometimes paving stones, sometimes pebbles (on the embankment in the park). I was also slightly surprised by the 4-laps track laid on different surfaces. In the central streets, we ran past restaurants and cafes, where the inhabitants were relaxing with meals and drinks, occasionally cheering us. Like, come on.

This time everything was ok with nutrition – all my sports mix, shot blocks and gels worked perfectly. Just because of the difficult bicycle phase, everything turned out slower than I wanted. I sped up on the last lap and flew into the finish gate with a total time of 12:49:02.

At the briefing the day before, when the rules were explained to us, blue and yellow penalty cards for drafting and incorrect overtaking (then you stopped 5 minutes or 1 minute in special tents – I was lucky), the facilitator made a great emphasis on our finish. “Do not ruin your finish! Do not try to press the button on the clock in time! Smile! ”. And I even rehearsed before the mirror as I would cross the finish line) At the very finish, everything really flew out of my head. But then traditionally they made a photo with a medal on the background of the branded wall. It seemed to me that I was just shining in a wide smile! What happened in reality – see below) 

In general, a difficult start, a big challenge – almost 13 hours of intense work on an average heart rate of 140 (on the hills I reached 175 bpm). But this Swiss peak is taken! I got to the last start of Zurich Ironman – from next year, after 23 starts, they move to a different place.

Garmin data
Race website

Start of the world’s longest 3100-Mile Race in New-York

On June 16, at 6:00 am local time, the longest certified race in the world 3100-Miles started in New York. The race takes place for the 23rd year in a row in the New York suburb Jamaica, Queens, on a 0.5 mile lap.

The annual “Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race” was named by the New York Times as “Everest of Ultramarathons”. Runners must cover an average 60 miles per day to meet the 52-day deadline of the race. Participants are given 18 hours every day – from 6 am to midnight. Over the previous 22 starts, only 43 people in the world were able to finish the race.

This race is the flagship start of the international Sri Chinmoy marathon team.

There are 8 runners from 7 countries this year at the starting line.

🇫🇮 Ashprihanal Aalto (Finland), 48 years old
14 finishes at 3100. World record holder 40 days + 09: 06.21 (2015)
🇷🇺 Vasu Nikolai Duzhiy (Russia), 52 years
7 finishes for 3100. Threefold race winner (2013, 2017, 2018)
🇦🇹 Smarana Puntigam (Austria), 48 years old
7 finishes at 3100, the best result – 48 days + 04: 13.54 (2007)
🇮🇪 Nirbhasa Magee (Ireland), 40 years
2 finishes at 3100, the best result – 48 days + 16: 47.01 (2017)
🇸🇰 Ananda-Lahari Zuscin (Slovakia), 42 years
5 finishes at 3100, the best result – 49 days + 14: 25.37 (2006)
🇦🇹 Ushika Muckenhummer (Austria), 50 years
1 finish for 3100 with a time of 50 days + 07: 34.46 (2018)
🇧🇬 Todor Dimitrov (Bulgaria), 44 years
First start at 3100. National record holder for 12 hours

🇳🇿Harita Davies (New Zealand), 44
1 finish for 3100 with a time of 51 days + 12: 48.14 (2017)

There is a link to live webcam at the official website of the race www.3100.SriChinmoyRaces.org From this site you can also send a support letter to the runners.

You can also follow Utppal reports on the blog www.perfectionjourney.org

Photos from the race https://www.srichinmoyultraphoto.com/3100-mile-race/2019

Oleg Lebedev’s second place at the Slavic Wave half-IRONMAN

Half-Ironman triathlon Slavic Wave took place on June 1, 2019 in Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky. Distances: swim 1.9 km – bike 90 km – run 21 km.

We went with the whole family – even with our two-month Luna – an Australian shepherd. About 100 people gathered for the solo race and the relay.

The first time I participated in this start in 2013. And then I received a certain shock from the level of the organization. Not to face the organizers, I note that almost nothing has changed for the better. I am writing this not even for the sake of criticism, but as advice to novice triathletes – if you are planning your first half, check out the foreign launches of the official IRONMAN brand. In addition to competitive drive, you will get aesthetic pleasure from the level of organization and service. I intentionally included this start as an extreme milestone in preparation for the complete IRONMAN start. It’s hard to learn – easy in battle)

This time I was swimming without a wetsuit, but only in neoprene shorts. I felt like swam smoothly, watching the full-length stroke. But afterward the clock showed that the pace decreased on every lap. On average, it turned out 2:00 minutes per km.

The bike passed without any special adventures, except for a few unnoticed holes in the asphalt, on which I thoroughly shooked – I was even pleasantly surprised that I didn’t get a flat tire or bent anything. I tried to follow the even circular pedaling when you apply force on the entire pedal cycle. The average speed was 32 km / h. More or less OK. At the end of the cycle stage – and this is already more than 3:30 of the intensive work – I ate a few children’s fruit purees, Cliff Shot Blocks and drank a special mixture with carbohydrates and rehydron. I considered that such salts should be enough for the half marathon and at the distance itself I drank only water. Turned out that it was not enough.

I ran at a good pace of 5 min/km and watched the heart rate did not jump above 160. The sun was already warming up to + 28 + 30 degrees. And Kanevskoe reservoir gave noticeable humidity. Running is my strong point, and at this stage I felt very confident, overtaking many participants. The fact that I watched the heart rate gave me the opportunity not to burn at the very start, but to keep a good pace confidently. And then my flight to goosebumps on the spine was interrupted by a cramp on the calf muscle 3 km before the finish. It was painful. I even stopped, tried to massage and some time just walked, very lame. Then in small rushes, I was still able to jog and get to the finish line. Still finished happy! 5 hours 30 minutes. And even took second place in my category 45-49!

When this trouble happened on the race, it was quite painful, and I even thought, how can I recover 50 days before the complete Ironman? But that it was not just an ordinary injury says the fact that after two days I run normally 10 km, returned to the training schedule with the bike, and after a week I did speed-ups at full power, completely forgetting about the leg. Once again, something karmically was worked out )