The longest certified ultra-marathon in the world is the Self- Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, sponsored by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team held every summer in New York. This famous race is held on a one-mile loop course in Queens, New York. Harper’s Magazine described running in the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race as mounting and descending a spectral Mount Everest every week and a half. Instead of extending 3,100 miles from New York to Los Angeles, the participants circle one city block in Queens for nearly 2 months straight. The athletes wear out more than 12 pairs of running shoes, run more than 2 marathons daily (60 miles or 97km) and circle the same block more than 5,000 times. They eat on the run. They talk on the run. They use a port-a-potty. In the heat and rain of a New York summer, they stop for virtually nothing except to sleep between midnight and 6 a.m.
New York Times best-selling author Scott Jurek’s book on ultra marathon running identifies the Sri Chinmoy 3,100 Mile Self-Transcendence race as among the most difficult biology-defying endurance sports:
“The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, founded in 1977, has gone on to promote and compete in numerous ultras. The most famous is the 3,100-mile Self- Transcendence Race, the longest footrace in the world, held on a city block in Queens—164th Place to Abigail Adams (84th) Avenue to 168th Street to Grand Central Parkway. The 3,100-mile distance honors the year (‘31) of Sri Chinmoy’s birth. Runners must complete 5,469 laps of the .5488-mile course in fifty-two days (extended to fifty-four in 2011 due to extreme heat). It is tantamount to running two marathons a day. Many run for 17 or 18 hours a day. The experience is so grueling and repetitive that few even undertake, much less complete, the race. In 2011, ten runners competed and eight finished.”