New women's world record in the world's longest race
48 days and 14 hours after starting the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, 47 year old Kaneenika Janakova of Bratislava, Slovakia set a new women’s world record for the distance. Her final time was 48 days+14:24:10, averaging over 63 miles for nearly two months of daily racing.
Kaneenika broke the previous women’s record set by Surasa Mairer by over 17 hours. Her performance was also sufficient to finish 2nd overall.
After a difficult opening few days, Kaneenika was a model of consistency averaging well over the required minimum daily distance of 60 miles. She remarked how over the course of the race she felt stronger - despite the accumulation of miles and physical fatigue.
“At the beginning of the race I actually didn’t feel so strong, the first week and maybe even 10 days. But then all of a sudden it felt as though I was gaining the strength. It just all started happening. It was all coming from inside.”
The overall winner of the race was Vasu Duzhiy 51, of St Petersburg, Russia, who won the 21st Annual Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race for the second time in 46 days+17:38:22. It was Vasu’s sixth consecutive finish and his second consecutive first place. His performance was all the more remarkable for a serious back accident eight months ago, which left him unable to train and barely able to stand. Speaking after the race, Vasu expressed his joy of competing in the contest.
“I love this race. I don’t know why I love it. I just love it and do it. I am happy here and I am able to do self transcendence. I hope that I can inspire some people to be better citizens of the world. They inspire me and I inspire them.”
Over 100 spectators came to see the finish of the runners who had braved extremes of temperature, sickness, and the unremitting nature of the concrete block which had been their home and sporting pilgrimage for the past several weeks.
On Saturday night, Nirbhasa Magee, a native of Dublin, Ireland finished second man, third overall in a personal best time of 48 days+16:47:01. It was Nirbhasa’s second attempt at the distance, managing to improve his finish time by two days plus 19 hours faster than his previous effort in 2015. For Magee, the spirit of self-transcendence is the essence of the race, remarking:
“It is nice to transcend yourself… I am not leaving anything on the table. It is not like I am taking it easy. What you see from me every day is my absolute best that I can put out
The race continues for a few days with Harita Davies (NZ) and Yolanda Holder (US) within striking distance of finishing the race within the allotted time of 52 days.
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