The Sri Chinmoy 1,300-miler — the longest certified race in history — was held June 5-23 in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens.

“Your life-history does not include the word ‘impossibility’,” Sri Chinmoy told the runners at the start.

“This race is new, unique and unprecedented. Only your heroic hearts can accept the challenge and become victorious in every possible way, inwardly and outwardly.”

He called the participants “the pioneer hero-runners who will be running along Eternity’s road,” telling them that “humanity is loving your hearts and treasuring your lives with utmost joy and utmost pride.” Marty Sprengelmeyer, 40, of Davenport, Iowa, covered the most distance completing 1,250 miles before the 18-day cutoff. Pippa Davis, 40, of Westford, MA, was first among the women, with 832 miles. Both distances were the longest ever in a certified race. 

Altogether, runners from the U.S., Canada, Britain, France and Japan established 22 world or national records during the event.


Marty Sprengelmeyer, winner of 18-Day Race.

Published in Anahata Nada, Volume 15, April-July 1987