2004 Ultimate Ultramarathon Trio

Australian, Bulgarian and German Win

2004 Ultimate Ultramarathon Trio

New York, Oct. 12 – If a runner thinks 1300 miles is too long a race, the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Ultra Trio offers two other distances: 1000 and 700 miles. This year, runners from Australia, Bulgaria and Germany won the 700-mile contest, while others from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Russia and Serbia made strong inroads in the 1000- and 1300-mile events. The three races offer a significant challenge to some of the world’s best ultramarathoners with required averages of 72 , 67 and 58 miles a day.

‘Most people think that the marathon is the longest anybody could run,’ said race director Sahishnu Szczesiul. ‘But these runners are helping to prove that human capacity is limitless. Their courage and determination – to try, carry on, and not quit is the stuff of legend – and the stepping stone to future triumphs and perhaps the harbinger of a new era for humanity’s quest on this earth. It shows that they have taken to heart what Sri Chinmoy, the inspiration for these races, always says: ‘Never give up!”

Australian Dipali Cunningham, 46, of Melbourne, was the overall winner of the 700-mile event, as well as the first woman finisher. Her time for the distance was 9 days + 21:30:47. Dipali is ranked third in the world for 700 miles, and third for 1000 miles.

Bulgarian Tsvetan Tsekov, 23, from Sofia, was second overall in the 700-mile race and first man. His time was 10 days + 20:58:3. This was 26 hours less than his time in 2002 when he won the 700 mile race for the men in 11 days 18 hours. Previously Tsvetan also completed 901 miles in the 1000-mile event.

Third overall and second man in the 700-mile race was Christopher Rana, 27, of Hamburg, Germany with a time of 11 days + 19:48:20. This was 5 hours more than his time in 2003 for the distance: 11 days 14 hours. This past spring he ran 534 miles in the Ten Day.

This year, no runners were able to complete either the 1000- or 1300-mile distances, although finishers in these races have set many world records at these distances in the past. This year, the best performance were as follows:

Pratishruti Khisamoutdinova, 60, of Smolensk, Russia reached 1075 miles out of 1300 in 19 days. She has attempted the 1300-mile distance previously and is still chasing the distance. In 2001 she finished the 1000 mile race in 16 days 01 hours, becoming the oldest finisher of that event at that time. Last year she ran 1090 miles to lead the women in the 1300 mile race. Pratishruti has run 20 ultras in the last few years, including 382 miles for six days, as well as 872 miles in the 1000 mile race in 2000. She is a former professor of physical culture at Smolensk Institute, and was also a champion speed skater in earlier years.

Kate Condon, 49, Chichester, England reached 801 miles in the 1300-mile race with a time of 19 days. Kate has been running for 16 years, and has completed several ultras, including three multidays. her bests are 350 miles for six days and 104 miles for 24 hours.

Petr Spacil, 26, from Brno, Czech Republic was the sole male attempting the 1300 mile race and he reached 1085 miles in 18 days. In a brief running career, Petr has completed nine ultras and four multidays. He has done 289 miles in four days and 612 miles in ten days, where he finished in fourth place.

The best performance in the 2004 1000-mile race was by United Kingdom citizen Chanakhya Jakovic, 50, Jamaica, NY. He covered 624 miles in 15 days. Last year, Chanakhya ran a personal best of 653 miles in the 1000 mile race. In 35 years of running, Chanakhya has run over 30 ultras, including 19 multidays. He has a best of 308 miles for six days.

Other runners in the 1000-mile event were Estonian Sukalpa Poorjits, 33, from Jamaica, NY who ran 530 miles and Austrailian Aryavan Lanham, 53, of Perth with 465 miles.

In 24 years of running, Aryavan has completed five multidays. His best totals are 430 miles for 12 days, and 375 for 10 days.

The record for the 1300-mile race was set in 1995 by Lithuanian runner Rimas Jakelaitis with 16 days 00:28:10. In 1988 the Greek legend Yiannis Kouros set the standard for 1000 miles with an astounding world record performance of 10 days 10 hours, averaging 97 miles per day.

The Ultra (for ultramarathon) Trio had its origins in 1985 in a 1000-mile race held in New York’s Flushing Meadow Park (site of the 1964 World’s Fair). Over the years it was expanded to include the 700 and 1300 mile events. The race has seen numerous records set at the three distances.

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is the world’s largest sponsor of ultra-distance running and a major organiser of road races, marathons, triathlons, multi-sport events, long-distance swimming events and Master’s track-and-field meets. It has hosted several national championships, and numerous world records have been set in its races.

During the 1970s, iIn the early years of the ‘running boom,’ these events established standards and levels of service to participants that have now become commonplace: regular drink stations, post-race food and prizes for all age groups up to 70+ years.