This is me after completing the 3100 mile Self-Transcendence Race in 2004 at age 52. It was my first 3100 mile race experience and it was certainly the most difficult race I had ever attempted. Having incurred an injury to my peronius muscle, commonly called a 'shin splint', I was reduced to walking for 12 days before I could fully run again. Since it was quite early in the race I had enough time to catch up on my daily mileage average in order to finish the race within 52 days. Coincidentally I finished on the 52nd day, I turned 52 during the race and I was born in 1952.
I am very grateful to Sri Chinmoy, my Spiritual Guru, who I can also call my 'running Guru' as he has inspired me from my very first days of running to learn how to race faster and longer and to experience the thrill of self-transcendence through running.
Eight years after completing this most difficult multi-day race I decided to attempt the 3100 mile race again, in 2012. Since his passing from this world in 2007 I wanted to offer Sri Chinmoy something significant in the running world, something I feel he would be proud of. After over six months of training I felt I was ready to take on the challenge again, this time at age 60. I did make it to the starting line everyday for 52 days and I completed 2742 miles in total. Due to three serious and painful injuries in my lower legs again I had to walk for three weeks total. I did this in order to stay in the race and try to heal enough to finish as many miles as I could.
This experience was just as thrilling as I remember finishing the full 3100 eight years ago. This time, even though I did not complete 3100 miles, I was able to break the age 60 and over mileage record in this race of 2700 miles by 42 more miles. It seems that my perseverance to stay in the race through the multiple setbacks that I experienced on the way inspired many people, perhaps more than if I had made it look easy by finishing the full 3100 miles. Either way, the race is an experience of a lifetime and hopefully I will be healthy enough to attempt it again in the near future.
This is my first finish of the 3100 mile race in 2004 at the age of 52. I was only the second American man to do so and on the 52nd day after averaging 60 miles per day I could only feel one thing: Gratitude!! Gratitude to all the runners and helpers and especially to Sri Chinmoy who personally encouraged me to run and then to not give up when I was having a very difficult time with an inury. His unsurpassed vision, which created this unparalleled running event, also allows all the runners to bring out the absolute best in themselves and to demonstrate the amazing reality of Self-Transcendence. This is the cornerstone of Sri Chinmoy's philosophy which will truly help to shape a better world.