July 26, 2006

Run Around the Block: The world's longest foot race is on in Queens, New York, as successful athletes complete a 3,100 mile course around just one city block.

The race lasts for 51 days and requires competitors, most of whom follow the meditation teachings of Master Sri Chinmoy, to run for just over sixty miles a day, before its end, on August 2nd.

The current course record is 42 days, 13 hours, 24 minutes and 3 seconds, set in 2002.

The winners receive a small plastic trophy and a tshirt.

posted by Mr Bismarck to extreme at 07:36 AM - 31 comments

Whoa, weird. Great link.

posted by yerfatma at 09:22 AM on July 26, 2006

I was a bit worried, just sticking a Yahoo link out there, but it's so......... odd. We're running 3100 miles folks! Huzzah! Around this block! Huz..what?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:28 AM on July 26, 2006

I don't know what impressed me more - the distance or the irrevrence. Is this one on the "Ocho"?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:55 AM on July 26, 2006

Talk about intensity and focus! Cool link Mr. Bismark. My feet hurt just reading about it. lol

posted by steelergirl at 09:56 AM on July 26, 2006

Often, they carry aluminum plates and forks as they move. Their faces light up like children in the afternoon when ice creams are handed out. There's no way in hell I'd run around my block five times much less 5000+. But this is a cool story. And that imagery -- good stuff.

posted by forrestv at 10:10 AM on July 26, 2006

This is just an incredible story. I can't believe I've never come across this race before. Fabulous link Mr B.

posted by squealy at 10:24 AM on July 26, 2006


posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:37 AM on July 26, 2006

Wow, this is insane. Why not do this outside of the city where the air is cleaner and better? Why not do this in a place where the damage to the runners bodies is minimalized? Like, say on non-paved surfaces? It seems to me that this much continuous running would cause pretty serious harm to the runner's joints. But yeah, wow!

posted by fenriq at 10:54 AM on July 26, 2006

Amazing. They arrive by 6:07 every morning to begin another 60-mile leg. There are two things that would suck mentioned in that sentence.

posted by 86 at 11:02 AM on July 26, 2006

Think of how much distance they loose around each corner. Now times that by 20,000. Just sayin.

posted by tron7 at 11:03 AM on July 26, 2006

My feet are sore from just reading about this.

posted by grum@work at 11:11 AM on July 26, 2006

"I think this is what they're looking for: The feeling that you're living life for real" Running around a block for two months straight will do that for you? I guess I can't knock it, 'cuz I ain't never tried it.

posted by dyams at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2006

I preferred this line, Dyams : "Always in life, you can complain or you can focus on the joy," Slovakian runner Ananda Zuscin said. "This race is all about accepting that you're going to run all day and then forgetting about it." I guess for practitioners of this form of meditation, the steps are a koan-replacement, the endless repetition of steps around the same scenary to an extreme point of physical exertion, releasing their minds. They set the "Run" macro going and then think about other things - the freedom they gain, giving them the feeling they're "living life for real" rather than the actual running. warning : baseless supposition from someone who gets out of breath running a bath.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2006

I agree with fenriq. why not run across the country? Running around the same block sounds like a mental prison rather than freedom. Life is too short to waste running around one block.

posted by caselaw at 12:36 PM on July 26, 2006

But if you run across the country, where are you gonna stay? It seems like hotel bills would mount up. And what happens when you get to those uncharted parts of the interior where they kill and eat foreigners? The 'round the block aspect makes sense to me.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:45 PM on July 26, 2006

All I can say is that is one of the most wildest things I have ever read. The crazy thing about it is that I grew up in Queens. I am just wondering which block was the race ran on?

posted by diehardyankeefan101 at 12:56 PM on July 26, 2006

If I read it right, Yankeefan, they run around the block the Sri Chinmoy centre is on and a quick Google shows me : 85-45 149th St. Jamaica Hills Means nothing to me, but hopefully you know it.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:18 PM on July 26, 2006

i have severe nerve damage in my left leg, and arthrtis in the joints of the right, and can't run but walk daily and if Nike will sponsor me I'm game

posted by thatch at 01:35 PM on July 26, 2006

it must be getting near football season (not soon enough) if we are talking about walking around the block.Whats next writing one's name in the snow?

posted by thatch at 01:55 PM on July 26, 2006


posted by Desert Dog at 02:27 PM on July 26, 2006

I am just wondering which block was the race ran on? It's just off of 150th street between Hillside Ave and the L.I.E.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:53 PM on July 26, 2006

You know, I can't help but read thatch's comments like some sort of ee cummings poetry.

posted by grum@work at 04:16 PM on July 26, 2006

Too long and wrong structure for haiku.

posted by owlhouse at 04:53 PM on July 26, 2006

Oh great. NASCAR is spawning cults.

posted by garfield at 05:07 PM on July 26, 2006

somewhere i have never posted, gladly beyond my bookmarks, your posts have their cents: in your two cents are things which awe me or maybe they're as deep as they look

posted by yerfatma at 05:59 PM on July 26, 2006

Kind of puts my fraternity naked run onto a new perspective. I have but one question... Do these people have a job?

posted by hawkguy at 07:50 PM on July 26, 2006

Better yet, do these people have a life? I can't think of much that would be more boring! At least in a cross country run the scenery would change.

posted by commander cody at 12:07 AM on July 27, 2006

warning : baseless supposition from someone who gets out of breath running a bath. HA-HA-HA!

posted by dyams at 07:35 AM on July 27, 2006

From reading the post, it seems that the point of it is that it's boring and repetitive. It's a test of will. A really, really, really serious test of will.

posted by DudeDykstra at 11:49 AM on July 27, 2006

I'm with Bismarck, it's like the Bhuddist monks who sit and meditate for months on end, all the while getting whacked with a stick. The Idea is to put your body through something so extreme, that your Brain stops worrying about the body. Your brain no longer responds to "My feet hurt" messages, or "I'm hungry" messages, as well as "I'm horny" messages. Freed from the constant demands of the body, the brain is freed to pursure higher thought without the interference of our baser impulses. I guess it would be inappropriate to point out that those Sri Chiminoy girls have really been around the block... Do these people have a job? Actually, alot of cultists don't, and/or they work for the cult. Recruiting.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 12:23 PM on July 27, 2006

Given the philosophical/spiritual dimensions involved with this run, does anyone else find the existence of a "record time" and "small plastic trophy" to be a touch incongruent?

posted by smithers at 04:45 PM on July 27, 2006

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