About the author:

Rupantar has been the race director of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team since 1985, having been asked by Sri Chinmoy to serve in that capacity. As well as working on the big races the US Marathon Team organise each year - the 3100 Mile Race and the Six and 10 Day Race - he also spends a considerable amount of time archiving the Marathon Team's 40 year history on this website.

Extract from "Salutations to America" (Brochure), 1981:

The vision of the early patriots, based on deeper humanitarian and spiritual values, inspired the young nation to reach out to new horizons and achieve the pinnacle of technological and material development. The day is fast approaching when this selfsame vision will carry the mature nation  to new moral and spiritual horizons. It is this vision, drawn from a source deep within the American spirit, that we are paying homage to in our 1,300-mile 'Salutations to America' relay run...

Day and night, the runners will be carrying a flaming torch, symbolizing our hope for and faith in America. The team will be joined along the way by some of the best marathoners from each state, as well as runners from local clubs...

Corbitt, Ted. "New York - Home of Ultramarathoners." New York Running News. November/December 1980.

There were at least two other positive developments for ultramarathoners in 1980...The six day running race surfaced again...The second significant thing was the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team's staging of the 'Salutations to America' 1,300 miles nonstop relay run from Concord, New Hampshire, passing through the original 13 United States of America, ending at Atlanta, Georgia. Local runners on the route were invited to run along with the torch bearing relay runners...

Ayres, Ed. "Lighting the Way." Running Times. June 1981.

In an age of trouble, trouble, and more trouble, a refreshingly different world-view is being promulgated by Sri Chinmoy, an Indian guru whose adopted homeland is the U.S., and who has attracted thousands of American followers. These followers place higher value on the achievement of spiritual harmony than of material acquisition, which may explain why, in the midst of a deteriorating economy and declining standard of living, they remain placidly optimistic about America's future...Sri Chinmoy and his followers do productive work for a living, and have their feet planted firmly, and literally, on the ground. The guru is an avid long distance runner and road race organizer, and his followers have formed a running team (the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team), an outgrowth of the group's passionate belief that physical fitness is an integral part of spiritual well-being.

In keeping with their proclivity for seeing the good in things while cheerfully refusing to become emotionally bogged in the bad, the Sri Chinmoy people have become indefatigable celebrators. One of their most recent celebrations was a 1,300-mile non-stop relay, dubbed 'Salutations to America...'

salutations sunil cahit.jpg Sunil Davidson (l)  and Cahit Yeter on the road in the 1980 'Salutations to America' 13 state relay run. salutations flag.jpg Runners receive Rhode Island State flag during the 1980 'Salutations to America' 13 state relay run. Photo: Richard Hopper. hagen.jpg The U.S. Marines and the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team run together in the Washington, D.C. segment of the Salutations to America relay run. Leading the Team is General Jerry Hagan, USMC (r).