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.

grand prix.jpg"The Sri Chinmoy Grand Prix: A 31-Consecutive-Day Race" (Press Release). August 28, 1981. Retrieved 2013-01-29. Archive copy at the Sri Chinmoy office, Queens, New York.

"QUEENS --- The Sri Chinmoy Grand Prix - the longest consecutive-day-race in history - concluded Wednesday, August 26 after a 31-day series of 440, 880s and 1 to 5 mile events that totaled 50 miles. The Grand Prix was held to honor the sports philosopher and meditation teacher Sri Chinmoy's 50th birthday (August 27).

The Grand Prix winner was Fernando Castillo, age 27, of Queens, running for the Millrose AA. He scored 247 out of a possible 403 points, picking up most of his points at the shorter distances. Second place went to Harry Austin of Jamaica, with 185 points.

Points were given in a descending sequence to the first seven winners in each individual race (13, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4), with the overall high scorer the victor. The race segments alternated between the Jamaica High School track and Flushing Meadow Park.

Place positions began shifting shortly after August 16, when international members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team arrived in Jamaica for two weeks of birthday celebrations. The runners, especially the Australian and German Teams, began picking up points immediately and were soon knocking local runners out of position. Strongest among the visiting runners was Rejean Gauthier, a champion marathon runner from the Ottawa, Canada Team. He dominated the track once he arrived, winning almost every race over 880 and capturing third place overall with 143 points.

winner 31 day race.jpg

Sri Chinmoy congratulates Fernando

Castelli, winner of the 1981 Sri Chinmoy

31 Consecutive Day Race.

Castillo, an all-around strong runner and former high school star sprinter, was able to retain his lead by coming in consistently in a least 2nd through 4th, with a scattering of firsts. However, Austin, a stronger sprinter than distance runner, and at one time the Grand Prix leader, rapidly lost ground.

First place in the women's division went to Nilima Silver, with 299 points. With the international arrivals, Cathy Cunningham of Melbourne, Australia and Garima Hoffman of San Francisco began moving into the contenders circle, vying with Silver for first place and effectively moving Silver's previous competitor, Barada Weisbrot, of Jamaica, into a firm second.

In the age divisions (where the point system was weighted less) Sri Chinmoy won in the 46-50 age with 90 points and running novelist Zan Knudson, of Sea Castle, LI, won the women's masters division with 130 points.