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.
  • Men and women's podium

    Men and women's podium

  • Susan Marshall (1st woman, 442 miles) with helper Bauliya (on left)

    Susan Marshall (1st woman, 442 miles) with helper Bauliya (on left)

  • 1st place man Budjargal Byambaa (502 miles)

    1st place man Budjargal Byambaa (502 miles)

  • Rainbow over the course

    Rainbow over the course

  • During the race

    During the race

  • Part of the Flushing Meadow course

    Part of the Flushing Meadow course

  • Cooks working behind the scenes

    Cooks working behind the scenes

The 23rd Sri Chinmoy Six-Day Race was held from April 18-24, 2022, on a new running course at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, just under a mile in length, and ready to be deployed. A group of 29 runners- 19 men and 10 women, comprised the international field from 17 countries, to seek new abilities in the multi-day format of run and ’go-as-you-please. The six-day world leader for 2021 was back in New York. Budjargal Byambaa from Ulaanbaatar Mongolia led the multi-day lists for the previous year with a sparkling PB of 561.7 miles/904.07km. He had won 10 of his previous 15 multi-day excursions, throughout the States, Europe and China.

Mr Byambaa’s 102.5 miles on Day 1 set the tone, as the pleasant running weather from the start took a deep dive after midnight, and a twisting, windy rain-storm pulverized the course and its occupants for 10 hours of flooding, wailing water, and winds off of Meadow Lake which tried any athlete to continue in such conditions. Plank bridges helped the runners get along the course. The sun did not really make a daytime appearance for 48 hours, but that did not halt the runners either.

The overall second place on Day 2 belonged to Andrea Marcato, the Italian phenom who blitzed the 3100 Mile Race in September/October of 2021 here in New York with a third –fastest finish and a star bright presence in this multi-day super-long events. However, six days is six days- not 42 days, so you had to be pushing the envelope to stay with stars like Budjargal, and likewise the elite women. Annabel Hepworth and Susan Marshall - both from Australia - were the pre-race favourites, and Miss Marshall, a Kiwi at birth and in heart, knew it would take all her abilities and more to stay with the experienced Annabel. Her resume brims with world-class performances and national dominance. After two full days the two ladies were one lap apart. They were also third and fourth best overall, as the difficulty and lack of sleep took its toll on the 29 runners.

At the halfway mark Budjargal Byambaa had a 50km lead on Mr Marcato, which would not be bridged all the way to the end. The excellent running by the top men pulled the other stalwarts along. Romanian Adrian Papuc emerged as a bona-fide talent. Wei-Ming Lo, the remarkable Taiwanese national icon, showed good form throughout the first four days, but his last day was the best men’s final day with 80.3 miles/ 129.2km. He moved to fourth for the gentlemen at age 58.

The women’s battle for the top spot continued. By the end of Day 5, Annabel Hepworth had a six-mile lead but Susan Marshall had placed her fitness and talent all in for the last day. She upped her pace and refused to stop for any duration throughout the last night. Annabel had pushed herself beyond the ability to stay on the track. After a pair of falls, while moving, she was forced to sleep for a few hours, which fueled Susan Marshall’s all-out attempt. Susan had the best final day of all the runners, reaching 84.2 miles, and a six-day PB by 34 miles at 442.3.

Taiwanese veteran Wen Ya Tsai pushed hard the last two days after getting through a bout of shin splints. She set a national record W50 of 385.21 miles/ 619.985 km to nail the mark. Budjargal topped 500 miles for the second time in his running career with 502.3 miles/ 808.37km- and another trophy for his burgeoning awards list. Andrea Marcato set a PB with a 463.6 miles/702.63km effort.

 There were 10 PB’s reached in a race with difficult beginnings but promising ends. The SCMT is blessed to have had such wonderful volunteers and staff who gave of themselves for the duration. Next year the 10-Day Race will hopefully return to the fray, so that athletes will again test their abilities in longer phases, and those physical and mental bars set by previous performances will be equalled or surpassed.  Thanks to Sri Chinmoy for the unwavering challenges and the inspiration to continue the fight to do more. Each goal attained becomes a new starting point. Good luck to all multi-day runners. Never give up.

Photos by: Jowan

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Sri Chinmoy Six Day Race 2022

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