The Sri Chinmoy Seven Day in the first few days of May in 1992 was our last event in Flushing Meadows Park. So many races happened there, so many memories were forged. We now had to look for a venue for the 24-Hour and Ultra Trio, and as luck would have it, a Parks employee and friend of the SCMT told us about a rarely used Park setting opposite Astoria in Queens, and in full view of the borough of Manhattan. A former Potters Field, it was called Wards Island Park. It eventually became our marathon and ultra-marathon home for nearly a decade. The Ultra Trio (1300,1000,700 miles) happened, the 24-Hour did not. The change in venue and lack of lead -time did not allow athletes to plan for the race or juggle their own schedules. We decided to give it one more try the next year.
Ronnie Wong, who had finished first in the 1990 Sri Chinmoy 1300 Mile race, won the 1993 Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour Race with 120 miles at Wards Island Park, NY. Luis Rios finishes second with 111 miles. Twelve runners toed the starting line in the smallest field for a SCMT 24-Hour since 1980.
The 1993 Sri Chinmoy 24-Hour Race was the last one-day event that the New York SCMT would ever put on. The multiday events were getting more runners, and the available options for average to good runners, both locally and nationally, were growing larger by the day. Trail races were now the dominant events in the USA, and attendance at road ultras was definitely on the decline.
With the decline of numbers of runners at both our 100 mile and 24-hour events, Sri Chinmoy suggested that the two multi-days on our race calendar, as well as monthly marathons, and weekly two mile races, was more than enough to occupy our time and energy. Indeed, the 24-Hour to this day still thrives, nationally and worldwide. And our own Marathon Team members and friends in other countries still sponsor championships in Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand, not to mention thriving ultra races in Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, Russia and even Mongolia, just to mention a few. The birth of our ultra-marathon offerings in 1980 was the first step in a progression that Sri Chinmoy envisioned for the Marathon Team. The fact that the races continued to flourish, and even became longer and more time consuming was part of the growth process he felt necessary for not only the running world, but for our group of volunteer helpers and officials, who bore witness to a sport continually in flux but longing for inspiration.