About the author:

Nirbhasa is originally from Ireland but currently lives in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is an enthusiastic multi-day runner, having completed four times the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race - the longest race in the world.

womens running cover.jpgRunning to Xtremes, July 2011
Source: Women's Running (United Kingdon)

Suprabha Beckjord: She's relatively unknown outside ultrarunning circles, yet the 55-year old Washington card-shop owner is the only woman to have completed the world's longest footrace - and she's done it 13 tmes. The Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race is held in the Queens neighbourhood of New York City during July and August. Over a course that's just over half a mile long, runners must complete 5,649 laps, averaging 60 miles a day for up to 52 days straight, to complete the race. Beckjord is the only person to have completed all 13 editions of the race and during that time has clocked up a mind-blowing total of more than 40,000 miles.

Dipali Cunningham: Born in Melbourne, but now based in New York City, Dipali Cunningham is one of the all-time greats of female ultrarunning. During a record-breaking 20-year running career, the 52-year old member of the famous Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team has completed 31 multi-day events (races consisting of seven days, six days, 1,000 miles or 700 miles), winning 25 of them, including seven overall victories. She has won every edition of the women's Six-Day Self-Transcendence race in New York and in 2009 set a new women's world road record of 514.82 miles.

Indeed, her running CV is littered with records. In 2001, she ran 700 miles in just nine days, 11 hours, the third-fastest time ever recorded by a woman. She is also the third-fastest woman in history over 1,000 miles, with a time of 13 days, 20 hours.