In the early morning hours of June 17, 2018, ten intrepid individuals lined up at the starting line of the Sri Chinmoy 3100 Mile Self-Transcendence Race, held in Queens, New York every year. Ahead of them was the prospect of running at least 59 miles a day in order to complete the race by the 52nd day.
One of these individuals was Israeli long-distance multi-day runner Kobi Oren. The 46-year old Kobi, a clinical psychologist who treats children, adolescents and adults, first began running in high school. He began his ultra-marathon career in 2008 when he ran his first ultra of 80 km (49 miles).
It was in 2008 that Kobi also founded and ran in the very first “Mountain to Valley” Run in Israel, a 200 km tandem relay race that was founded in that very year.
Since 2008, Kobia has set several records and become perhaps the most well-known ultra-marathoner in Israel. In 2011 he won the very first endurance race ever held in that country – running 168 km (104 miles) in 24 hours. In 2012, he ran 265 km (164 miles) setting the first Israeli record in an ultra-marathon event for continuous running.
His multi-day race career has taken him around the world since 2013. In 2014 he took first place in a 6-day race in Greece, a 6-day race in France, and a 10-day race in South Africa.
Since that time Kobi’s career has proceeded from strength to strength until he decided in 2018 that he was ready to run the Sri Chinmoy 3100 Mile Self-Transcendence Race.
Sri Chinmoy founded the 3100 Mile Self-Transcendence Race in 1996. Sri Chinmoy had founded several ultra-marathons and other races throughout his life as he believed that running is the “ultimate field” for self-transcendence – “challenging and overcoming the entire world’s pre-conceived notions of possibility.”
Forty-seven days after Kobi Oren began this ultimate self-transcendence race, he ran across the start/finish line for the final time – having completed the race in second place.
But it was not about winning for Kobi Oren. He had transcended that desire after a few days of this grueling race.
“I think that in the beginning of the race I tried to do what I do best, and that was to win this race. When I came to realize that I could win the race but in so doing I would lose the experience...I changed my whole strategy.”
Kobi felt that his experience at the race was about taking a pilgrimage. “I know that I will live with this experience not just for days to come but for years to come.”
To experience the full impact on the participants of the 3100 Self-Transcendence Race, visit Perfection Journey.
While these day-by-day photo essays will give you some idea of the endurance, joy, and camaraderie of the participants, the new documentary inspired by Sri Chinmoy, 3100: Run and Become, will transport the viewer into the very shoes as well as the minds and hearts of these extraordinary and spiritual athletes.