About the author:

Tejvan organises short-distance running and cycling races for the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in his home city of Oxford. He is also a very good cyclist, having won the National hill climb championships in 2013 and finished 3rd in the National 100 Mile Time Trials in 2014.
Sri Chinmoy

Between 1977-79, the Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team participated in 24 hour bicycle races (sponsored by Pepsi) around Central Park, NY. Sri Chinmoy and many of his students took part in these cycle events.

On May 28th, 1977, the team entered for the first time. 1977 was also the first year of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which began organising running races for the community. For the weeks leading up to the event, Sri Chinmoy oversaw the training and preparation. Shortly before the race, he spoke to those who had entered the 24 hour event.

“Next week, it will be only you and your cycle. Give your heart and soul on that day. Nothing is as important as competing with your best effort.”

The team completed a total of 22,530 miles (36,258 kilometres) in their first outing.

In 1978 the Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team entered by far the largest team of 197 riders in the event. The team captured many prizes such as: best riding team, logging 38,605 miles; best ten member team, with 3,150 miles and also the best uniformed team. The team kit involved gold shorts, and cycling caps with Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team written along the edge. The first woman was Pragati Pascale, a member of the Sri Chinmoy Centre.

In 1978 Sri Chinmoy completed 230 miles, surpassing his previous years total by 55 miles.

Ashrita after completing 405 miles

A notable performance was by Ashrita Furman who cycled a distance of 410 miles. This was one of Ashrita’s first outstanding athletic performances and achieved on little training. In an interview after the race, he mentioned many meditation techniques, such as mantra and visualisation as tools to keep going. After this first sporting feat, he became inspired to break many World Records. Since 1977 he has broken over 500 (as of Aug 2016.)

In 1979, the Sri Chinmoy Centre fielded a record 215 members. The team ended up capturing the third place trophy in the men’s category (Arpan DeAngelo) and second and third place in the women’s category.

Sri Chinmoy cycled 160 miles, though he had recently switched his focus to long-distance running, completing two marathons in the preceding few weeks.

A key element of Sri Chinmoy's philosophy is self transcendence - the idea of surpassing our own limitations. The Marathon Cycle Race was an opportunity for Sri Chinmoy and other members of the team to cycle much further than they might have anticipated. The Cycle marathons also took place at the real birth and growth of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, which has become one of the leading pioneers of long-distance events.


Photos of cycle marathons


Meditation by bicycle before the start of the race



During the race