It almost defies belief: A dozen runners are in the midst of a race that will take them around a single Queens, NY, block ... 5,649 times. That makes it a 3,100-mile race or, in this case, "spiritual journey." The event began June 16, and participants have up to 52 days to tackle the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race (that's an Aug. 7 end). DNAinfo spoke with one 37-year-old who has been looping the block 18 hours a day and sleeping no more than 5 hours each night. It's all thanks to Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual teacher who put an emphasis on fitness and opened a spiritual center near the block. More interesting numbers:
- The length of the race (upped from 2,700 miles in 1997) is a nod to Chinmoy's 1931 birth year, explain organizers. This is its 17th occurrence.
- Each block measures 0.54 miles.
- The total distance is equal to 118 marathons.
- Runners need to average about 60 miles a day. That's 109 times around the block.
- The record: 41 days and 8 hours, set in 2006 by Madhupran Schwerk.
- What runners eat: As many as 10,000 calories a day, but it's a strictly vegetarian diet. ("Sticks of butter" are mentioned.)