Race Report - The Self-Transcendence Marathon

If "lovely" were a term one could use to describe 8 3/4 laps of a 2.96 mile paved path around Rockland Lake without being called a crack-pot, I'd tell you that the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Marathon was.....lovely.

I chose to run this marathon not as a race, but rather as a training run before heading off to Jamaica for a week (where running will be the last thing on my list of priorities). As the marathon was scheduled for the day before my departure, it seemed like the perfect way to get some quality miles in, while letting someone else worry about schlepping the water :)

26.2 slow miles later, I am left with a profound respect for the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team.

It was an incredibly organized race, with plentiful aid stations that NEVER seemed to be low on anything - Cytomax, water, bagel quarters (buttered or with cream cheese), potato chips and m&ms. The volunteers were cheerful and supportive, and hailed from all over the world. The cacophony of language was overwhelming!

As I ran the loop, I came upon a man reciting poems (you had the option to "Pick Your Poem" as well), a sitar player, a quartet singing and playing drums, an accordionist, and a violinist.

As for the race itself...for me, it was painfully slow. I forced myself to treat it like an ultra, taking walk breaks as I went through the aid stations. Since my training this summer has been sporadic at best, it would have served no purpose to push the pace and actually race - plus, I'd have been incredibly sore and uncomfortable for the plane ride to Jamaica! Keeping a steady 11 minute mile pace staved off the quad pain, leaving me with just a bit of hip tightness from going so slow. A amenable trade :)

I made peace with the loop course over the winter with my first foray into the ultra world - even so, this was the first real loop race I have run solo - totally different beast. I found myself repeating the number of remaining laps in my mind as I ran (they don't keep track, you're on the honor system here). If not for my GPS, I would have been lost in regards to how much further I had to go...my math skills seems to fly out the window once I start running.

By mile 20, the idea of being done with my long run was incredibly tempting! But, since the plan had been to run the entire 26.2, I stuck it through 'till the end, finishing slightly over 5 hours. A personal worst for me, marathon-wise, but probably the most beneficial training run I've ever done.

Post-race, they offered massages (oh, so nice!) and a lunch buffet with hearty pasta, tabbouleh and hot dogs (all vegetarian I believe).

I left Rockland Lake with a quality training run under my belt, a pampered post-marathon body, and one hell of a sunburn.

If ever you're looking for a late summer event - keep this one in mind. It had to have been the nicest marathon I've done - had much more of an ultra-community feel to it. I know I'll be there next year (hopefully to take advantage of the pancake flat course - and get a nice sub 4 hour)!

Now I can head to Jamaica guilt free - a girl's gotta take it easy after a marathon, right?


  1. Great Job Staci! Sounds like a great race and for what it's worth, my math skills go right out the window when I'm running too. I totally rely on my Garmin to tell me how far to go! :)

    Hope you're having fun in Jamacia!

  2. Hallo Divaleh,

    I like this race.
    Every year I read and watch the news.

    Her a link to basic site of this race. (with profiles of the runners and much more)


    Richard /Germany

  3. Good job! Enjoy your vacation, it is well earned!!!!


What's on your mind?