The Sri Chinmoy 100k race in Paris has been taking place since 1988; Unnatishil Bravo, race organisers shares with us a little bit of the history of the race.
Every year we have had 15 to 60 ultrarunners coming to this race in a country, France, which has 15 to 25 100 kilometre races a year; sometimes it is not so easy to be able to get many runners on a 1 mile loop, but still we regularly have runners from Europe, Russia and America.
Over the years, we have had some top runners - for example, members of the 100k french national team such as Denis Gack, who finished the race in 7 hours 13 minutes or Huguette Joulalt, who set the French record 100k for women here in Paris in 1991 with a time of 8 hours 15 minutes. We also hosted runners from the Russian national team here in 1990. Since 2006 we also put on a 50k race, and it has doubled the number of participants coming, with some very good runners among them - like members of the French national team coming as part of their training world 100k competition, and in doing so breaking our 50k records - under 3h45 for men and 4h10 for women! The race has also been widely praised in French running magazines.
Video: The 2009 edition of the race; video by Kedar Misani
This year was the the 27th 100k and the 11th 50k race - we had members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon team from Paris, Britany, Nancy, Besançon, Montpellier, Luxembourg and even Zurich, on hand, creating a specialy joyful atmosphere. The weather was perfect, a little cool the morning and not too hot in the afternoon with a little rain.
David Ardid, who is preparing for the TransGaulle (a 1200k race crossing France from north to south in august) won the 100k Sri Chinmoy race in 8h08'48". The 50k race was won in 3h54'17" (male) and 4h49'46" (female). The female winner, from the Netherlands, happened to be jogging in the area the morning, saw the 100k race taking place and was inspired by Mena, one of our race organisers, to start the race that day at 12! She had already run last year in the 100k Sri Chinmoy in Amsterdam.
However the real star was Valerio Puccianti. At the age of 93 years old, he finished in 11h12'52" and set a real example for us wit hhis grace and humility. We brought him back to his home by car. At the end 14 out of 17 runners finished the 50k, 14 out 22 runners finished the 100K - a total of 28 finishes out of 39 participants. Jean-Michel Boiron, who has completed almost all the 27 editions of the 100k race since 1988, finished his 396th 100k in total. Always smiling, Jean-Michel is over 70 years old, but looks around 55. He is has written many nice things about our races in magazine articles over the years.
Some of our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team members came from far abroad to run the 100k race. Andrea Marcato from Italy finished 3rd make under 50 in 9h34'54", a personal best, and André Ribeiro from Portugal finished in 12h33'35".