Starting in May of 1981, this race has an unbroken streak, except for one year, that now stretches back 35 years. It just may be the longest continually held 24-hour race in the world. For the past few years the race, which now also accommodates a 6 and 12 hour event, has been held in the Louis Riel dome. 49 participants came to take part this year on September 26 and the winner of the race won the Canadian 24 hour championship.
Here are some comments from participants:
“You get to see and run with folks you have seen before. That is the fun part. Running is fun. It gets a little less fun later on. The bear climbs on board and the fun factor is reduced. The people are still here and it is great running with other folks who are going through the same highs and lows. It is not like dog eat dog. If somebody is running well you encourage them, and if somebody is not running well you encourage them. It is great. Everybody is a winner. Anybody who has the guts to run for 6, 12, or 24 hours that is great. They are are demonstrating a fit lifestyle. They are challenging their own limitations."
“I have only heard good things about this race. For many ultra runners it is kind of an institution. The people are always enjoyable. But also it is fun to just run and not think about anything for 24 hours. It is kind of like meditation."
“I have been doing long distance running for the past 33 years. The race organizers here are the top notch people in the world. You never know what is going to happen. It is such a long race, lots of things can happen. So you have to handle the demons. The demons go when you handle them properly. They are mental as well as physical.
It is incredible. There is a long term satisfaction doing the race and knowing that you can. But the feeling you get, even when you don’t do well. The last hour or so when you are on the track there is a feeling and energy that comes that is just incredible. You can only experience it by doing it. The bad thing from the beginning is that you have to the other 23 hours to feel that last hour."
“I am doing it this year because I just turned 70. I wanted to do one as a 70 year old. It will probably be my last ultra. My goal is to always stay on the track and keep moving. It doesn’t matter how slow I am. It is just about participation. I think the real race is the human race. I think all the years of running and being active improves my life in general. To get the most out of it you have to move. Be active. Doing something. Get excited about something.”
“The vision behind this race is incredible. How could Sri Chinmoy, at the time (35 years ago) have envisioned to seed 24 hour races all around the world. There were tons of them. That was one of the starts of the ultra world. People did not know at the time the potential of human beings to do long races like this, and Sri chinmoy saw that. He made it happen. Look at this. It is continuing. Good people. You can see, we are having fun.”
"This is a beautiful race because there are beautiful people here."