The whole race takes place on a single city block.
The whole race takes place on a single city block. (Photo: Courtesy

An Agonizing Endurance Race Around a Single City Block

The whole race takes place on a single city block.

What motivates someone to run more than 3,000 miles around a single city block? Transcendence. Just ask the entrants in the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, which takes place every year in Queens, New York. In order to get to the finish line ahead of the cutoff, competitors must complete the equivalent of two marathons a day for 52 days in a row. As physically grueling as that sounds, the greatest challenges are mental. In this replay from our Sweat Science series from a few years back, we investigate the surprising tools we use to convince our bodies to do the seemingly impossible.

This episode is brought to you by Outside Learn, a new online education hub loaded with instructional courses guided by best-in-class-experts like climber-filmmaker Jimmy Chin. See our growing list of offerings at

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Outside’s longstanding literary storytelling tradition comes to life in audio with features that will both entertain and inform listeners. We launched in March 2016 with our first series, Science of Survival, and have since expanded our show to offer a range of story formats, including reports from our correspondents in the field and interviews with the biggest figures in sports, adventure, and the outdoors.