3100-Mile runner Nirbhasa Magee: 'You have to run for the right reasons'
By Tejvan Pettingerauthor bio »
About the author:
Tejvan organises short-distance running and cycling races for the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in his home city of Oxford. He is also a very good cyclist, having won the National hill climb championships in 2013 and finished 3rd in the National 100 Mile Time Trials in 2014.
This week, the Irish Examiner featured an interview with Nirbhasa Magee. Nirbhasa, from Ireland and currently living in Iceland, is a three-time finisher of Sri Chinmoy 3100-Mile Self Transcendence Race. Nirbhasa first completed the race in 2015, and last year (2019) he finished in second place with a personal best of 48 days+09:04:57. The article by Cathal Dennehy examines the inspiration and motivations which help Magee accomplish this Herculean effort.
In the interview, Nirbhasa explains how he copes with the intimidating distance of 3,100 miles.
“It was always very important to never think of the whole thing. Sometimes all you want is to get to the next break, then hopefully once you lay down a bit it’s a different race. You need a very good inner feeling for how far you can push it. It becomes a spiritual exercise. You have to run for the right reasons; if you run for ego or vanity, it’s reflected in the decisions you make and the outcomes of those decisions: injuries, heat exhaustion.”
For nearly two months of the year, Nirbhasa is running around one small half-mile loop in Jamaica, Queens, New York. Whilst this may seem very challenging from an outer perspective, Magee reveals how the complete immersion in the race, and the atmosphere of self-giving that surrounds it, gives him a profoundly different outlook on life when the race is over.
"If I have issues or something that keeps annoying me in normal life, when I finish the race that isn’t even a thing anymore. You do these races and realise there are very few real problems in my life. You get this real perspective that comes from inner peace.”