About the author:

Nirbhasa is originally from Ireland but currently lives in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is an enthusiastic multi-day runner, having twice completed both the Ten Day Race and the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race - the longest race in the world.

Since 2005, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team in Mongolia has been organizing a Self-Transcendence Marathon in Darkhan city, including a 4 km race and half-marathon. This race has been becoming more popular as time goes by – this year, not only runners from Darkhan city, but also runners from another 6 provinces and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital city. This year, more than 1700 runners, including the Governor of Darkhan City and many professional runners, participated. Here are some notes from Enkhmaa, one of the race organisers:

In past years we had more and more people to run the race, but we did not have much success in involving the authorities in the event. But this year, I had the chance to involve the authorities in the Darkhan Marathon. In April an international conference was held at the university where I work, and the governor attended. When I took the chance to meet him and tell him about the public marathon, he was extremely enthusiastically and, he wanted to run the race himself! He proposed a meeting in his office the next day. Knowing the diffculties in getting an appointment with the governor, I could not believe it. At one point during the meeting the governor took one paper out from a thick old file to show us. It was an award certificate for his winning a peace race back in 1985. 

Although it was cold on the race day, a lot of people, including many professional runners, came and even more people joined just to see the governor running or to run alongside him. The opening ceremony was great with the national anthem and the nice speech by the governor and other honorable guests. Then the start was overwhelming; it seemed just like a colorful range of flowers. We had 1700 runners from 35 organizations to run the 4k, 21k and full marathon, and the governor finished 4km in 33 minutes.

With the inspiration from this year’s successful event, we have ended up with higher aspiration and new ideas for the next year and agreed with the governor to bring it up to another level by involving great runners from other countries!