On April 7th, the three fastest male runners of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team came together the Rotterdam marathon, which is well known for producing fast times. Samalya Schäfer (Germany), Vajin Armstrong (New Zealand) and Abhinabha Tangerman (The Netherlands) have all broken the elusive barrier of two hours and thirty minutes for the marathon distance. The three runners are good friends and regularly head off together for runs and training camps, but this was the first time they had toed the line together in the same marathon.
Of the three, Abhinabha finished first in 2:31:17, followed by Samalya in 2:31:48. Vajin, who has represented New Zealand and won some of trail running's most prestigious races in the past few years, experienced some hamstring problems this time around and finished in 2:34:21. Also running in Rotterdam were two other members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team who both set personal bests - Sadanand Magee from Ireland in 2:50:34 and Himadri Kavai from Hungary with 3:36:35.
Since the late 1970s, members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team have completed numerous marathons following in the footsteps of founder Sri Chinmoy, who ran 22 marathons and encouraged others to test themselves physically, mentally and spiritually at this iconic distance.
“Self-transcendence gives us joy in boundless measure. When we transcend ourselves, we do not compete with others. We do not compete with the rest of the world, but at every moment we compete with ourselves. We compete only with our previous achievements. And each time we surpass our previous achievements, we get joy.”
– Sri Chinmoy
Aside from the success of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team members, this edition of the Rotterdam marathon also saw a new course record in 2:04:1, set by Marius Kipserem from Kenya, as well as a new Dutch national record in 2:06:17 set by Abdi Nageeye.