Amazing Running Feet

October 27, 2017

Need some running motivation. Dipali Cunningham is a great Australian runner you probably haven’t heard of. She has lived in the USA for 35 years and has raced almost exclusively in North America but she stills call Australia home. She might be small in size and quietly spoken, but her running achievements are towering by any standards, especially in the field of multi-day running.

A netballer in her youth, Dipali only started running when she was 21, pushed into it by her brother who was dragging her along to a lot of Melbourne races in his own attempts to get under two hours thirty for the marathon. She watched the races from the sidelines and was impressed by the runners’ attitude in general and the positive self-image they carried. Soon she joined in and started training seriously. “After a while it became a way of life,” she says. “Running is the best way to start the day.”

Dipali got nippy over distances up to and including the marathon (her marathon PB is 3:07) but when she moved to New York she discovered ultrarunning. Each year the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team hosts a 47-mile (75.6 km) event and Dipali has put her own stamp on this race, winning it 27 times. The race takes place on her birthday. Even in 2015, on her 57th birthday, she won the race in 6 hours 42 minutes – which is only about half an hour longer than what she was doing when she was 31. “I think it teaches me that age is in all in the mind,” she says.  

After winning a number of 10-day, 700-mile and 1000-mile events, Dipali started focusing on the classic 6-day race. Since 1998, she has won the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 6-Day Race an amazing 18 times in a row. In 2001, at age 42, she surpassed her own female world record, running 820 kilometres.

Dipali often uses meditation to cope with the mental and physical challenges of ultrarunning. “I just try to compete with myself, do the best I can and rely on grace.” True. But Dipali definitely has a competitive streak and extraordinary talent. You have to have those qualities to win so many races. 

In 2009, Pam Reed of ‘Born to Run’ fame entered the Sri Chinmoy 6-Day Race and arrived with a huge entourage. A multiple outright Bad Water Marathon winner, Pam had handlers, photographers and medical assistants all in tow. You name it Pam had it. She also declared her intention to break all sorts of 6-day records and this got Dipali very motivated. They had an epic battle, and at age 50 Dipali took victory, running further than any other female had in 6 days – 513 miles (825 km). Pam ran 788 kilometres and, needless to say, both of them blitzed the rest of the field. Dipali didn’t last the awards ceremony though. She passed out from exhaustion on the dais.

So, what was better: defeating one of the best female ultra-runners at the time and setting a world record or doing a PB? “Definitely the PB. The whole thing was like a dream. It was such a thrill to transcend my best and gave me such a feeling of accomplishment.” And what does running mean to her? “It is a way to feel good about yourself.  It gives me real inner and outer strength and makes me feel I am the person I am meant to be.”

·         36 multiday races completed

·         30 first place finishes

·         12 times overall wins (beating all men and women in the race)

·         1st ranked in the world and 3 world records — 6-day race (women):

o   1998 811.1km/504 miles

o   2001 820.7km/510 miles

o   2009 50 years old 825.5km/513 miles

·         3rd ranked woman in world for 1126km/700 miles

·         4th ranked woman in world for 1069km/1,000 miles

·         33 Australian National records (24 hours to 1,000 miles)

·         2014 American US age group record 55-59 years 764.4km/475 miles


Dipali will be visiting Perth on October 31 and is traveling around Australia to Melbourne, Brisbane (Nov. 9) and Canberra afterwards. As our keynote speaker she will be talking on fitness, motivation, running and nutrition. Visit for more info


New World Record at the 3100 Mile Race

August 10, 2017
American Yolanda holder became the worlds best walker after travelling 3100 miles in the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. She was so happy on the last day you can see and feel it in her interview with Utpal Marshall.

During her race she hoped to inspire and motivate her friends and followers with a 52 day challenge. Encouraging them to work out each day she competed. What a champion!

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How to Stay Safe When You Are Running

January 17, 2017

There's a number of great races around the world in or around big cities. From the Laugavegur Ultra in Iceland to the scenic surrounds of Boston Marathon qualifier, the Rockland State Marathon in upstate New York, it is time to start your training and your travel plans if you plan on visiting and competing. I feel it's always worth arriving a minimum three days early so you can recover from the travel, stay injury free and see the sights.

It is important to think about safety when you are...

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Returning to Running

December 7, 2016

After an enforced injury lay off it is so nice returning to running. I managed an easy 6k yesterday in Bold Park. A bush land area in metropolitan Perth with great city and ocean views and undulating trails it was so nice to be running again even it was very slow.

I thought I would be miserable not being able to run for such a long time but I managed to keep active by doing weights, stretches and skipping! For longer cardio exercise I could cylce and swim, two sports I don't do much of. Someti...
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Yuri Wins, Ashprihanal Second and Kaneenika Finishes

September 6, 2016
Yuri Trestenyuk was the victor in this years race. It was an amazing finish, the closest in history. Just a few hours separated first and second, the 3100 mile equivalent of a sprint finish. Ashprihanal was inspired to chase 5 days from the finish. It must have been torturous for Yuri but he didn't cave in all, taking no breaks, trying to hold on to his lead."Yuri can do only do around 70 miles," was whispered amongst runners, handlers and organisers. "He can't hold on." Ashprihanal had him c...
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Vasu and his blister

July 13, 2016
On day 23 passing Vasu Duzhiy was passed. Apparently Vasu has a really bad blister. He got one in his first race also so I am sure he has the experience to deal with it! Apart from his blister he has the perfect body shape. Light, strong and hardened.

I spoke to Ashprihanal on the phone yesterday. He has been getting over a head cold...not something you want when you are doing 100 plus kilometers a day. He was in good spirits though and talked about climbing Mt Fuji in the winter. It was a lot...
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Start of the 3100 mile race 2016 edition

June 27, 2016

Start 3100 2016 from Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team on Vimeo.

This years field boasts 3 females and a couple of rookies. It is well underway with Vasu Duzhiy from Russia leading the way.

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New World Record in the 3100 Mile Race

July 27, 2015
Ashprihanal Aalto finished the 3100 mile race in 40 days and 9 hours. He averaged 76.7 miles a day for the duration of the race. He beat the previous mark that many people thought was untouchable by almost a day. He was feeling the joy of it all in the final 3 days leading up to his finish as the end was in site and was really happy, motivated and relaxed during this time. Reducing his breaks to just 7 minutes and allowing media to come in and photograph him while he was napping. He new he ha...
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Ukrainian Galya Breaks Two Records, Irishman to make it and a Finnish Bucket List

July 20, 2015

Ukranian Galya Balatskyy has made two records here. He has completed the most number of 70 mile days in a row ever. 37 and counting. He is aiming to finish on Sunday in 42 days. An outstanding result. In fact outside of this race only the current world record holder Wolfgang Schwerk has gone into or beyond the 42 day realm (twice). Galya would have won all bar 3 of the 3100 mile races with the time he is going to do in 2015.

Galya speaks five languages and looks the strongest out of all the r...
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Helping Ashprihanal

July 13, 2015
After moping around for a few days after pulling out with an injury Ashprihanal asked for some help. He is on world record pace and is averaging an outstanding 76.7 miles a day. He already has new records from 1500 miles to 2200. Helping is definitely better for me than it is for him. After exiting early it is easier to sink into a depressed state which I was starting to do, crewing for him really picked me up.

It is pretty interesting. He has three breaks of 15 minutes at 11am, 4pm, and 8pm....
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I am ultra runner from Australia. I am into motivational exploits involving any sort of physical feat that is inspirational and positive. On the side I work as a motivational speaker, business speaker and trainer, keynote speaker and youth speaker.


© 2012 Grahak Cunningham all rights reserved