Lightest folding e-bike is on the way

vello-bikeThe breakthrough technology adopted for the new Vello Bike from Austria allows the battery to recharge on the energy generated while cycling, so you don’t need to dismantle it at the end of your ride and you will not run out of battery power. This is the first -bike worldwide that has this feature of permanent battery recuperation and with a weight of under 12 kg also the lightest.

The energy with this new system is harvested as before by braking and pedaling, just that it now also converts mechanical energy into electrical energy thanks to the Integrated Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). In that way, additional energy is released to recharge the light integrated lithium-ion battery. Through this new technology, VELLO BIKE+ all-in-one changes the motor map automatically and continuously in order to keep the battery charged. The motor assistance and the cutoff speed both depend on the battery charge, the input from the pedals (speed-torque) and the road slope. Choose from different assistance levels to get the extra push you need with the 250W motor. It is electrically-assisted when you want it to be. Unlike most electric bikes, it is still easy to pedal even with the power assistance turned off.

You can ride up to 15 miles per hour (25 km/hour) for unlimited mileage in “self-charging mode”, or in “turbo mode” up to 18-30 miles (30-50 km) on a full charge without any effort. As soon as you stop pedaling, the motor will stop pushing. The generated power depends on several factors including the bike speed, the pedaling speed, the road slope and the selected power mode.

These are not all the features of this revolutionary new foldable e-bike: there is a new gear adopted to the system, a new suspension system, availability with a titanium or carbon frame and much more. The Vello Bike is not yet on the market, but you can order it on this Kickstarter page and pledge the required model; a lot of features are less expensive than later or even free. The compaign only goes for another 4 days, so you have to be quick. Until now 188 people are backing the project, totaling a pledge sum of over 300’000 €. Delivery is planned for April 2017.

Sri Chinmoy 12+24 h Race 2016 in Basel


At the 28th edition of the Sri Chinmoy 12+24 Hour Race Basel, thanks to the German Championships, we had a new record of participants: 127 runners at the 24 Hour- and 34 runners at the 12 Hour Race. A total of 14 different nations participated.

The 24 Hour Race: Dietmar Korntner from Austria (243.068k) and Maria Jansson (see picture above) from Sweden (242.686k) had an incredibly tight and exciting finale. Maria achieved a new world-best for this year, set a new Swedish record and the sixth best result ever run by a woman in a roadrace, only 4.39k less than the world record of Elisabeth Hawker (GBR). And this was performed in horrible weather conditions with 20 hours of rain, the worst weather we ever had at our race in Basel in the last 28 years. The German Championships were won by Stu Thoms with 237.164k and Antje Krause with 210.505. And the titel of the Swiss Champion went Simon Schmid with 202.576k and Ursula Herger with 188.40k.

The 12 Hour Race: This event started at midnigh with Sigrid Hoffmann (GER) showing a fantastic race. With 122.492k  she was not only the winner overall but she broke the 22 year old German record in the category W50. In the men’s category Marc Garcia from Switzerland won with 116.017k.

Photo by Kedar Misani

Peace Run Torch 2016 lit at UNESCO Paris


On 1 April 2016, 14 runners from the Peace Run 2016 made a stop at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. UNESCO was a relay of their 24,000 km tour through 49 countries across Europe in their 2016 itinerary, for sharing a message of peace and mutual understanding among peoples. UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Nada Al-Nashif, received the Peace Run torch at UNESCO, during the European relay which was launched on 11 February 2016 by the President of the Council of Europe, Donald Tusk.

Founded in 1987, the Peace Run association was inspired by the poet, philosopher athlete and humanist Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007), who believed in all individuals’ capacity to transform the world by making a step towards peace. Peace Run is a global relay run and a grassroots event engaging individuals around the world to express their aspirations for harmony between peoples, with the torch as its symbol, passed hand in hand across countries, cities and regions to illustrate this unity beyond borders and cultures, and to celebrate the human being in all his rich diversity. UNESCO places this event in the context of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022). The values and ideals embedded in sports are used to “promote respect for human rights and cultural diversity, (…) to fight against new forms of racism, discrimination, intolerance, extremism and radicalization, thus forging ties among peoples and nations.” Since its inception, the Peace Run has visited more than 140 countries around the world, in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America.


Val Muskett: Aiming for records after 60

ValVal Muskett (60), who runs for Hill City-University, broke her own age group (60+) world record in the 12hr race in the Sri Chinmoy series in Auckland at the weekend. Despite an ankle complaint in the three weeks leading up the event, she ran 110.79km, almost 1.5km further than her previous record, set in Adelaide earlier this year. Muskett was not on target to break her record at the marathon and 6hr marks, but put in a strong second half to win the race and topple her previous record. ”I had a poor first six hours, it didn’t quite go how I wanted. But the second six hours was pretty good,” she said. ”It’s a 400m running track.”

Before setting her original record in Adelaide, Muskett was just looking for events to use as training. ”I needed something to keep the wheels turning, so I said to my husband, `Don’t buy me a birthday present … let’s find a race that I can go and have a go at a world record. The aim was to go and have a holiday and break the record, which I did.” Muskett, who ran the Christchurch marathon in 3hr 35min earlier in the year, has represented New Zealand 12 times in various distances and plans to make it 13 next year. She ran 193km at the world championships in the Netherlands last year to qualify for next year’s event in Italy. If running 24hr straight was not enough, she plans to run a six-day race in England or Australia after next year’s world championships. ”My aim is to represent New Zealand one last time while I’m 60 … then I may well appear in a six-day race before I finally actually hang up my shoes. I want to try just one.” As well as Muskett’s most recent record, she holds five world records in the 55-59 age group. She set records in the 50km, 100km, 6hr hour track, 12hr road and 12hr track in 2010. ”I’ve got my eye on the 1000km record and maybe the 24hr record. That would happen at the world champs. I would like to finish my career with about 10-12 world records and having represented New Zealand 13 times.”


The 27th Zurich Lake Marathon Swim 2014

40 solo swimmers and 21 teams from all over the world started early in the morning in Rapperswil with the goal to reach Zurich within 12 hours by swimming nonstop on the Lake Zurich. In the beginning the sky was cloudy, but around noon the sun came to the fore and the air temperature climbed up to 27°C. Around Meilen the lake was choppy, the water temperature was ca. 21- 22° C. First to reach Zurich was Marco Allegretti from Italy in 6 h 19 m 41s. He beat the record of Jürg Schmid (CH) in the cate- gory “Men without wetsuit” from 2008. Fastest in the women’s category was Rachael Lee from Ireland with 7h 02m 15s. In the category “Relays with wetsuit” the team “Young, fast and furious” from Switzerland placed first in 6h 59m 11s. “Young and fast” the three girls are indeed, being only 12, 13 and 14 years of age! This is the short online summary; the full version is available on DVD.

Tejvan Pettinger wins Glossop Kinder Velo hill-climb for the 3rd time


National champion Tejvan Pettinger (Sri Chinmoy CT) opened his hill climb season in the same way as the previous two years with victory in Glossop Kinder Velo’s event on the Snake Pass in Derbyshire, England. Tejvan back in the country for a little over 24 hours after a trip to New York, was the only rider inside 12 minutes as he completed the 3.2-mile ascent in 11 min 51.5 sec, 15 seconds down on his event record from last year when he enjoyed a more favourable tailwind, to win the event for the third year running.


Documentary on Record Champion Ashrita Furman

“The Record Breaker” by Brian McGinn tells the life story of Ashrita Furman, the man with the most Guinness World Records of all time. Winner of the Vimeo Audience Award at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and Jury Prizes at the 2012 Palm Springs International ShortsFest and the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival, The Record Breaker follows Furman as he trains to set a new record: climbing Machu Picchu on stilts. Thanks to meditation and his teacher Sri Chinmoy Ashrita is transcending himself anew.

26th Swim Marathon on the Lake of Zurich

In August 2013 the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team organized its 26th International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim on the Lake of Zurich. Enjoy the highlights of one of the most treasured swimming competitions, for which the participants have to wait years to be accepted (Video by Kedar Misani). A longer version is available as a DVD.

50 solo-swimmers and 24 relay teams from all over the world started early in the morning in Rapperswil with the goal to reach Zurich within 12 hours by swimming nonstop. In the beginning the sky was a bit cloudy but soon the sun came to the fore and the air temperature climbed up to 28° (82° F) with a water temperature of 24-25,5° (73-78° F). At around 11 am a heavy storm front appeared to hit the Lake of Zurich but miraculously it passed by very sharply. First to reach Zu- rich was Oliver Wilkinson (GB) in 6:56:36 h. The fastest team was „SC Thalwil“ (CH) in 7:09:50 h. There were two re- cords in the Masters’ categories (over 40 years): Patti Bauernfeind (US) placed first in the the women’s category “Mas- ters without wetsuit” in 7:53:34 h. The second record was set by Friderike Wachs (DE) with 8:14:22 h in the women’s cate- gory „Masters with wetsuit“.

Vajin Armstrong Second in Swiss Alpine Race in Davos

vajin-davos-finishThe Swiss Alpine Marathon took place for the 28th time over the last July weekend in Davos and I was lucky enough to be one of the invited athletes for this years race. This event has a strong New Zealand connection with the winner of the Kepler Challenge travelling over to take part for many years during the ’90′s. Despite it’s name it is actually 78km long and is one of the largest trail ultra’s in the world with up to 1500 starters. The K78, as it is known, is part of a much larger series of races over the weekend that includes a marathon, a 30km race, a half marathon and numerous walking options. Overall more than 6000 people descend on the Swiss alpine town of Davos for the event. I had travelled to this race once before, in 2011, but sadly injury meant I never finished. For me this years race was an opportunity to show what I could do on a course that I felt suited me.

Race day dawned beauitiful and clear with the promise of plenty of heat to come, just how I like it. As usual there was a good field of internationals including 6x previous winner Jonas Budd of Sweden. Jonas, if you have not heard of him before, is very much the man when it comes the K78 but is also well known for multiple podiums at World 100km champs and placing 2nd at this years Comrades. Despite being 78km the race looks and starts like a road marathon, ie no packs or hydration just shorts and singlets. The pace was solid from the start (sub 3.40kms) and it felt awesome to be running with Jonas and Huw Lobb (2.14 marathon and 2nd place at Jungfrau) over the first 35km. When we hit the first real climb which took us up to Bergun, I had to stop for a bathroom break, but then still managed to catch and drop both of them to take the lead. (Marathon split was 2.43 for me)

From there I knew Jonas always closes hard, (he just got 2nd at Comrades with the fastest 2nd half) so I knew the big climb up to the Kerschhutte was the one place I could do some damage. I ended up 6+mins up at the top of the first climb and he admits he was starting to really worry. From there you have 5.5km of pretty rough alpine running up to the Seertig pass at 2700m, this is where Jonas usually starts making his move. He took about 3mins out of me through this section as it was really hard to get the legs moving on the downs after running up for more than 1hr30. On the steep descent from the Sertig pass I was doing alright until I took a massive fall when I was only a couple of hundred metres from being back on some good runnable terrain. Both calves cramped and I think I may have broken some ribs. I got up and luckily I could still run but I was very slow for the next few kms and this is when Jonas came past just after the 15km to go sign. I had no chance to go with him at that point as I was still just trying to get back into some sort of a rhythm.

Still I pushed him more than in any of his other seven victories, and he one of the worlds best. If you had offered me finishing seven mins behind him, before the race, I would have taken it no questions asked. People were freaking out when I got over 6mins on him, they were wondering who is this New Zealander. I was proud to have raced here to the best of my abilities and was extremely grateful to my friends, family and sponsors for helping me to turn my dreams into reality.

Vajin Armstrong, member of the Sri Chinmy Marathon Team