August 1: Good to Have Goals

The practical world has lots and lots to offer us.  It has countless comforts and many many remarkable things but it is missing something that is most significant to all of us.  The practical world does not have dreams of transcendence.

photo by Alakananda

The practical world has boundaries and dimensions that can be measured and recorded and kept safe.  Human beings need to have firm structures in order to pursue the things that matter to them.  But spiritual seekers feel the call and pull of the divine world that exists within us all. A realm of light that has no dimensions or boundaries.

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The practical world doesn’t want or feel the need to look within.  The divine world however is compelled to express itself continuously in the outer world in and through those willing to transform themselves.  In this same process the outer world is as well transformed.  In so doing, the divine creation evolves into the perfect perfection of what the creator intended.

finish-atmavir

Today 37 year old Atmavir Spacil from the Czech republic completed the Self Transcendence race for the 8th time.  He came in 5th and his time was 48 days 7 hours and 13 minutes.  He did something that no practical person would do.

He won nothing.  His name will not appear on the news tonight and other than the few hundred people who follow the race, most of the world will not even know what a remarkable thing he has done here today.

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His distance over 8 years (24,800 miles) is enough to take him around the world.  Atmavir has run now 45,192 times around a school in Queens New York in a time span that would take up a full year of his life.  What he has done and what he actually has accomplished cannot be explained or understood by the practical world.

Spirituality expresses itself in and through him with each of the countless steps, laps, and miles that he has completed here.  Is the world changed by it in ways that we can see and understand?

Only our hearts can feel and understand this.  Atmavir however has no questions of this as he crossed the finish line of Self transcendence yet again.  As he truly sits down for the first time in many many days.  A large cake is placed upon his lap and he promises to the few happy souls gathered around and about him, to come back next year and do it all again.

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July 31: This Is My Life

She has run with exceptional courage and tenacity.  44 year old Kaneenika Janakova is an incredibly gifted multi day runner, but now with just 5 days to go, it looks as though she will not make it to the peak of the 3100 mile mountain.

She is heart breakingly close, and all those who care and support her are as one.  All collectively feel the ache of watching a champion just miss what she has set out to do.

But like all great atheletes and also, like all exceptional spiritual seekers, Kaneenika every day now demonstrates a bravery and volcanic tenacity that is truly inspiring and uplifting.  On this bare stage of hard concrete she just keeps going forward.

We who watch cannot really imagine just how much effort she puts into each painful stride.  Each step now though taking her further into the illumining realm of self transcendence.   Where the true goal is not about something outer, like numbers but is something instead that is discovered and revealed only within us when we seriously strive for it.  Something attained only when we give our all, like Kaneenika has for the past 47 days.

Kaneenika has received lots of help this race.  She freely admits that all her helpers have been indispensable.  “Definitely the helpers are very essential in a race like this. This race is not just about the runner.  It is team work.  You really need a team of people to do this race.  They are definitely running with me.”

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“I knew it would be hard.  I never thought it would be easy.  They are never easy these races.   I didn’t think it would go this way.  What happened happened.  I just have to surrender.” (she smiles)….she ran 54 miles yesterday and now has 2779 miles

“I am getting all kinds of emails from people, since the beginning of the race.  Maybe people don’t realize, but each message that people send is almost like a magic pain killer, and energy booster.  Every time I read an email, particularly when I was in trouble for example. ( my foot or blisters or I had no energy)

“After I read the message I just went on.  Definitely people who are sending or even if they are not sending messages.  I know they are thinking of us and they are praying for us.  That is very important.”

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When asked how she views the course which she has circled 5064 times in the past 47 days.  “I think it is already different.  In the morning when I am approaching the course in the car.  I just feel……it is just so sacred.  You cannot really describe it.  It is definitely special and divine.  There is so much happening on each level.”

“I had a really hard time after my fall, and the injuries that came.  It was hard for me to get back to my source.  Than Guru actually tricked me.  Somehow I thought I shouldn’t be listening to any other music than Sri Chinmoy’s music.”

Kaneenika than describes an incident when she was listening to her mp3 player and accidentally hit the wrong button and something else began to play.

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“Different music came on, and I started laughing.  I think that was the point when I released whatever was inside that I was holding to.  So I thought that Guru had tricked me.  Than I realized that it is okay to also listen to other music.”

Than I was listening to something else and I had an experience.  I saw a screen with a movie playing and it was showing when I first came to become a student of Sri Chinmoy.  I saw the poster.  I saw the first function with Sri Chinmoy when I came to New York.  Everything was playing in front of me.  I just felt so much gratitude.  Since than I think something really changed in me.”

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“I know that the numbers are not important.  What is important is what consciousness we are in.”

When asked what she will feel about day 52.  “I think I will be happy but at the same time there will be sadness.  Because this is my life now.  Every morning I am thinking. My God I hope this is the last morning.  But once it is over there will be something missing in my life.”

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July 30: Deep Inside My Heart

With just a little more than an hour remaining in the day, a very joyful Yuri Trostenyuk crossed the finish line of the Self Transcendence 3100 mile race for the 3rd time.  After songs had been sung and a cake and flowers offered to him Yuri had this to say.

“Today a very important job has been done by me.  Heaven has sent a message.  The earth is happy that it has received the light of the heaven.  Every one of the runners of the 3100 mile race is a winner.”

“I have transcended myself.  (21 hours faster than last year) I have conquered my inner imperfections.  I have dived deep inside my heart and I saw God himself there.  I saw joy and happiness there.  I am very grateful to all of your kind hearts and prayerful hands for all the help that has been offered to me.”

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“And I have special words of gratitude for Souls from the Oneness Dream Boat Shore.  This achievement came from the power of their soul’s love.  That was the source of my energy.  My energy and my power I took from the Oneness Dream Boat Shore heart power.”

“Today my heart is all about joy, happiness, and love.  I want to share all of this with you.”  (Throws his heart again and again out to the crowd with wide sweeping gestures of his hands.”

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“This year was Yuri’s 3rd consecutive finish.  He ran it in a personal best of 45 days, 16 hours, and 45 minutes.  Taking 21 hours and 55 minutes of his previous best.”

“If you consider last year he took 3 days off his previous best.  It is not easy to do this, to keep getting faster and faster.”

“Another ironic thing that he did with all the personal bests.  He started the race in 9th fastest all time and he ended up in 11th place thanks to Ashprihanal, Galya, and Vasu. They all ran extremely well as did he.  The first 4 finishers have all set personal bests.  This is an incredible race.”

” Yuri you are nothing but heart.  When you run you run with the heart.  You run with the heart of not only Oneness Dream Boat Shore but of all the seekers of the world.”

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“You are 50 years old.  But your are more like 5 years old.  You run with a sweetness and a subtle intensity is also there.  You are trying to please your Supreme in his own way.  It is a beautiful thing.  We are all so grateful that you are such a shining example for all other seekers, for decades to come.  Age is no barrier.  You are the proof.”

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July 29: Journey Inside My Heart

“I am extremely happy.  Right now I feel really really good.  After the last few days of tension I have got some special relaxation.”

*Click On Picture below to play Day 46 movie……You will go to drop box, wait a moment and click on Open in upper right corner.*

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This is the 3rd year in a row that 50 year old Yuri Trostenyuk from Vinnitsa Ukraine has dedicated himself to running the 3100 mile race.

When speaking with Yuri even for a few minutes you begin to immediately understand his absolute devotion to the 3100 miles race.  A monumental task that by itself is impossible to comprehend how it can even be done at all.

Yet on this half mile loop Yuri has found a purpose and fulfillment that most of us can scarcely imagine.  To gather up even a fraction of his soulful inspiration is an aid in reminding all of us just how much further we all need journey. He demonstrates so clearly what we can accomplish once we unburden ourselves of our doubts and our lethargy and dive deeper into our hearts instead.

“Happiness is filling me up.  I am living in this happiness.  I want to share it with everyone.”

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Yesterday Yuri ran 70 miles.  It is the most he has run in the past 43 days.  He is not just eager to complete the race, he is also committed to giving every part of his being to transcending himself.  When he started this morning he was 71 miles ahead of his pace from last year.  It is likely that by the time he crosses the finish line late tonight he will move up to the 14th fastest time.

“The day of the start was the happiest day of the race.  The runners the helpers, everyone was happy.  Happiness was spilling out all around.  The next day I gathered all my prayers and decided to go on a journey.  It was a journey inside my heart.”

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His race of course has not been without extreme difficulties and yet he always found the solution when he dove ever deeper into his own heart.  After one episode, “when later on I began to feel better.  I started to look at how I was running.  I was running like a strong normal runner.”

“I asked myself.  Where did this strength come from, that was moving me?  I understood.  That was grace, Guru’s grace.  These were the tears of Guru.  These were the hands of Guru they were carrying me.  He was with me.”

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“This pain and these experiences really changed me.  I understood very important things.  What is considered to be the truth inside our hearts.  What we have to treasure.  What we have to value, and what we have to strive for.”

“This race is unusual for me.  For the last few days I was running 70 miles a day.  This is just so that I can finish tonight.  I never during the race ran with that speed.  That happiness that I felt inside was giving me strength and energy.  I am happy.”

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July 28: This Is Our Home

Today Vasu completed the Self Transcendence 3100 mile race for the 4th time.  On each occasion that he has run, he has not only has improved his time but he also seems to have grown and transformed himself in a way that only self transcendence can do.  Self transcendence of course is not just for the elite and gifted it is a beacon that calls out to all of us.

To Vasu in particular his pursuit of self transcendence these past 4 years  has been all consuming.  A total commitment of his life energy and his heart’s joy for a goal that defies all our best descriptions.  Yet after 44 days and 6 hours the overwhelming sense of satisfaction he now feels and is experiencing is the furthest and most profound moment he has yet made in his life’s journey.

A simple way of understanding just how committed Vasu is to the race is to see him stop while running and pick up trash.  “This is our home, and we want to make our home clean.  If we keep it clean we can run as fast as possible.”

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“Each year it becomes more intensive and more sacred.  Every race is important.  Every race we try to please Guru in his own way.  But this year I think is very special.  Perfection.”

When he saw Ashprihanal finish he says he was very, very happy.  “I told him he must smash this record, and he will do it.  He is very inspiring.  He shared with me many secrets.  I am very grateful for him.  We run together and we told each other stories.  He inspired me and I inspired him.  Very very nice.”

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His time this year is almost 3 days faster than last year.  “This is all grace of Guru.  During the year I didn’t train as much as usual.  This year I started training just after I called the 6 day race in the Spring.  Sahishnu told me that I should break 42 days.  I am sorry because I could not break it.  But when Ashprihanal broke it I felt oneness with him.  So I feel that I did it.”

When asked about what will be in his thoughts when he crosses the finish line.  Vasu says that he will be thinking about Sri Chinmoy who made his achievement possible and also about all those back in Oneness Dream Boat shore who supported him the entire distance.  “Many disciples have prayed for me and helped me and inspired me to do my best.”

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Vasu’s exceptional time means that he averaged more than 70 miles a day, and incredible achievement.  “This is all grace of Guru. I just tried to be his instrument.”

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July 27: Earth And Heaven Came Together Here

5 years ago when Galya Balatsky last ran here it took him 46 days to complete the 3100 mile race.  In the long 5 year period that lay between then and now he continued to run, train, and obviously improve.  Last night, in the dwindling minutes before midnight he ran across the finish line once more.  This time nearly 4 days faster than his previous attempt.

He carried his nation’s flag, his face lit bright by a smile, and his self transcendence offering was completed at last.

This morning as he completes the few laps that will give him an additional Ukrainian record I ask if his waiting 5 years to come was worth it.  “Yes of course.”

The additional record that he now holds as well is one of almost shocking consistency.  For all of his 43 days on the course he never ran l day less than 70 miles per day.  It has never been done before and many people suggest strongly that it is a record that may  never be broken.

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“I am surprised because it is actually difficult to plan.” It is almost as if even he himself is surprised at his accomplishment.  He even ran 72 miles on his last day.  “You can never be sure.  You can be injured with each step.  Anything can happen.”

Stutisheel who is running with us says, “I just feel that this record will stay, if not for ever, than for a very very long time.  When grace descends, and personal effort and personal determination come together, than that is when this kind of miracle can happen.”

“But it is very very rare, and very powerful miracle that happened.”

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“To be sure there was lots of pressure particularly in the last few days.”  His only answer was to simply do what he had done every other day, reach the goal that he had set. “I have just got to go to the end.”

Galya tells me a story of how he once ran a 24 hour race and finished with 199km.  His goal had been to complete 200km.  From then on his goal was always to run till the very end.

“I have a feeling that there is some kind of magic here.  Not just some magic but real magic.  I was hoping that I would be a good instrument this time.  Earth and heaven came together here.”

galya-crowd

Galya now has just a few more laps.  He says he will be both happy and sad when he no longer has to run.”

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July 26: The Race Is More Than Special

Last year Jayasalini Abramovskikh completed the Self Transcendence 3100 mile race in her first attempt.  Coming to New York from her home in Moscow was a dream come true for her.  She had come many times to the multi day races in Flushing Meadow, but the 3100 was always calling out to her.  So when she did at last run in 2014, every step past 10 days was another step of Self Transcendence for this amazing athlete.

Her final result of 51 days and 12 hours was good enough to place her 7th overall amongst women competitors.  But rank, and time was never her goal.  She knew that by coming and taking part she was doing exactly what she needed to do at the time it was supposed to be done.

This year, due to injury she could not participate.  But the call of the race was so strong that she has now come for a week to visit the race.  Also, as fate would have it, she was here as history was made when Ashprihanal set a new world record.

“On one of the first days when I was running.  Vasu was passing by me and he said, did you see Guru? He was passing by in a car.  I was not surprised at all.  I answered, no.  I didn’t see him.”

“He said look in that car.  He will come again.  He will pass by one more time.  Than it was Databir who was driving his car and he was holding the picture of Guru.  Who in the picture was there with folded hands.  After that I was looking forward to seeing Guru.”

“Vasu asked many times.  Did you see Guru? I said yes, yes, I saw.”

Jayasalini than got in the habit of looking forward to seeing Databir’s car when it passed by.  “I was offering all my devotion to see this picture.  To see Guru with folded hands.  For me it was one of the sweetest memories and experiences.  It was just seeing Guru pass by twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.  It was very obvious and very tangible that he was here.”

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“Last year during the whole race I felt very peaceful and very happy.  I felt happy from knowing I was doing what I was supposed to be doing and being where you are supposed to be.  It was such peaceful joy and happiness.”

“But one day, I felt like I wanted some experience.  Because some runners were telling stories that they had such experiences.  They see Gods and Goddesses.  I was happy with my feeling inside.  But one day I asked Guru, if you want please give me an experience that I can really catch and be tangible.”

“Than one day I was running and I saw a man.  He was wearing orange clothes like a Buddhist monk.  He was walking up the hill and I was running down the hill in the opposite direction.  It reminded me of a scene in an old movie in which Guru is walking along a country road in a red dhoti.  He was swinging his arms so gently and smoothly and smiling.”

“The man in orange was walking exactly the same way.  When we drew closer to each other he folded his hands and he bowed to me.  Than I did the same and we both continued on our way.”

“That was an amazing story.  Guru fulfills all our wishes, everything.”

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“During the very last days of the race last year, Pranjal had already finished.  Than he came up to me and he was taking pictures.  He asked me, are you going to run next year.  I hope I will, I don’t know.  He said next year will be a very very special race….. and this race is more than special.  It is unbelievable.”

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July 25: My Best Race

“It was a special day for the whole universe not just for us.”

Yesterday in an almost storybook fashion Ashprihanal finished the 3100 mile race setting a world record in the process.  For all of us who could attend it was a beautiful and historic experience.  It really did feel that something of major significance took place.  That it was not just a brief glow on this shabby patch of concrete but in some ways that a bright beacon shone forth to spread light over the whole world as well.

*Click On Picture Below to go to Drop Box………Wait a moment and click on OPEN in top right corner to play Day 42*

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Now of course the other runners no longer have that phenomenal burst of energy, that was the 44 year old man from Finland, with them any longer.  He no longer blazes his way around and around the block pulling the tired and disheartened along with him.

“Yesterday I felt as though he finished the 3100 miles in one day.  Yesterday when he had just a few laps to go it felt to me as though he had just started that morning.  It was amazing.  It was really smooth right from the first day.  He was passing me many times.  But it was as though he wasn’t even there.”

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“He was really inspiring. It was amazing.  You can’t imagine what it is like running 76 miles a day.  It is beyond the physical world.  He can do it again next year very easily.”

“He ran so easily and I am dying every day and every hour and he was like flying.  It was not running it was flying.  When people call him the flying Finn it is really true.”

When the race is over.  “I will not be sad, but I will miss everything. I had a really really hard race.  It was my hardest.  But on the other side it is my best race.  What doesn’t kill you  makes you stronger.”

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Every day is like a new day for Baladev he says.  “We do not live in the past.  It is hard to understand because, it is a natural feeling.  We are just running this moment.  This is the reason we are missing the race when it is finished.  Because we live in the one lap, or sometimes just a few meters.”

“I wish everybody could experience this.”  Baladev feels that what he experiences is real spirituality in many of the ways that Sri Chinmoy expressed in his philosophy.  It is hard to believe.”  He feels that most often people who watch the race don’t understand this.  They think the runners are just running and not much else is happening.

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“A few people have a real understanding of what is going on here.   In the future more people will have this feeling about the race.”

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July 24: Constant Blessings

“I never broke the record before today.”

This is the 13th time that 44 year old Finnish runner Ashprihanal has run the hardest, longest race in the world.  The Self Transcendence race record books are full of his accomplishments, but today he has set a very unique record when he won the Self Transcendence 3100 mile race and set a new incredible record. One that was apparently years in the making but today took just 40 days, 9 hours, and 6 seconds to accomplish.

“It feels very nice.  I feel that I did it for Guru.” As Ashprihanal is saying these things he is sitting in a chair as relaxed and content as it may be possible to be.  He has not had this opportunity to relax for more than 40 days.  If offered he also would not have taken it.  He never once slipped from his relentless pushing over the 3100 miles he has run.

In the background Sahishnu, one of the race directors calls out.  “You did 3 kilometers a day more than Madhupran did.”

“That is good.” Ashprihanal’s time is 23 hours faster than Madhupran when he set the record in 2006.  Recently he sent this message to Ashprihanal

I am tremendously happy for you - you deserve the world record! Your constancy and focus is spectacular. I have always admired you for your ease. You run like a feather. This is self-transcendence par excellence. You are the greatest! I am happy for you with all my heart.

Madhupran Wolfgang Schwerk

When asked if he had been thinking about the record from the first day, “absolutely.  It was definitely my plan, right from the start.  I had a funny experience my first day.  Mdhupran’s first day was 85 miles.  My best first day so far was 90 miles.  So I was thinking I would do between 85 and 90 miles the first day.”

“Than some voice in my head said, stop that false modesty, and so then I did 94 miles.  I stopped thinking about what I was doing, and just went for it.  It worked.”

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“Grahak started helping me after 2 weeks.  At first he was kind of stiff.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to help me.  Than it turned out very good.  The main thing was to have oneness.  Than also he knew everything.  It was perfect help.  He is the 3rd best runner of the 3100.  You need a friend.”

“He also said the right things at the right moment.”

Ashprihanal says that in the earliest races his favorite moment is when Sri Chinmoy would sit next to him after he finished.  “That used to be the nicest moment.  Now I guess this is pretty nice.”

“Guru always in believed in transcendence.  Once you do something life goes on and you find new adventures.  Next year I am going to do some climbing, Guru’s mountains.”

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“I couldn’t do it without Guru’s constant blessings.  The force was there all the time.  It was not my capacity.  I feel that he wanted it to be done.  So I was just enjoying the ride.”

“I kind of felt that Guru asked me to do it.  So than I promised to be focused all the time and run till 12.”

By completing the race 13 times he also ties the record set by Suprabha.  Asked if he would do it again, “I think so.  I will meditate and see what I feel.  This is Guru’s special race.  He came here every day many times a day.”

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July 23: Make My Absolute Happy

“I still cannot make friends with the American sun and the American heat.”

50 year old Yuri Trostenyuk is running his 3rd 3100 mile race spectacularly well.  The last 2 summers he has found a way of conquering the half mile of concrete but the heat and humidity of a typical New York summer is another matter.

“I try to transcend it, but the problem keeps coming back.  I am solving it.  These hardships are making me stronger.  When such hardships come the little things just fall away. The only thing that remains is the most important thing.  These hardships are making me immune and much stronger.”

Till now his pace has been averaging of 67 miles a day.  His mileage going into day 40 is 2641 miles, 51 miles ahead of last year. He ran 64 miles yesterday.

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“This is my goal of self transcendence.  I am trying to go beyond my previous results.  My main goal is to make my Absolute happy.”

Ashprihanal is also very far ahead of not only his personal best but also the course record.  “What he is doing is beyond the outer result.  What he is also doing is something inner and I see his determination, his perseverance,  and it is beyond the mind.”

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I ask Yuri if he feels in someway like a pioneer running the 3100 mile race. “You can see it in the participants.  You can feel it inwardly even though you might not see it.  I feel and see very special blessings from heaven here.  They want to give a chance to earth and to people.”

“I feel a tremendous calling coming from Mother Earth.  This is her hope for the future.  I feel the tremendous hunger of humanity in what is going on here.  It is like a sip fresh water, and a exit out of the situation the world is caught up in right now.”

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“Therefore there is a huge responsibility that gets transferred to the runners here at the race. There is huge aspiration, huge self giving, sacrificing all your strength till the end of the day, every day.”

“This is the 3rd time that I am participating in this race.  Such power, such self giving, I have not felt before as I do now this year in the race.  Of course the race is not over yet.  But the situation that is happening here now is mobilizing, it is organizing, and it inspires and gives strength and power.”

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