August 4: You Are Guided By Your Heart

“All I can say is that this race you don’t do alone.  You are never alone out there on the course.  You have so many hopes and dreams and inspirations of everybody, who is following the race.  It is just amazing how even though you are not really in contact with humanity.  You are not in contact with newspapers and whatever.  You really feel how the race is somehow percolating out there, and inspiring people.”

The sound of Nirbhasa’s Finish:

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“Life is hard for everybody.  Everybody is running their own version of the 3100 mile race.  Everybody has their own difficulties.  Definitely I felt that if I could inspire even one person to stick it out one more day.  To never give up.  To just push your way through the tunnel.  Than that is somehow really worth it.

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“Nirbhasa you did something remarkable, you finished the race on your first attempt.  You have become the first Irishman to ever finish the race.”

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“I think the race is really Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy in action.  The mind can’t really comprehend the distance. It can’t comprehend the enormity.  It can’t even comprehend doing a full day, never mind, it is just trying to get to the next break.  That is about as far as the mind can handle.  It is only when you live in the heart, and only when you have tremendous eagerness.  A tremendous feeling of being in the moment, and just being happy, and letting it happen.”

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Click to Play Nirbhasa’s Speech:

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Sahishnu announces Nirbhasa’s time and data.

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“Finishing in 8th place in a time of 51 days, 12 hours, 12 minutes which is an average of 60.1 miles a day or 96.8 km.  He is now ranked 32nd on the list of 38 finishers.”

“We are so proud of you.  It is so hard to do this race.”

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*It is with the deepest respect and gratitude that I thank all those who have followed the race here along with me these past 52 days. 

No matter whether your visits were long and rambling or that you came for just a quick click now and then.  I hope you have felt even an iota of the enormous blessing that this race is to me.    That you are drawn even one step closer to your own perfect perfection……..Utpal

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August 3: There Is Only One Power

“I would like to thank the race directors.  The undying enthusiasm from morning until eve, for so many days.  Unbelievable.  The cooks, unimaginable.  Better and better from year to year.  I don’t know how they do better but they do better every year.”

“I wish to thank the Enthusiasm Awakeners.  I would like to thank my family, Alakananda and Atandra.  My fellow runners they are the best people in the world, and of course my deepest gratitude goes to my Guru, Sri Chinmoy.  The one power behind every body and every thing.”

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Stutisheel speech:

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“Ladies and gentlemen, Stutisheel Lebedev finishes in 7th place today.  His 9th finish in 11 attempts.”

“Stutisheel finishes in 50 days 12 hours and 52 minutes.  Which is an average of 61.34 miles per day or 98.72km.  He is ranked 16th all time.”

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“Stutisheel is the consummate athlete because he is involved in every aspect of the sport.  He has written books about his experiences.  He has helped other runners.  He helps to get them organized so that they can do well. He keeps a blog to show the reality of this race.  But only he can experience the reality.”

“He has done this race and covered almost 28,000 miles.  It is a staggering amount.  I think he could go another 1000 miles right now.  Thankyou for your inspiration it is wonderful.  It is glorious, please come back again.”

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August 2: It Is All Grace

“I just want to say that standing here with this record is really hard to believe.  It is hard to believe because I had doubts until the beginning of this race.  Because I always felt that I was not strong enough.  That I am too weak and too tired.  But there were always good persons who said, no, no!”

“You just have to come to the starting line and everything will be okay.  Good that I listened to her.  So I registered very very late.”

“It is hard to believe because you cannot capture it.  Because it is all grace.  It is all grace, grace, grace.  That I could do it at this age (56 years old).

“So what more can I say than gratitude.  All gratitude to the great Sri Chinmoy Marathon team, because they are working so hard.  Very very hard, and still they are all very nice.  I admire this really very much.”

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“Than of course I want to thank all my helpers.”

“You can be a good runner and you can accomplish nothing.  You always need a team.  Otherwise you will do nothing.  Than of course I want to thank Nirjharini and the great cooks.  They also working very hard.  I also want to thank the counters and those who came around, and of course Parvati and the Enthusiasm Awakeners.”

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“They give us so much joy.”

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“Surasa Mairer from Vienna what an extraordinary performance.  3100 miles in 49 days, 7 hours, and 52 minutes.  You averaged 62.84 miles per day, or 101.1 km a day.  The fastest women’s time in history. You move from 26th to 21st place.  You have gone 6 hours and 38 minutes faster than the previous record held by the immortal Suprabha Beckjord.

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“I really thought that Surasa’s career had peaked in 2001 and 2002 when she set numerous records.  She vanquished her opponents in every race for the women and sometimes the men.  She has such a sweet child like nature about her.”

“I remarked when she finished her first 3100 mile race at the awards ceremony I said, I only wished that she was 10 years younger.  Just to see what she could do.  Now I am the one with the egg on my face.”

“She has done something extraordinary at age 56.”

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“I must say she runs with lightness, with power, and with determination.  Like all the great champions.  They run not only because they can but they feel as though they are running towards the greater horizon. We all become better as they better themselves.”

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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.

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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.”

Click to Play Sounds of Yuri’s Finish:

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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.”

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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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