July 31: Your Soul History

This morning Sopan set off on the course just as he has now for the past 45 days.  Yet without fail, at least for the last few weeks, watching his first few laps is without question one of the most painful sites you can imagine.  He is by far the slowest, at that time of day at least, and what he does in those early laps is not what most of us would call running or even walking.  Probably there is an more accurate physiological term but to me it could best be described as a  hobble.

sopan-sun

His shoes scrapping along the sidewalk you can hear him shuffling along from some distance off.  There are lots of reasons for his current condition.  He has blisters and he has unbearable pain and fatigue.  But just about the easiest way of understanding just why he looks the way he does in the mornings is to just look up at the score board.  When you see all those numbers, 2562 miles they are the reason for both his suffering and his joy.

It hasn’t always been like this.  There have been days on the course when every little bit of Sopan was working smoothly rhythmically and superbly.  The first 2 weeks he regularly put in 113 lap days,  accumulating those all so important laps in case problems should arise, and then they did with a vengeance.  The hole he found himself in kept getting a little bigger and deeper each day until eventually there was not going to be any way to just grab back those all important lap numbers.  Not when time was hurtling along at its relentless pace as it does not just here but with all of life.

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Yet lest we forget, the most important thing of all is that he is happy to be here.  Also as the morning progresses he becomes more limber and does move along well. He would love of course to finish all those 3100 miles, but even now he is looking at those last precious 7 days ahead and is looking at another number.  It just might be 3000 miles, still a great achievement, or it might be something else.  Even he doesn’t really know just yet.  He will stay out here as long as he can doing his best and simply see where all that effort and sacrifice takes him.

For Sopan this year’s race is far from being a failure.  Instead he feels that this year is instead one in which he has made a truly significant breakthrough.    Found an answer to a long standing muscular and skeletal problem that has kept him out of the race for a few years.  Not too many days ago he said, “Every time I have a good day I thank God and try to stay humble next day I do my best.”

Photo by Jowan

Photo by Jowan

Today is special for him in a lot of ways, for it was on this day 7 years earlier in 2006 that he finished the race in 50 days and 13 hours.  It was a glorious achievement for this young man from Bulgaria.  In what was also a great surprise to him, Sri Chinmoy himself, the founder of the marathon team was there for his finish.  Just a couple of hours earlier another runner finished as well.  So on that very special occasion Sri Chinmoy not only gave them their spiritual names but also composed songs in their honor.  His name Sopan, means stairway to the highest.

As we near that same spot where it all happened he says, “there is a lot of history here.”

Photo by Jowan

Photo by Jowan

Your body-history
You do not know.

Your vital history
You have forgotten.

Your mind-history
Disheartens you.

Your heart-history
Inspires you.

Your soul-history
Satisfies you.

Sri Chinmoy, Europe-Blossoms, Agni Press, 1974

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July 30: A Changed Man

I remember once hearing my Dad say that he was too old to change.  If there was something in particular troubling him, or whether it was simply life in general vexing him, in the way it exhausts most of us mortals, I cannot remember now.  At the time I thought he was incorrect but I was not going to be the one to tell him so.  For certainly when our troubles mount up around us finding another way of dealing with them often looks just like adding another problem to the already considerable pile.

vasu-gold2

Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy has everything to do with change and transformation.  The very word self transcendence cannot ever be removed from the very core meaning of what everyone is trying to accomplish here at the 3100.  Admittedly as someone who is now getting closer to the age when my Father said those words I know how easy it is to resist the great divine forces that really want to lift us up to our own perfection.  The first step surely has to be just to release and let go of the things that do not illumine and inspire us.  Not always easy.

At the 3100 though nothing is ever static.  Now as the race is drawing quickly to its conclusion you can sense a gathering surge of even more energy and movement.  Like a great tide that is carrying all who part of the race to some new destination.  Bodies which over the course of 40 plus days and thousands of miles have found amazing ways of adapting to this physically impossible task.   Not to speak of the mental and emotional burdens as well.  But despite all this you can see clearly how each runner is now being pushed to their absolute limits and then some.  Still they are adapting and changing to deal with the problems even when there seems like there is no solution.

But the Supreme did not bring us into this world to be stopped dead in our tracks.  Change only appears to be painful and impossible if we don’t honestly and soulfully try.

If you sleeplessly aspire,
You will not remain a prisoner
Of the failure-past.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 130, Agni Press, 1990

vasu-gold

This morning Vasu starts the day just 4 miles behind Atmavir who did not have a good day yesterday.  I ask him what this new situation means to him.  “Many people have inspired me to run faster.  But I think I can do only what I can do.  Yesterday I got a letter from home and they told me that they were inspired to see that I was in the top 3.  They were very happy.  But I think I need to only do my best.  It is only God’s will who will be first and second and who will finish.”

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Some changes are happening at one of the Enterprises on Parsons Blvd for those who know it.  The Smile of the Beyond is being renovated.

smile

A changed man
Is a changed world.

A changed world
Is a changed God.

A changed God
Is a changed Dream.

A changed Dream
Is a changed Silence.

Sri Chinmoy, The Dance Of Life, Part 13, Agni Press, 1973

Photo by Bhashwar 1977

Photo by Bhashwar 1977

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July 29: The Divine Journey Never Ends

“Today I am feeling a little bit tired.  But it is okay.”  If you ever want to take a real look at somebody with a calm and steady mood and temperament than try and spend sometime with Surasa.  And yes add to those qualities as well her extraordinary ability to remain cheerful and positive when confronting a monumental physical, mental, and emotional challenge.  One that most of us would never even consider little alone attempt even once in our lifetimes.  Surasa has taken on one of those mythical but very real battles not just once,  but now this 55 year old champion from Vienna is enduring it once again for the 3rd time.

“I have some blisters, yaaah, my dear friends.  But they are not so bad.  But I think I didn’t sleep enough.”

surasagood

There are some runners who when looking at the daily schedule of the race might just think that the break between midnight and 6 am would offer all the rest and comfort an exhausted body would need.  Just enough to then be able to get up and face another day.  It doesn’t.

surasa-sunThe cruel mistress Time often makes false promises of relaxation but they never come true, at least not here.  Surasa, like all the runners tried to snatch a handful of hours of sleep last night.  What she probably ended up with was something that was more like a miserly 3 grim hours.

It was also the kind of rest that was not anything like good solid hours of peace.  More on the other end of the spectrum, just miserable desperate ones.  A throbbing moment of time in which her restless aches and not so phantom pains pummeled and pinched at her relentlessly throughout a few dark hours.

Who knows how much sleep is really enough. How much is enough on an ordinary day, when the sole tasks confronting you are a few hours of work or school.  How much do you need to run 60 miles? No, excuse me, 3100 miles in 52 days.

There could be some good practical science which could predict accurately a lot of things about the race.  Calculate and then map out the optimum amount of training and experience.  Introduce a proper course of nutrition.  What should be done in preparation of the feet and how to stretch and how often you should do it as well.  Technical details that make a lot of sense on paper but are as useful to Surasa now as being invited out for a coffee and a strudel at a cafe in Vienna.

What counts only now is just the 470 miles ahead of her and that she go about making those miles as best she can.  All of her life is focused on the course right here and now for the 3rd time.  It includes everything of who and what she has and is.  Whether it is her tiredness, her pain, as well as her strength and her dedication.  All the forces and qualities she has within mixing moving and manifesting in and through what she is as a runner and who she is becoming as a spiritual seeker.

surasa-wide

Yesterday she felt her mileage was not so good, just 109 laps or 59 miles.  “It was because I spent too much time with the Dr. and couldn’t do my mileage.  I had a little problem.  (One her helper Irena considered to be quite a bit bigger)  In the late afternoon I was sometimes a little bit dizzy, I couldn’t do so many miles anymore.  But it is okay.  I am quite happy with this mileage.  If I can do this until the end than I will finish fine.  I am just trying to do what I have to do which is 109 laps.  If I could do 110 it would be wonderful.

“But I know if I also do not so many I can also finish.  My goal is slowly and steadily.  Not to overdo it, and I can run quite good until the end.”

Sri-Chinmoy-Puerto-Rico

The divine journey never ends.
Each ending is the preparation for a greater and more fulfilling beginning.

Sri Chinmoy, Colour Kingdom, Agni Press, 1974

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July 28: Live Inside Your Heart

“It is such a long race, but whey you are nearing the finish you start to savor every moment because you know it is coming to an end.”  After 42 days of running Sarah has completed 2100 miles.  Certainly not the kind of distance she had hoped for at the beginning, now so many weeks ago, and yet she has run for more days and for a longer distance than she has ever done before.

For quite a long time now the big, 3100 mile finish line just drew further and further away from her ability to reach it.(This time)  Many other athletes when faced with this discouraging scenario would have simply opted out.  Packed their bags and headed off instead to warm showers and soft beds.

sarah3

There are times when we see in others such powerful and illumining qualities that we can be surprised and also hopefully inspired by them as well.  Sarah has amply demonstrated here an incredible strength, resilience,  perseverance, and bravery.  Strong inner qualities that don’t quickly become evident when you take just a quick glance and see just her kind and gentle nature.  Her long battles here however show a much different dimension of who and what she is.  These epic experiences have placed her front and center with many unavoidable encounters with a number of significant inner adversaries.

Just finding her way around and through a long standing foot injury showed that she had an incredible grit and determination.  Yet perhaps her greatest adversary was simply dealing with what looks like a small battle, but really for most of us it is just so much more challenging.  For many our greatest adversary is simply dealing with our own doubt and disappointment. How well she has fared in this is evident simply by the fact that she is happy and still out there on the course.

I mention that now she has just 10 days more, a time she has had to confront many times in the yearly Spring races in Flushing Meadow.  “10 days is still a long time.”

sarah8

“The mind is our biggest enemy.  This place could be a playground the whole time if you chose to see it that way, in the best consciousness.  It is like our every day life.  Sometime we get down, and we think, why do we have to do this.  I think the mind has a lot to do with it.”

“I am really thinking every day at a time now.  The foot injury feels like I am managing it, for the first time, in a long time.  It is not giving me a lot of trouble so I hope to run a little better.  I really feel like I want to enjoy each lap.  I feel like there is a change right now.  People have got through the extremely hard times.  But who knows what’s ahead.”

sarah-sun

As she contemplates the final moments of the race, “really I think I am going to miss it.  I never thought I would say that, but when I go home to my regular life, I am going to remember that this is a kind of spiritual world here.  It is a mini world.  Everyone you speak to has a slightly different perspective on life.  I am really going to miss that.”

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Why do you live inside your body
To become a puppet of your foe, fear?
Why do you live inside your mind
To become a puppet of your foe, doubt?
Live inside your heart
To become an admirer of your true friend,
Your soul.

Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 48, Agni Press, 1982

Sri-Chinmoy-Puerto-Rico-2

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July 27: Perfection Runner

“It is a funny thing.  A couple of races ago I was observing all the different qualities that the runners represent.  If we combine all those qualities we get a perfect runner, with all the divine qualities that we need in the spiritual life.”  As Sarvagata tells me this it is still the very early hours of an almost perfect day.  There is a fresh breeze drifting coolly across the course from the West.  The sun is rising up full and bright and promising, that at least for today, it will not burn and abuse the 12 runners who have lived under its hot gaze for so many days.

silouhette-sarvagata

Sarvagata has spent the last 2 long summers here and is now into his 42nd day of running here on this his 3rd time.  Yesterday on the course just might have been the worst day he has had all summer here.  One that also might measure as a new low also when compared to all his previous years as well doing the 3100.  He finished the day with just 87 laps and saw the tall Slovak Pranjal shuffle past him and take over his 4th place position. Something that neither probably scarcely noticed or also cared much about either.

Also when you look back at his personal statistics, compared to his results here last year he is more than 200 miles behind where he was then.  Yet as we talk, his face bathed in the soft golden light of dawn, it is clear that he is happy with what he has and also where he is.  Sarvagata at this moment would not wish any of the above to be different than exactly the way it is.  He is at peace and content with all that life has given to him.

sarvagata8

It is just so easy to forget what is really happening here.  You see them, you listen too them, they tell you from their hearts just exactly what is happening to them here.  Everyone in their own way expresses their unique vision of the race.  When all of this is combined it describes a world that is completely different than the one most of humanity is stumbling around in.  For Sarvagata a bad day and a good day have equal value.  Because no matter how many miles he makes what he really wants is to simply grow stronger within.   His real destination is to simply get closer to his inner source.  He is running, he is praying, he is asking God to lead him only there.

feet3

He describes the qualities of the others, “speed, consistency, soulfulness, wisdom, everything that we need in our spiritual life, all the runners represent.  This is so incredible.  All of them together complete the perfect painting.  We can’t take any of them away without breaking the whole picture.”

“I was begging to the Supreme that I would like to have all those qualities in myself.  It is probably not possible to have all those qualities without having experiencing them.  So this race I noticed that I experienced all those qualities.  I noticed that I was even copying their style of running of the different runners.  It was incredible.”

Photo by Prashphutita 1993

Photo by Prashphutita 1993

If you want to be a perfection-runner,
Then start at the aspiration-start
And run along the progress-road
To the realisation-finish.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 118, Agni Press, 1988

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July 26: Every Day

I know that what is happening here is inspiring many people around the world.  Besides those living in the neighborhood there are a few lucky ones who are within commuting range of Queens and can make their regular treks out to the race throughout the long hot summer.  These fortunate ones live in the far off reaches of Connecticut or New Jersey and on the distant edges of Long Island. But many many more live just too far off to ever come and experience it in person.

atmavir-board

The only way then to connect to the immensity of the race is to somehow weave together all the little fragments of information, bits of data, and frozen images into something that becomes real.  Not just an abstract meaningless event taking place in NY, not just an incoherent whisper in your imagination, but something fruitful and meaningful  and very real instead inside your heart.

Of course it is easier to understand it all if you come and experience it for yourself.  But for most people it is simply not possible.  What happens instead for many is that somehow an inner connection is made with the race’s most powerful and sacred message of self transcendence.  It is an act that does not require a plane ride, a car full of gas, or a good pair of running shoes. It requires only an open mind and a receptive heart, and that most incomprehensible and yet necessary thing, a yearning for perfection.  Once you have those things than the rest will all take care of itself.

feet

Every day the race receives mail from its friends and admirers.  Sahishnu treks out to the race every morning and every evening with many letters from those who want to encourage a friend of theirs who is running.  Occasionally as well they also want to share in some way how they too have made some some deep inner connection with the race. Tell how it has inspired them as well.

Sahishnu showed me a letter from Victor in Tokyo, which is just about as far away from here as it is possible to be.  Yet Victor is a runner who is trying to become a better runner.  He wanted to let the runners here know that at the end of June he actually ran up Mount Fuji.  It was an act, which was for him and the thousands who have done so, usually at a slower pace, a pilgrimage.  One that has been continuously going on now for over a 1,000 years.

japan4

He says, “The 31000 Mile Race is also clearly much more than just a very, very long race.  The sacredness and spirituality of what you are all doing was an inspiration while I was running up Mt Fuji, it’s an inspiration during my normal every day runs, and it’s a real inspiration, not just in running but in every day life, too.”

“So I offer my gratitude to you for the inspiration your effort gives us, and everyone from Tokyo wishes you the best.”

japan3

My Lord,
You want me to run every day.
Do You ever run?
“My child,
I run not only every day,
But also at every moment.
Do you know why?
I run constantly
From one end of My Creation
To the other end.
If I do not run ceaselessly,
My Creation will become inactive,
Inert and uselessly idle.
At every moment I run
To awaken and energise
My entire Creation.”

Sri Chinmoy, My Race-Prayers, Agni Press, 2006

Photo by Bhashwar 1980

Photo by Bhashwar 1980

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July 25: What If They Never Stopped

It was probably a crazy idea for me even just to imagine in the first place.  That somehow that it might be possible for the race to simply always continue on and that the runners never stop running on the course.  It was still safe when I allowed the image to harmlessly percolate around and about within my own imagination.  But to then go and write it out publicly like this though is another matter.   Because if we accept that some things have to be  impossible, than this would surely be one of them. Wouldn’t it?

silouhette-ananda-lahari

I apologize should any of you be disturbed or shocked by this idea.  I would not blame anyone for dismissing it immediately, for it has to fly in the face of the human body’s physiology, most scientific research on just how much physical, mental, and emotional stress the human organism can cope with.  Then in the next breath you dismiss the organizational capacity of this small volunteer run organization that it can somehow maintain manpower and resources to continue in this way forever.  And then if you have somehow managed to clamber up this peak of  formidable logistics we still  haven’t even mentioned the New York weather.

Despite the complete absurdity of it, I know that I am not alone in harboring this phantom vision of the eternal.  That somehow it really could happen.  That it would one day manifest itself right here on this little New York block.  It has come up in private conversation with the runners over the years and danced across our thoughts like a sunbeam skipping tantalizingly just beyond our reach.  I would not dare survey most of the 12 here now, as to what they thought, at least not yet.

Perhaps the real source of this fantasy right now is that it may have simply arisen because of the grinding fatigue that comes with enduring the almost biblical past 40 days.  There have been too many short sleepless nights and too many long restless days and this could be all some fabrication that has pulled itself out of my imagination.

flower6

Yet there is something about it that continues to haunt me.  Simply put if we believe that what these 12 runners are doing here now, and have been doing here for 17 years is beyond the borders of impossibility what is to stop us from extending the limits even further.  Literally push our conceived boundaries to the brink where limitations and impossibility disappears forever. Sri Chinmoys life and manifestation was always about transcendence in every aspect of our own lives.

Pranjal tells me this morning about his daily running streak which he has maintained now for 5 years.  When asked why, “For me it is much easier.    When you know you have to run it is much easier to run.  There is no excuse, even when you are tired, or sick, or anything.  You know that you have to run.”  So then I ask Pranjal what he thought of simply running here and never stopping.

flower16
“When I was running the first time here I was even praying that the race be extended.  To make it a 4800 mile race.  I did it this race in 60 days on my first attempt.  Still I was thinking to go on.  One more month.”  He said that he mentioned this to another run who said he must be crazy.  They themselves were counting the hours until it finished.

Am I suggesting that one day soon the 3100 mile banner be switched at night and replaced with one that reads FOREVER, ‘No.’ But if we are ever to accept transcendence in even small ways in our own lives, than we have to continue to look at the impossible things and barriers that we have built up around us in a much different way.

Guru-150-st

Mind, never stop surrendering!
Heart, never stop climbing!
Life, never stop transcending!
Soul, never stop dreaming!

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 76, Agni Press, 1984

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July 24: Give Yourself

“What I am trying to do is to try and support them.  Everybody comes here because they want transcendence, to reach a spiritual goal.  I put a little piece of myself to help them reach that goal.”  Mario is one of the unsung heroes of the race.  He comes most nights here to give massages to the runners, and far from just offering up a small portion of himself he has in fact contributed to the race an invaluable service and much much more.

mario2

“I have good skills.  I am a registered nurse.  I was a professional cyclist and I learned how to massage professional cyclists.  So I use my skills to massage professional athletes.  So now I am giving my service to the Sri Chinmoy group.”

I have seen Mario here and at the races in Flushing Meadow many times.  He is simply one of those people who is extraordinarily good at what he does, is blessed with what appears to be inexhaustible energy, and then quite simply selflessly offers what he has and is unreservedly.  His skills have been much appreciated by all those he has treated, but in particular during the very dangerous spell of hot weather, his medical knowledge altered what could have been significantly much more traumatic outcomes.

mario4

Curious as to why he is again here during the day when he usually comes only at night he replies that he happens to have the week off.  Instead of going on a well deserved vacation he instead opted to come here more often instead.  He has also brought his 2 kids who have also come here with their Dad a lot. Far from being bored or restless they immediately start to play with a soccer ball on the field nearby as if it was the most natural thing in the world to spend your vacation in a place in which 12 runners just keep going around and around.

There are many others who offer their services to the race.  Both in small ways and also in other contributions that stretch way out beyond boundless.  What the 12 runners are giving of themselves here each day cannot be measured.  Maybe then it is not so surprising that others see and feel, ‘if this is what they are giving, cannot I not give of myself as well?’  These decisions and commitments are certainly never carefully orchestrated bargains because the rewards of what you can possibly gain here are never tangible nor can they be analyzed.

Mario

“Everybody is working in the same way.  We are all on the same road.  So they are helping me also to get higher on my spiritual level and I am helping them.  Because they are doing something for me also.”

Because you are good,
You give yourself
Smilingly.
Because you want to be perfect,
You give yourself
Unconditionally.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 106, Agni Press, 1986

Photo by Shradha 47 mile race 1980

Photo by Shradha
47 mile race 1980

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July 23: Why Not

“Why not.” This is Ananda-Lahari’s answer to my long circuitous question.  It is simple, it is clear, and yet to me and probably to most of us it is still unfathomable.  I have always been puzzled by this 37 year old runner from Slovakia.  He has completed the full distance here 5 times before and yet for the past 2 years he hasn’t been succeeded in completing the distance.

Ananda-Lahari

What I don’t truly understand is why there is never a shadow of doubt or disappointment that ever drapes itself down across his features.  I know that if it were me I would feel the pant and paws off a great sense of failure dog hounding my every step.  But Ananda-Lahari’s steps are neither dogged by doubt, fear, remorse, or fill in the dark blanks, of any negative feelings at all.  So when asked how come he always appears to be so happy and content all the time his answer is of course, “Why not.”

ananda-lahari

“I am not frustrated.  I am just doing what I can.” He then quotes to me from the Bhagavad-Gita.

Your right to work only, but never to the fruit there of.
Let not the fruit of your action be your object,
nor let your attachment be to inaction,

ananda-lahari-wide

“I am doing my best.  I am here from morning to night.  It is not as though I am lying around in the van and waiting for midnight to come and go home. Still I move as fast as I can.  You should learn to be happy under any circumstances.”

“I don’t know what I can do to be able to run. I am walking as fast as possible.  That’s it.”

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Not what happens to you
But how you accept it
Is of paramount importance.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 21, Agni Press, 2001

Sports-Day

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July 22: Elevate To Your Highest Height

Photo by Jowan

Photo by Jowan

It seems almost like a distant time now.  Yet flipping back through the calender it was just 7 years ago to the race in 2006 that perhaps the 3100 experienced its most historical moment.

By any stretch of the imagination it was a magnificent year for the race and in particular for 50 year old Madhupran Schwerk, who made it all happen.

He is a German runner who came here and set a record that no one has even come close to since then.  It was a remarkable 41 days and 8 hours.

It was no fluke either.  This was after all the 4th time he had run the race and in 2002 he had set the previous record, which was already a mind boggling 42 days 13 hours.  But 5 years had passed since then, and for some observers it would almost seem impossible, for a now 50 year old man to really and truly transcend himself.

Madhupran However was and is a consummate runner in every way.  He learned a lot from this hard patch of ground here in Queens and it also made him just a little bit stronger each time he came and ran.

Helmut

Yet If there is one additional key to his success that year, some potent antidote to all the adversity that comes with orbiting 5649 times around this little cosmos, would be the constant presence of his helper, Helmut Schieke.  A most unique individual who just may be the greatest multi day helper in the world. Thus you have a perfect pairing, that ultimately led to this incredible record.  In the video of the race Madhupran says, “We are a good team.  Everybody can see it.”

Click To Play:

 Madhupran wins 3100 Mile Race 2006

But to become a great runner is one thing and to become a great helper is another.  Helmut came to this job in a predictable way as he was a top runner once himself and back in 1990 ran a formidable 260 km in a 24 hour race.  His race experience was a terrific boon but for a helper to become great they need a lot more.  Allan Young, who is also one of the best helpers in the world said of Helmut, “I saw him and it was almost as though he was reading his mind.”

martin-and-allan copy

In this edition of the race the presence of helpers is one of the obvious keys to why some runners are doing exceptionally well. The standout performances of those who have helpers, and it is clearly making a difference, has to be with both Surasa and Nidhruvi.  Both have almost constant help on and off the course and the interaction between runner and helpers at times seems seamless.

Silvy, is just one member of a very strong team supporting Nidhruvi.  Until she came here, she had no experience either as a distance runner or being a helper.  But for her, the job of helping Nidhruvi thrusts her into that very special world of anticipating in advance what she needs to do, what she should fix before it becomes a problem, and also simply supporting her runner as selflessly as possible.

PhilThe one extra ingredient, that perhaps a helper needs most is an endless supply of encouragement.  Something that cannot be measured and yet you know it when you see it.

Yesterday in the Britiish Open, American golfer, Phil Mickleson won the tournament in the final round by coming back from 5 strokes behind the leader.  Some say it was the best round of golf he has ever played.

His caddy, Jim MacKay has carried 43 year old Micleson’s bag for 21 years now.  Phil said of his caddy, “He is the only guy on the golf course that wants me to play well.  He’s the only guy trying work his tail off for me.”

Emil-Zatopek-_Sri_-Chinmoy

Sri Chinmoy meets with 4 time Olympic champion Emil Zatopek

When Zatopek was doomed to disappointment, his wife encouraged him, inspired him and elevated him to his highest height. Then again, when his wife needed encouragement and inspiration, he helped her not only cheerfully, willingly and unreservedly but also successfully.

Sri Chinmoy, Emil Zatopek: Earth’s Tearing Cry And Heaven’s Beaming Smile, Agni Press, 1980

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