April 22nd….The One Mile Loop

It is a very precise and accurately measured piece of road.  For many years trying to find the ideal course in Flushing Meadow park seemed like an endless quest.  Yet just a few years ago this particular configuration seemed to be, if not perfect, than at least an ideal set up for the large number of runners who wanted a safe, flat, place to run for 10 or 6 days.

This short film is the easiest way to experience the course in its entirety.  Obviously the harder way, getting a number and taking part will provide a much more satisfying challenge.  Than you can see and experience for yourself its scenic length hundreds of times.  Yet the one mile loop, like the race itself, is not for tourists or those who are just curious.

Taking part in any of the Self Transcendence races provides the runners with an opportunity to discover their own limits, and in so doing attempt to reach out beyond what they think is possible.  Reveal within themselves, in a tangible way, that the great adventure of life is not just about reaching a goal with the physical.  That once we attempt to go beyond our limitations that we can realize, soon or latter that we are in fact limitless beings.

Click to Play:

It will be 30 years ago this week that the first real great Self Transcendence race took place, not too far from here, organized by the Sri Chinmoy marathon team.  It was America’s first 1000 mile race and the runners had 16 days in which to complete the distance.  It was so new that whoever won the race would automatically set the American record.

12 runners stood on the starting line that day May 1, and what was not surprising to his students, was the presence of Sri Chinmoy himself, the founder of the marathon team.  He was 53 years of age.

3 runners managed to complete the distance before the cut off.  The winner Don Choi, who won in 15 days and 6 hours said, “The immensity of this race is so great, I can’t comprehend it yet.”

start 1000_0

Sri Chinmoy’s comments on his race:

Originally I wanted to run seven miles every day during the 1,000-mile race. I felt that if I tried to do 13 miles, I would not be able to continue. But at the end of the race I had completed 208 miles — an average of 13 miles a day for the 16 days of the race.

Three people completed the full distance: 1,000 miles! Here is the proof that there are a few things the mind cannot understand — when the soul operates through the heart or through the vital. To run 1,000 miles is beyond the comprehension of the mind; the mind cannot imagine it!

Perhaps now people will be inspired to sponsor 1,000-mile races.

By the first week of August I do hope to complete my 1,000 miles. I am going on, going on. God knows if I can do it!

— 17 May 1985

The camp kitchen, which puts out an endless array of fine food, day and night for days at a time, is one of the most important parts of the race.  Nipura from New Zealand has been the head chef for the last few years.  Her incredible skill, tireless enthusiasm, and unrelenting willingness to serve, has not only attracted an international team of helpers but has also provided some of the tastiest and most nourishing food that any multi day race in the world has had the good fortune to feast upon.

Click to take a kitchen tour:

She also gets to take a well deserved break herself from time to time.

Nipura

In just one second from now the daily numbers of all the runners will be processed.

12

At noon tomorrow the 6 day runners will also be joining the race.

BoardA few of the 6 day runners have showed up at the race already.  Ed Rousseau has held over 15 US and world age group bests.  At age 75 he is attempting to break the record that Don Winkley set here last year.  It is 319 miles and in fact Don will also be running again this year.  Ed and Don have been running buddies for many years.

Click to Play Ed Rousseau Interview:

A runner that both Ed and Don would like, and are probably just a little glad he is not in their race is Georgs Jermolajevs.  Of course he is not really a threat because he is after all only 72

georgs-tree

Georgs has 192 miles after 3 days.  He is currently in 6th place in the 10 day race.

georgs3

The weather was clear and brisk for most of the morning.  Showers came briefly in the afternoon.

wide-tree

Atmavir, who is leading the men has 230 miles after 3 days.

atmavir

Baladev is 2nd with 215 miles.

baladev

Little bits of inspiration are put up here and there.

poem

Ushika on the right is in 3rd place and has 202 miles.  Adrian has 136 miles.

adrian-and-ushika

Budjargal makes his eagle pose.

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What it looks like without the flower but with 161 miles after 3 days.

budjargal

Ornaments in camp.

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Aidas taking a break.  He has 195 miles and is in 5th.

aidas

Camp soon to be more crowded.

dugout

Anna with sunblock

anna

The counting shed with unofficial mascots…. One named Roxy.

roxy-dog

Chris Mak

chris

Elena has 180 miles and is in 5th place.  Last year she set a personal best of 603 miles and was third.

Click to Play Elena Interview:

A rose to inspire the runners.

flower

Francesco was lying in medical with a fever when I first arrived.  Later in the day  he tries to find a way to get well and to keep moving.

francesco

The trees starting to show some budding promises.

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Vasuprada with 166 miles and a stick.

vasuprada

Tatjana

tatjana2

Reflecting on the presence of Stutisheel.

stutisheel

Feet

shoes

Shamita with her helper Akbota who wishes to send a very special Hello to her Mom in Kazakhstan.

shamita-and-helper2

The sun will be covered shortly by cloud.

sun-finish-line

Sara

Sara

Sandro making a wardrobe adjustment.

sandro-and-drill

A flower in the road.

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George Biondic from Aurora Canada with 182 miles.

George

Harita with helper

harita

Manoshri has 157 miles.

manoshri

Sahishnu calling out the runners names.

Sahishnu

Sergei

sergei

Marius tuning into his own sounds.

marius

Chris

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Michel

michel

Karteek

karteek

Gudrun

gudrun

There will be 2 separate sets of counters starting tomorrow.

counters

Janos having an incredible morning.  3 day total of 171 miles

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At Karnayati’s table I came upon her friend Bigalita doing some organizing of Karnayati’s things.  It is a small sweet gesture but one that means a lot to Karanayti who has for the past 3 days put all her energy into the 10 day race.  She has 159 miles after 3 days.

Soon enough the runner herself arrives and expresses her delight at her friends service.  “It is beautiful.”

The superlatives just expand when I ask her to describe her race so far. “It is too extraordinarily beautiful, amazing, incredible, to describe in words.”

karnayati-and-bigalita

She says she doesn’t really know why the race has such a profound and powerful impact on her.  She doesn’t know precisely what is happening but feels that she is being blessed every time she takes part in this race.  “Every little thing that happens, whether bad or good has somehow worked out for the good.(some ultimately positive experience)”

“There are so many little miracles.”  She also feels that the generosity and oneness that pervades the event represents the kind of world that ultimately we will one day have we help one another.  She says the kindness and generosity she experiences here is like no other, whether it be kind words, selfless help, or just the total encouraging and positive atmosphere that pervades the camp and the course.

What she wants to achieve, karnayati says is, “my goal is to be happy and stay out here for 10 days.”

Click to Play Interview:

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My Lord loves to walk
  Mile after mile,
Keeping Heaven and earth
  Side by side.

One Comments to “April 22nd….The One Mile Loop”

  1. nada says:

    Bravo and gratitude to all participants of this extraordinary powerful and soulful event!
    You are making my day everyday, truly.

    Soulfully live within, powerfully live without,
    Beyond the imperfection-world’s thunder-sound.- Sri Chinmoy

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