June 21… Something Within Me

“This is my 12th race.”

As 41 year old Ananda-Lahari starts his 3rd day of running here he has so far completed 154 miles.  Not very much when you consider he still has just a little less than 3000 more miles yet to go.  But when all the other miles from all those other years are added up the number is staggering.

The full distance he has completed 5 times but that when added to all the other years, well it is just unbelievable.

“For sure I wanted to do it as many times as possible.  But I had no idea what it meant to do it so many times.”  For Ananda-Lahari he feels as though each race is a lifetime.

What sets apart this race from all the others is that as of this morning he is leading the race.  Something he doesn’t give much importance too.  “If you imagine you are running a marathon and you run very well the first 100 meters.  It is a nice feeling but the marathon is 42km.”

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“I think when I started these races I was like a baby.  Very fragile and I don’t think I could handle much.  I think I have become stronger.  Again life can surprise you.  You never know.  For sure my body is stronger.”

“One of the most important things is to have gratitude.  I want this gratitude so that I can really value my life.”

“Most of us are just living.  Getting up and going to work.  Spending time with friends or family.  It just goes on and on.  Time goes on.  We don’t realize until our life is almost at the end.  And then when ask……what was it for?”

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“This race forces us to live in the moment.  Not to think of tomorrow.  The race is so long and it is hard, you can’t just think of tomorrow.”

“We are all just instruments.  I would like to feel this more.  That it is not my effort but that it is something within me.  That everything is done through me by my soul.  By the divine in me.”

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Photo by Jowan 2007

Those who run after happiness
Will never be happy.
Happiness is something
That has to come to the fore
From within.

The board at the start of day 3

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Lots of time

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Getting shoes ready

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Getting feet ready

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Sopan arrives with a minute to spare

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Making lists

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Checking out new drinks

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The vans are on the other side of the road for street cleaning.

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Start Day 3

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It is overcast early and the sky is amazing.

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Atmavir starts the day tied for first with Ananda-Lahari

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Some street cleaning the old fashioned way

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“So I have laser vision…..So what!  It sure doesn’t help finding nuts.”

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Vasu is 3rd with 155miles

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Making the turn

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Yuri has 152 miles

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For some things it is nearly over

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Suprabha checking the board

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Ashprihanal has 144 miles

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He is starting to look like his more familiar self.

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He and Sopan put on a play for the Enthusiasm Awakeners

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Wherever you go carry happiness with you

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Volodymyr has 139 miles

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Running with Yuri

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Running past Enthusiasm-Awakeners

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A bit of yellow

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Kaneenika has 135 miles

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Also joined briefly by a few friends

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Kaneenika

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Satyajit singing on the corner

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By the basketball court

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Surasa has 134 miles

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With one of her helpers

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Service road

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Sopan has 130 miles

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Wide open spaces

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All important counting shift

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Shamita has 123 miles

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Getting the daily prayer

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Pale gentle white

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Baladev has 122 miles

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Past the school

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Stutisheel has 114 miles

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Getting some help from Mario

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Mario has been helping at the race for 5 years.  Everything to providing massage, nursing aid, and providing delicious treats.  He enjoys the race he says, “because I can use my skills.  I have some skills that I can apply very easily and then apply straight to the runners.”

When asked what has changed in the race.  “When you wash in the river you never take a bath in the same place.  It is always changing.  Every day is different, and every day is a learning process.”

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“Everybody has a different challenge.  I see everybody in a different perspective.  Everybody has their own problems and their own issues.  So I try and individualize all these issues.”

“If you have a little issue you have to solve it immediately because if not it becomes a big dinosaur problem.”

When I ask him what he thinks brings these runners to the race.  “This is a call from heaven.  It is your heart.  You heart talks to you, and you receive the message.  Little by little heaven pushes you.  You have to do this you have to do that.  So you just follow.  You don’t want to go against that feeling.  That is why they are here.”

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Janos reads the prayer of the day.

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

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Perfection is something
That I want to achieve,
But something within me is telling me
That perfection is something
That I must receive
From Above.

 

4 Comments to “June 21… Something Within Me”

  1. sarita says:

    Thank you Utpal for the beautiful photos and stories.

    Thank you runners, helpers, organizers, Sri Chinmoy – this race is remarkable beyond

    description.

  2. Purnakama says:

    Thank you once again Utpal for your fantastic blog! I get so much energy just looking at the pictures of the runners and feeling their dynamism! I look forward to my daily dose of inspiration for the next month and a half!

    Purnakama

  3. Patanga says:

    Hi Utpal,

    Everybody is always cheerful and saying all these positive things. For a change I will say something negative; I will just complain.

    The site is way too good, the reports are way too nice, pictures, videos, quotes from runners etc. It is a perfection-journey extravaganza.

    I was inspired to write something sometime for our meditation sites about “Here and Now”, but reading Ananda Lahari´s mention of living in the now made me stop and consider writing it literally here and now. So again this blog is bad, bad against our letargy and desire of procrastination.

    I don´t even know why I am complaining, as everybody should know by now that if you come here you will feel inspired. Hmph.

    Patanga

  4. tam says:

    Utpal, enormous thanks to you for again providing such thoughtful, beautiful coverage of the race. Following along is truly a highlight of my summer!

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