Day 52…My Inspiration (August 8)

Her story is a miraculous one.  Late in the race reaching the finish line for Yolanda seemed it would be an impossible task.  One, that up until not too long ago,  was receding further and further beyond her grasp.

Yet today, on Day 52 it is just 60 miles away.  Something, that as she confidently walks this morning, the last day of the race, knows is an achievable goal.  One she has worked unbelievably hard for.

Her run this summer has not just given her impressive running resume a grand new prize, but also has rewarded her with transformative experiences and shown her surprising strengths that she had known that she had within herself.  Qualities that all of us have but are seemingly only brought to the fore when we are confronted by true challenge and adversity.

“This is my last day and if I get emotional it is only because of all the love and support that I have gotten over the past 52 days.  Everyone has been so amazing.  They welcomed me in.”

“Most of all they believed in me.  Even when I was 44 miles behind.  I did a great come back.  It is going to be a long emotional day.”

I remind Yolanda that in our first interview she had hoped at some point to have a powerful emotional experience.  When asked if this is what she hoped for. “YES!  I said I wanted to cry.  I wanted to feel something special.”

“I have done over 540 marathons and ultras and I have never cried at any of them.  Now I haven’t even finished. I am only on mile 3 and I am already crying.  It is beautiful.”

Yolanda was incredibly confident when she started this years race but I am curious if when she was behind she had doubts about reaching the finish line.  “Yes, when I got sick the 3rd time.  I prayed and I talked to God.  I asked him why was this happening to me.  I know you never give me any more than I can handle.  But I can’t handle being 44 miles in the hole.  When I also have to keep doing 60 miles every day.”

“I was crying.  I was really upset and I actually said that I quit.  So I went to my aid station and got my phone and I was calling my husband and all the notifications just kept beeping and beeping.”

“They said, Yolanda you are my inspiration.  Yolanda I walked today because of you.  Yolanda you motivate me.  That was God saying to me……these people need you.  You can’t quit.”

“Then I just took off walking and kept doing the 62 miles every day and here I am.”

“I see a new me.  I see a growth.  A strength that I never ever had and I see a lot of love.  It is just overwhelming all the love and joy.”

To all those who have worked hard to fulfill Yolanda’s 52 day challenge she says, “Thank you and I am so proud of everyone of you who have taken the 52 day challenge.  The main thing is that you did it.  We did it.”

“I did my 60 plus miles a day and you all did many miles a day and you stuck with it.  52 days of working out is amazing.  You did it and I am proud of you.”

He who has inspiration

Soulful inspiration

is constantly running towards

and crying for

The Beyond

Sri Chinmoy, The outer running and the inner running, Agni Press, 1974

* This will be the last of my Daily Posts.  I am very grateful to all those who have wandered over to this blog every day and even if just from time to time.  The Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race is impossible without the contributions, both inner and outer of so many people.  But of course the primary inspiration is Sri Chinmoy himself.  Who’s light and love continues to make miracles like this happen*

Board at the Start of Day 52

Quiet

Clock

Yolanda takes her last daily picture of the board

Andy Cable is done for the day.  He is part of Yolanda’s 52 day challenge

Time has passed

Gints and Alan

Nidhruvi, Sergey, and Andrey

Sweta, Renae, and Suhasini

Harita’s possible finish time

Harita and friends

Smarana and Sergey

Ananda-Lahari

Andy

The boys

A very happy Yolanda

Shoes on

Start of Day 52

Harita did 60 miles 111 laps

She has 3052 miles

Just 48 more miles

Taking a break

The board

Not been easy

Telling jokes

Singing My Own Gratitude Heart

Flower

Yolanda did 61 miles 112 laps

She has 3040 miles

With Vladimir one of the early morning runners

Honored by the Enthusiasm Awakeners

It is emotional

A picture with the girls

So much help from Renae

The goal insight

flower

Smarana did 65 miles 119 laps

He now has 2851 miles

Flower

Andrey did 42 miles 78 laps

He now has 2721 miles

A bit of green

Nidhruvi did 53 miles 98 laps

She now has 2661 miles

With Vasu

telling Jokes

flower

Sergey did 45 miles 83 laps

He now has 2660 miles

Flower

Ananda-Lahari did 48 miles 89 laps

He now has 2537 miles

Flower

“I really like it here.”

Renae speaks

She leaves before the race is over

Vasu tells a story

Nirbhasa and his brother tell a joke

Flower

Sahishnu’s eggs

Andy was here in 2006 when the daily prayer was written.  As of this morning he has done 500 laps of the course over the years.

Getting the poems organized

Annette and Pranika

“What do you mean the race is over.”

Karnayati reads the Daily Prayer

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Enthusiasm Awakeners

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The outer run inspires me
To go and see God.
The inner run inspires me
To come and sit at God’s Feet.

17 February 2001
New York

11 Comments to “Day 52…My Inspiration (August 8)”

  1. Hridayinee says:

    What an incredible video with Yolanda. This year’s 3100 mile race has been immensely inspiring. Offering my heart’s gratitude Utpal for your amazing service and always fresh viewpoints on every drop in the ocean that makes up this longest race in the world.

  2. Sharani says:

    As I write this, the live webcam shows Yolanda has 2 miles left until she reaches the goal. For me it is a first, to spontaneously and powerfully meditate just by looking at the webcam as if Guru himself is sitting in the chair that the finishers occupy at the end. Or perhaps he is running by and spreading love all-where. He lives still on earth perhaps here more than anywhere else on the planet.

  3. Sharani says:

    Will video footage of Harita and Yolanda’s finish be available somewhere else if this is the last post for this year’s race? Will it be on the 3100 mile race website?

  4. Devaki says:

    Thank you so much Utpal for making and sharing these inspiring video blogs with us!
    Your interviews and commentaries helped bring the race to life for those of us who could not be there!
    Through them, I could feel the deep emotions and spiritual aspirations of the runners and wonderful helpers !
    The women this year have been amazing and such an inspiration to women worldwide .
    Congratulations to everyone, runners and helpers,
    for a super-human,divine performance on every level !
    As the finishers commented, it’s a oneness-effort.
    What a role -model for the world!
    We thank Sri Chinmoy for his insight and inspiration !
    Surely he is cheering loudly from the other world!
    Deepest gratitude to all!

    .

  5. Parvati says:

    All I could think when I walked away from the course after the ending ceremony is ‘thank you, Guru, you pulled off another miracle’. The world is definitely a better place from the self-transcendence efforts of these very special ten runners and of the hundreds of selfless souls who supported them.

    Thank you, Utpal, for bringing the message of this self-transcendence in such a joyful, beautiful and eloquent way! You provided insights that would have otherwise only been Heaven’s memories — but now they here in earth’s diaries as well. Gratitude!

    (PS: I felt panic when I read ‘this is the last of my daily posts’! Reading these have been the best part of my last 52 days 🙂 PSS: I hope all see pixs of final at http://www.srichinmoyultraphoto.com/3100-mile-race/2017 )

  6. Tapaswini says:

    Thank you Utpal – thank you !!!!!!!

    Congratulations to all the fantastic runners -:) -:)

  7. Abhinabha says:

    Utpal, you are the Supreme’s self-giving enthusiasm-soulfulness-reporter. Without you our summer would have been a lot drier. Thank you so much for your amazing service. We owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude!
    I’ve read and seen each and every one of the 52 blogposts and video’s you made. It was my own 52-day challenge, but it was extremely easy 🙂
    Thank you!

  8. Ksenia says:

    Thaaannk yooouuu!!!

  9. Doris says:

    Dear Utpal, Yes, thank-you for your tireless work to help the world witness these daily miracles. What impresses me most is the fact that each and every runner interviewed were speaking in termes of “we”. There was noone who used the term “I” or “i”.

    I have been following the race for many years, but this year I feel I got the most out of the interviews, receiving the wisdom-experiences more clearly than before. If I have not been able to transcend my inner and outer capacities so far, it may be high time to continue this race in my own personal way from today on. May it not be over, but continue in different ways out in the world.

    My gratitude to all contributors along the course as well. Swamiji must have been running quite a few miles too? And special thanks to Jowan’s artistically beautiful pictures. I enjoyed watching those also very much.

  10. Shamus says:

    Utpal, thank you for this beautiful video and blog post. You have amazing talent, my friend and it’s a blessing for the SCMT to have you document the race so extensively. Keep up the great work and I hope to see you more in the future.

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