April 18 ….Day 2 (When You Give Joy To Others)

The first 24 hours have passed in the 10 day race

The camp

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Before the first 24 hours Budjargal got 100 miles

He is running very well and is leading the 10 day field.

Bubbles

“I promised you that I would come back after 10 years.”  Last year Pedja Knezevic ran the 10 race after an absence of 10 years. (69 miles for 24 hours)

“I changed my mind because I realized it was a very important race.  When I saw my people when I came home I saw how happy they were so therefore I decided to run again.”

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April 17….Start of 10 Day (Start of Something New)

The Self-Transcendence 10 race started today in Flushing Meadow

 

“The races are always great.  The runners push themselves beyond the brink of sanity but they discover new potential or they discover something new inside themselves.”  I spoke with Sahishnu before the start as he was giving out race kits.

“It gives them an assurance…. a joy.  A feeling that yes there is meaning in this life.  There is a quality that they are starting to manifest.  It could be poise, it could be peace.  It could be joy or it even could be sore feet.  Who knows?”

“The thing is we put on these races as Sri Chinmoy instructed us, as a service to the running community.  But there is something special that Sri Chinmoy offers through these races.  It is a feeling of heart’s oneness, not just with the runners but with humanity in general.  It is imbibed into these races wherever the marathon team puts them on around the world.”

He described the intensity of the runner’s efforts is not strange when you look more deeply.  “It is a real spectacle of human development and determination.”

“The runners change from when they start the race and when they finish.  They may be extremely tired but as well there is a certain vibration that they gather from doing these kind of races and it stays with them.  For months and even years.”

Budjargal gets a massage before he starts

Some last minute tidying up

Maria peeling potatoes

There are lots of potatoes to peel

Happy cooks

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April 16….I Feel Ready For It

Now it is just 24 hours before the 10 day race starts on Monday.

The score board eagerly awaits the first numbers to be attached.

Runners are busily arriving setting up their tents.

The dormitories are mostly empty

Lots of work still being done

Jesper Olsen has returned after 5 years

“In 2012 I reached North America.”  At the time Jesper was doing an around the world run and stopped along the way to compete in the 6 day race.  “I was tired because I had been running non stop for 3 years.  It went as expected when you are tired.”

“It is like starting a car and you have forgotten to put fuel in the engine.  You do 100km a day and that is all.”

Jesper will be running the 10 day and says this time he has no distractions.  He says that it is important to be ready.  Physically, Philosophhically and spiritually.  He says 5 years ago that he was not physically ready to compete. Philosophically he says he was ready.  “I was still curious and hungry for more distance…..and for victory.”

He says this time he is very ready spiritually.  “Being physically ready is a completely different thing.”

“You know I am getting older and it is supposed to be an advantage in these multi day races but you never know.  My body is getting tired and my spirit is getting young.  They are going in opposite directions.  I am getting more and more curious as well as getting more and more tired.  My goal is to find the equilibrium so that I can still run and I am very curious if I can push the body more.”

Yuyudhan has many tools

The empty path

Rajpal

Richard and Kim

Kim doing some decorating

Taking a break

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Big break

Race director Rupantar

Bahula and medical

Uddipan

Cones

Putting up the banner

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Its up

These long distance races remind me of our Eternity’s race. Along Eternity’s Shore we are running, running, running. We are running and running with our birthless and deathless hopes. We are running and running with the ever-transcending Beyond.

Set Up For 6 and 10 Day Race……April 14

3 Days to go

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From the air

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Just one tent

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Bipin

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Traffic on the LIE

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Remarks after 1991 700 – 1,000 – 1,300 Mile Race

I am a student of peace, and I feel this is one of the ways to offer peace to the world at large. I am a man of prayer and meditation, and from my prayer and meditation, I got this inspiration to be of service to mankind. I feel that while running we are able to offer our very best to establish a world of peace.

Athletes derive tremendous benefits from these races. They go beyond their capacities. In order to make oneself happy, one has to go always beyond and beyond and beyond one’s capacities. So here, while running, each runner is getting a very special opportunity to go beyond his or her capacities. Self-transcendence is the only thing a human being needs in order to be truly happy. So these races help the runners tremendously, although outwardly they go through such hardship. Eventually, when the race is over, they feel they have accomplished something most significant.

The future of this kind of race is very bright. Our philosophy is the philosophy of self-transcendence. I do hope either in the near future or in the distant future we shall increase the distance. Eventually, it is my fervent hope that we shall one day have a 2,700-mile race. Since we believe in self-transcendence, I am sure that we are not going to stop at one thousand three hundred miles. We shall try to cover a longer distance. The seeker-runners who believe in their capacity — which is totally the Grace of God — with this Grace of God will be able to accomplish something unique in their lives.


  1. PRT 5. 4 October 1991, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, New York

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Searching For Optimism

Remain not unrealised
In the sunlight of optimism.
Remain always realised
In your quiet and sweet optimism.
Optimism is the only ladder
To climb up God’s
Ever-transcending Height.

 

Sri Chinmoy At Circus April 1988

Question: I consider myself a tennis player, not a runner. On the one hand I get more joy from playing tennis, but on the other hand I get more satisfaction if I run a marathon. Why is this?

You can play tennis for hours and hours. It is easy for you to do well and you enjoy it. But people get more satisfaction from doing the thing that they find most difficult. On the one hand, we like to do things that are easy. On the other hand, we also want the joy that comes from doing whatever is most difficult.

The grass is always greener on the other side. To accomplish something that is more difficult for us to do gives us much more joy. If we have a tennis ball to play with, we will start looking for a basketball, just because we do not have one. But if we had a basketball, we would start looking for a tennis ball. Again, some people will say that they need both a tennis ball and a basketball.

There is also another aspect to this. Even though we may want to run only 100 metres, we want to get the glory that comes from running a marathon. When somebody runs a marathon, he is appreciated and admired. So we feel that a marathon is more important than a 100-metre run. The most difficult thing impresses us most. This is human nature.

72,000 Burning Candles: A Celebration and A New Guinness World Record

In was in 2005 when Ashrita first came up with the idea of setting a new Guinness world record in order to celebrate Sri Chinmoy’s 74th birthday.   At the time it seemed like an impossibly difficult if not dangerous thing to do.

All of the above of course were true but in the end it turned out to be an amazing and inspiring success.

Of course great records can never last for ever and a few years later Ashrita assembled another large team in order to try and take back the record this time with 48,000 candles.

Fast forward 11 years and once again the record is broken and the goal is to break the new record of 50,000 burning candles

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“It was very exciting all the candles merged into one single huge flame.  It was very exciting.”

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Swim Run Trio: Harriman State Park 2016

Video of the event

Registration

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Sri Chinmoy’s 47 Mile Race 2016

The footage is less than 2 minutes long.  A mere fragment of much greater event that probably could never be captured adequately by a super 8 film very well anyway.

Yet it shows Sri Chinmoy completing the 47 mile race in 1980 for the 2nd time.  A performance that took him 11:27:24  to complete and which surpassed his previous best by  74 minutes.

*photo by Bhashwar

Now there is a new generation following in those same footsteps as their late spiritual teacher 36 years later.

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Many who have never even had the opportunity to see Sri Chinmoy little alone remember how powerfully he once used to run

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Pratyaya the race director remembers those early days

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Petra gets ready for a long night

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There is a profound sense of calm as people register

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Most have a clear sense of why they do this most difficult thing of running 47 miles starting at midnight on August 27th.

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The time of quiet does not last long

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Know that as much as it is gift to their teacher it is also something that will offer much more in return.  A dedication.

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Even for those who do not run tonight but who instead help there is a sense of purpose and dedication.

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The race is an opportunity for all to feel part of something great and beautiful that lies both within and without.

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August 27th: Sri Chinmoy’s 74th Birthday 2005

This is a short film that captures some of the highlights of Sri Chinmoy’s birthday celebration in 2005

*Photo by Prashphutita 2003*

O my rainbow-heart-sky,
In you I see
The beauty of the Unknowable,
In you I feel
The silence of the Unknowable.

28 August 2005
New York