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

The first 24 hours have passed in the 10 day race

The camp


Before the first 24 hours Budjargal got 100 miles

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


“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


Richard and Kim

Kim doing some decorating

Taking a break

more break

Big break

Race director Rupantar

Bahula and medical



Putting up the banner


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


From the air


Just one tent

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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


April 29th….The Finish Line

“It’s been amazing.  It has been like everything.”

Gautami and her sister Manoshri have both been running the 10 day race.  With just a short time now left they are running together and sharing with me some of their experiences over the past 10 days.

Gautami: “It has been a mixture of everything, everything possible…..experiences, emotions.  It was great for sure.”

Manoshri: “There were ups and downs.  There were times when you felt you were just so tired of running.  You don’t want to run any more and you take a rest and wake up and life is good again.”

Gautami: “For me definitely the pain tolerance improved.  (laughs)  I walked with shin splints for 3 days and nights.  I almost overcame it.  I still feel it but I have been running on it for 2 days.”

“For me it becomes a meditation when I run.  It is not just a silent meditation it is dynamic meditation.  You feel lots of gratitude at times.  Many times I actually cried with gratitude.  There is a silence you have in the mind.”

“There was one day when I had so much pain, and the wind was really blowing.  I actually visualized that my body was the wind.  It was a really cool experience.  The pain just all went away.”

Gautami and Manoshri and Mom-1240667

The girls received constant help from Mom

Manoshri:  “You go through hard times when you almost want to give up.  But you feel, I should keep going.  But when you go through this you feel so much stronger.  You develop qualities like will power and determination.  Then you feel so much satisfaction.  You feel stronger and happier.  It helps you to become a better person.”

Kobi is the men’s champion in the 10 day race with a personal best of 750 miles.

kobi good-1240486

He surpasses his previous best by 52 miles.

kobi 750-1240365

The finish line is at once
  Blissful to see
But painful to reach.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 01, Agni Press, 1998

ckg cahit running

Photo by Bhashwar taken at 24 hour race 1980

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April 28th….It’s Like A Miracle

“I am very happy to run this race.”  Last year Tatiana Arnst was here for the first time.  She did however see very little of the running part of the race, for she spent hour upon hour helping others in medical, giving massages.

Now after 5 days she has completed 215 miles.  But the number of miles she completes here in 6 day are secondary to something that cannot be counted.  “It is a special experience.  It is very very important for me, in every aspect.  For my outer progress and for my inner progress.  For everything.”

“I am very happy.  It’s like a miracle for me.”


Nipura and her kitchen crew have done an incredible job.  Take a step inside the kitchen on their last day preparing hundreds of delicious meals and snacks.

The crew comes from many different countries and not all appear in this picture.  They are Maria from Hamburg, Gerda from Salzburg, Harikanta from Moscow, Madina from Kazakhstan, Surudhuni from NY, Prageeti from New Zealand, Shvastanee from New Zealand, and Kshema from Ukraine.

cooks flower 2-1230557

Do happen
In every human life.

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April 27th….Life Has No Limits

“The result so far is amazing.  It is going really really well.”  This is 44 year old Johnny Hallenby’s first 6 day race.  After 4 days he has 348 miles. He is just a few miles outside of first place but is not concerned.

He has had a plan of running exactly 87 miles a day and he is sticking to it.  His success in the race is in no small measure a tribute to his partner in this adventure Ellen Westfelt.  Who as we are talking dashes over to his table to get him something as he heads out onto his next lap.

Johnny says he is most surprised that he has time that he had not anticipated.  “I can make mistakes but I also have the possibility to correct them.  There is some slack in the schedule.”  Johnny is also very focused on breaking the Swedish record for the event which is 486 miles.  At his current projected rate he should have 522 miles by noon on Friday.

He and Ellen are also aware of the course record of 540 miles which at this point is not out of the question.  Johnny looks very comfortable as he walks smoothly along at his current pace. His goal of completing 87 miles for the day is now within easy reach. “I don’t have to run fast.  I have to run a lot.”

Ellen says that they are both enjoying the friendship and support of the race community that is here.

johnny ellen-1230721

Johnny believes that Swedish people are fascinated with events like this.  “This is an extreme sport.  You can always get inspired by people doing extreme things.”

“Ultra running in itself isn’t that big, but it is growing tremendously.”  The longest race currently being held in Sweden is a 48 hour race.

When asked if he will inspire other Swedish athletes he says, “I actually want to show that you don’t have to do what everybody else does. There are no limits in what you can do.  You just have to be determined.  I hope I can inspire others to do that.”

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As we reach the far side of the course we come up on John Geesler.  Johnny asks John to say something wise. “I think it is terrible how he is showing up the old timers.” (they laugh) John is 57 and has 294 miles.

“He is doing a great job.  Not just the speed but also the consistency. His plan of 87 miles a day and he is sticking to it.  He is a very awesome runner and you will be seeing more of him.”

Johnny runs away and says, “I am having a nice time.”


Life has no limits.
It is the mind that creates
Life’s so-called limits.

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April 26th….No Unreachable Goal

“O my God Susan is doing amazing.”  Hridayinee has been helping Susan Marshall for the past 2 days.  She is a 32 year old runner from Christchurch New Zealand and she really is doing well.  She has 163 miles and is in 3rd place in this her very first 6 day race.

“Susan has not complained once.  Anything I give her she takes.  It is so easy and she is doing so well,” adds Hridayinee her enthusiastic helper.

“She hasn’t had any pain, except for the bottoms of her feet.”  Susan contradicts, “I have got a bit of other.” (they both laugh)

susan wide-1230371

“I did have one nice experience yesterday.  I was just coming through the whole painful experience.  I was sitting on a bench and there were so many people around.  They were blocking the entire pathway and I was standing under this tree.  The most beautiful tree on the course with pink blossoms and a little boy comes up to me and gave me a flower.”

“It was really really sweet.”

flower susan marshall-1230350

If we believe in our own
Then there can be
No unreachable goal.

Sri Chinmoy, No unreachable goal, Agni Press, 1994

Photo by Bhashwar

Photo by Bhashwar

Sri Chinmoy congratulating runners after a 24 hour race in 1980

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April 25th…. Inside My Heart

“Its been very good.  I have really enjoyed it.”  After completing 2 days Vikena Yutz from Columbus Georgia is leading the 6 day women with 142 miles.

This will be her 4th 6 day race but the first time that she has come to Flushing Meadow for the Self-Transcendence race. “I have wanted to do this for 4 years.  It just worked out that I could come this year.”

“When I started doing multi days I read about this race and another one, and that is what inspired me to do them in the first place.  To come here was very important for me for that reason.”

Vikena says that 18 time champion Dipali Cunningham was also a big reason for her coming here.  “I was really sad to hear that she was sick.  I was afraid that I wasn’t going to get to meet her.  Because she has inspired me, and helped me without even knowing it to do what I do now.”

When I ask Vikena if numbers on the board matter to her.  She says that for the most part she is running for the simple experience of participating.  “I would like to have a goal that I would like to meet, but I am just trying to stay inside.”

flower vikena-1230030

She has a dedicated team supporting her and Vikena is also impressed with the presence of all the other runners and helpers.  “Everybody is so joyful and happy here.  It is a unique place and I really like that.  I think it is how I envisioned it.”

I have only
One thing to do:
To stay peacefully
Inside my heart.

Sri Chinmoy, My Christmas-New Year-Vacation Aspiration-Prayers, Part 47, Agni Press, 2006

May 16 1985, Sri Chinmoy with Fred Lebow at 1,000 mile race in Flushing Meadow.


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April 24th…..Changed My Life

“My main goal in coming here is to get inspiration.” This is Arun Bardwaj’s 3rd appearance here at the Self Transcendence race in New York.

“On my first time here, from the very beginning I was feeling happy.  I had nothing in my mind.  No worries.  I am feeling in my best physical condition this time.”  Currently Arun is tied for 5 th place with 81 miles after 24 hours.

“No Fear.”  Arun is appears confident in what he is doing.  He says that in Indian scriptures it is written that we should not have fear.  “When God says don’t be afraid.  Why should we be afraid?”


“Definitely these kind of events inspire me.  I am inspired by the great runners in the race.  Ultra running has totally changed my life.  My way of thinking and everything.”

“I feel lucky and privileged that God has put me into this field of ultra running.  I must say that everyone should at least do once in their lifetimes  a 6 day race.”

flower unisphere-1220664

Take up the challenge
To change your life
Once and for all.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 28, Agni Press, 2002

half marathon 1980

Half marathon put on by the Sri Chinmoy marathon team in 1980

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