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.

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“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

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Richard and Kim

Kim doing some decorating

Taking a break

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Big break

Race director Rupantar

Bahula and medical

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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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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

August 9… To Beautify The World

Her story is almost perfection itself.  Or at least one that most accurately reflects how we mortals struggle and strive against adversity.   Then when we least expect it we accomplish that once insurmountable task that had risen up in front of us.

Click below to hear the sound of Kaneenika’s finish:

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In turn we are rewarded or we find the true meaning of just how precious the goals that come to challenge us truly are.  Hopefully we  learn and grow stronger.   Understand just a little better what we must do in order to reach up and draw ourselves closer to our own perfection.

Last year Kaneenika in her first attempt at 3100 miles made it to 3014 miles.

A result that some might call a defeat.  But in the peculiar divine world of the Self Transcendence Race it was another kind of victory. One that does not step up onto a visible podium, but instead shines brightly in the summit of the heart.

When we meet this morning I joke with Kaneenika that tomorrow she will not be here

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“It is true.”

“It is always very inspiring and encouraging to get messages from people.  Quite often I get messages from people I don’t even know.  It reminds me that people really follow this race and appreciate what we are doing here.”

“It is so special.  When I read these messages they are like a joy pill and a pain killer in one.  Also an energy boost.  It is so nice to know that people have so much oneness.  I am so grateful.”

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“This race may look like an individual sport but we have all these supporters and all these helpers.  They just carry us along.  The race wouldn’t be possible without the helpers and everybody around the world who follows the race.  All those who send good wishes and pray for us.  That is the beauty of this race.”

“When I was a new disciple.  I was watching the race for the first time.  I was here in New York for the summer.  At the time Rupantar asked me if I would think about this race.  But I couldn’t think anything.  It was so beyond.”

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“Then he told me that Sri Chinmoy once said that when we are doing races like this.  Something good happens somewhere else.  So I believe that something like that is happening.  I don’t believe that Sri Chinmoy created this race just for us to go around and around.  That it is really for humanity to make progress.”

Later at the finish line she shares another story.  One that took place when she was really having a tough time.

“I was running on the far side of the course and I met a girl who was running in the opposite direction.  Then she smiled at me and said you are amazing.  I didn’t know her and I didn’t even know if she even knew about the race.  So I just smiled back at her out of my misery.  And it felt good.”

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Click below to hear Sahishnu’s speech and Kaneenika’s speech:

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She says that she then came upon a mother walking with her little girl.  “I smiled at them and they smiled back at me. I thought wow.  I am feeling much better than I felt before.”

Just after this she came back into the camp and noticed a banner with Sri Chinmoy’s smiling face on it.  Also on it was the aphorism

Just one smile
Immensely increases
The beauty of the universe.

Sri Chinmoy, A God-devotion-teardrop, 2006

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“And I thought, is this the answer to my question.  This is why we run these races.  To beautify the world.  Wow, that is really powerful.  I was reflecting on this afterwards.  I thought Sri Chinmoy is so smart.”

“He gives us this incredible race.  To help to make this world more beautiful.”

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*Editors Note:  This will be my last post for the race this year.   My last attempt to document this incredible event, called the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race.  It is with deep and humble gratitude that I have offered these daily posts to all of you who have both dipped and dove into my little creations.  The race is well beyond what my words, pictures, and sound can do.   Hopefully you have been inspired and will also be able to accomplish in the near future your own self transcendence task.*

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August 8… A New Experience

This morning when Surasa ran by me she asked if I wouldn’t mind taping a message for her.  Of course I considered it a great honor to be able to to record this for all her friends and admirers.

“I have a message for my friends.”

“Dear friends all over the world.  I just want to tell you that you don’t have to worry about me.  I am really fine.”

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“There are other more important things and the world to worry about.  For me this is just about missing  a few miles, and what is that.   Of course it is a new experience for me.  Because in my other races, the last 2 were so good.”

“It is a new experience to walk for more than half of the race.  But I think new experiences are needed in life.  They are good in order to make inner progress.  And inner progress is of course what we want to make.”

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“So if everything stays like this then I will be able to do more than 3000.  I am more than happy about this.”

“So I am not at all disappointed or sad.   I really feel happy and peaceful inside.  I think this is important.  This makes me very happy.”

“But I want to thank you again for all your support.  Very soon it will be the end of the race.”

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At the start of the race in 2007 Sri Chinmoy spontaneously composed a poem about his beloved 3100 mile race.  The runners were standing in front of him. At first he was meditating silently and powerfully and then began to speak these words.

Photo by Jowan

Photo by Jowan

Longest self giving journey

Heaven’s brightest smile

Earth’s proudest embrace

God’s Newest Victory Discovery

Self-Transcendence 3,100-Mile Race Songs

Photo by Jowan

Photo by Jowan

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August 7… How Can I Stop

When I meet with Baladev this morning he has just been reading a page full of poems that Sri Chinmoy wrote on the topic of never giving up.

I ask him what that means to him and he says, “right now I am not in a talking mood.”

Instead he uses the time to read them all to me.  In a thoughtful and compelling way. Sharing with me, that when he read them moments earlier they had made him cry.

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Each one a powerful message.  Each one adding another insight into humanity’s deep need, if not obligation to always continually attempt to move forward, even in the face of relentless resistance on all levels.

Baladev is an incredible example of never giving up.  This is his 8th summer here and as of last night he had completed 2664 miles.  A distance that would take him from his home town of Komjatice Slovakia all the way to Tajikistan.  With still 3 days left Baladev will accumulate well over 2700 miles.

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He has worn a special shirt this morning.  One that was custom made for him a few years ago.

“On my back is ‘Never Give Up,’ and on the front is, ‘Go Forward.’

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“When I have never give up on my back I feel as though it is pushing me to go forward, and I am between these 2 secrets. So I am moving.  How can I stop?”

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Never give up, never give up!
Even if you lose your way
A great many times,
You must realise that your destination
Is sleeplessly expecting your arrival.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 224, Agni Press, 1995

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