Day 50… Took The Challenge (August 5)

“I am happy of course that soon it will be over.  This last week is so long. It feels like it will never end.”

On this the 50th day of the race Surasa is 157 miles from the finish line and has a full three days in which to do it.  But unfortunately the weather between now and Tuesday when she should finish could well be as hot, humid, and miserable as a New York summer can be.

“Each race is different for me.  I have had those in which there was a happy ending, in the last days and so on.  But this time, and maybe because the weather was so challenging.”  When I mention the grim forecast that lies ahead she says, “that is good.  We get everything until the end.”

“I have great helpers.  They help me each time I race.  Most of the time I have the same helpers, for many many years.  They know me and I know them.  It is perfect.  I have very good helpers.” Surasa says that to perform as well as she does she just couldn’t do the race without help.  “I need so many things.  Without helpers you lose so much time.”

Photo by Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Surasa is encouraged when she receives letters from friends and supporters.  She really appreciates when people around the world send her best wishes and encouragement.  “When they are praying for me it touches me always, very very deeply. It helps me.  The concern I can feel.  That they make the effort to write.

“When I get messages I am always so grateful, that I have so many nice sisters and brothers around the world.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“This race was challenging because of the weather.  In the end I am so happy and only grateful that I have done it.  You know at the end that it was worth the struggle.  I am just happy that I took the challenge and I could do it.  So at the end there is always gratitude and gratitude.”

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Day 44… Such An Opportunity (July 30)

For most of us when we look back at our childhood we are reminded that summer represented back then the ultimate freedom from a long year of school.  Days when you could sleep in, go out and play any time you wanted, and perhaps take a family vacation.

It is obvious that this kind of luxury is not available to the runners of the 3100 mile race for even the briefest of moments.  Time is simply too precious and the challenge of making the distance too great.  At the same time I wanted to tempt Surasa with a silly proposition.  Did she ever imagine herself, instead of being in the humid sweat box of New York, pounding out miles on the hardest sidewalk in Queens, rather instead sitting down for a leisurely cup of coffee with cake in Vienna.

“It is a difficult question.  Somehow yes and somehow no. Because I know it is such an opportunity to run here.”

Surasa says that each time she comes she somehow forgets just how difficult it is.  “I forget that the weather here in New York gets so very hot, and it can rain very heavily.  Everything you get here.”

Photo by Spontaneous Beauty

“Now I am thinking more and more what a miracle this race is.  We are all so exhausted, but still we all are running from 6am to 12pm.  For such a long time, it is really a miracle.  So you have to believe in a higher force, because the energy of the body is very limited.  Only spiritual energy is unlimited.”

“The whole universe is full of energy, and it is so beautiful, if you think this.”  She says there will be time enough for coffee and cake after the race.

Photo by Spontaneous Beauty

She is trying to think now about meeting the finish line.  This morning she starts her day with 2588 miles.  “When I think, 8 days more, not so much.  “But when I think, 500 to 600 more miles then I think it is not nothing.”

“But in this race you never know what happens until the last day.  Right now things are getting better and better in my body.  You just have to stay positive and looking forward.”

The Board at the start of Day 44…*Note totals may not be accurate… Magic Number is 2,562 *

Camp early

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