Happy Turtle

cimg2348p1020935It was a brand new day at the 6 & 10 day race today.  There were 36 fresh faced runners pacing around anxiously waiting for their special moment when they too could throw their lives into the unparalleled adventure which is the 6 day race.  The 10 day runners have already journeyed past the magical 3 day point.  The place in which most runners say the flow of the race takes over.  Instead of battling against the race the race instead takes hold of you, if you let it, and then deposits you eventually at your journeys close.

The battle hardened and somewhat weary 10 day runners feel the rush and flow of these new ones.  It gives them more life, and more will, that may have been drained away by cold dark nights.  Nights chasing after elusive sleep or perhaps the opposite, trying to break free from its tenacious grasp.  All now, whether they are waiting to step forward to the line or have already tread upon it for hundreds of miles, feel the great weight of a hot day now bearing down relentlessly.  It is as though April, instead of turning a gentle page into May, instead flipped the book directly into July.  It will be hot for next few days.

cimg2367The trees have yet to catch up to this impossible pace of changing weather.  The leaves, with their cool protective shade are still a week away.  The sun will be unbearable for most of the day.  And then they say the thunderstorms will charge in fast behind the heat.  This is what they say.  But what they do, the runners of the 6 day race, is put on hats and creams and drink as much as they can.  But what they do, the runners of the 10 day, is just keep pushing on.  There are many days ahead of adventure and dreams and self transcendence.

p1020964Sahishnu is getting the numbers ready for the new runners.  He says that the efforts of Madhupran and kaneenika in the 10 day race are helping to pull along the other runners in that race.  Of the hot weather that has set in, he says, “I much prefer it over the rain.”  He says the race is a unique community in which everyone is, “trying to do their best.”

Sahishnu’s Interview

Lenka Svecova from the Czech Republic receives her race number

p1020934p1020950“Its like my 25th or 26th multi day. ”  Chanakhya Jakovic is often the called the grandfather of distance running for good reason.  A good portion of his 55 years have been spent at pursuing long distance races.  He does admit however that he is a little excited and nervous about this race.  He will move away from New York and America in just 2 weeks time.  He says of the race, “It is another opportunity to experience Transcendence.

Chanakhya’s Interview

Click to play full Interview

cimg2361cimg2370“I feel very calm and happy.” Dipali Cunningham, 50 years old, from Melbourne Australia is about as seasoned and as experienced as they get in Multi day running races.  Since 1991 she has won 22 of 29 races.  She says she is very excited about the presence of Pam Reed in the race, who holds the 24 and 48 hour American records.  Of the hot weather, which she calls Australian like, she says, “we have to take it very calm and very easy.”

Dipali meeting Pam Reed for the first time.

Dipali Interview

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p1020945I ask Rajeshri  Muzychenko why she has not entered the 10 day race to run along with her friend  Kushali.  “For me 10 day laughing is too much for me 6 day laughing is okay,” and with this she laughs.  Both herself and her friend are amazingly talented musicians who have given 100’s of concerts but both have been inspired over the years to enter this most challenging race, which they do with more humor and joy than just about anyone you have ever met.  This year will be her 5th multi day race.  Last year when conditions were bad she says amazingly, “I had my best race.”

She admits that she is not a runner but describe herself as the best turtle on the road.  She tells me that she would rather be a happy turtle than a sad deer.

Rajeshri Interview

click to play full interview

p1020970Many have come to this race for the first time.  For those who have sampled the challenge of a 24 hour race a 6 day is the next great leap forward into the world of distance running.  Allan Harman from Vancouver is taking that leap.  Here he is taking a picture of the scoreboard.


Allan Harman applying sun screen

p1020939p1020944Liubov Stebneva from St Petersburg Russia and Regina Plyavinskaya also from St Petersburg.

Joe Cleary 69 from Canada is running his first multi day

cimg2354Pete Stringer 67, from Osterville MA ran here for the first time in 2007 and has been wanting to come back ever since.  He calls the race, “unexcelled in good vibes and peace.”  He is being supported by his wife Jane who says, “hp1020946e has a crazy goal but still it makes a lot of sense.”  She also adds, “I love the people here.”

Pete and Jane Stringer Interview

click to play interview

p1020953p1020966Viddyut Balmer is a 26 year old runner from San Francisco.

Mark Dorion is a perennial participant in this race.

p1020958p1020960Vlasimil Dvoracek is 49 from Orlici Czech Republic.  He has tremendous experience in distance running having completed 63 ultras.

Vishuddhi Trummer 46 from Vels Austria has completed 20 ultra events.


Sandhani giving an interview to NewYork 1.

Sandhani’s Interview with NY 1

click to play

Andy Cable ready to run and the sun

cimg2353“I am not going to speak for 6 days during the entire race,” says Shishaldin Hanlen, a 28 year old runner from Brooklyn.  She says this in the brief few minutes before the start of the 6 day race.  She is appearing in this race for the 4th time and has taken on this unique and most difficult challenge she says, “in order to meditate, transcend, it going to be a difficult challenp1020941ge.”  She adds, “I don’t know if I can even do it.”

Shishaldin interview

click to play full Shishaldin interview


Start of Race

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Rupantar Leads the first lap

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Kodanda, Virendra, and Jowan play

p1020971For just a brief while the 6 day board remains empty.  With each lap completed the numbers will grow.  In no time, the 6 day runners will look a lot like the 10 runners.  Dreams of Self Transcendence will both blossom and die with each step of their human bodies.  But their divine spirits will follow only one ascending path, to a goal that lies just beyond.

Go forward!

Go forward!

Be not afraid

Of even

A marathon-obstacle!

Excerpt from The Beginning And The Arriving by Sri Chinmoy.

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