In a Blink It Will All Be Over

cimg2512It has been a place for celebration and a place to experience pain.  There is never enough sleep for anyone, and yet everyone begins to see sleep as an elusive friend who promises much and sometimes gives back much less than bargained for.  Perhaps all have wished at some time, in the dark of night to take a wrong turn on the course and just keep going until they hopefully found a place called home.  The miserly miles accumulate with such reluctance and at such a exorbitant cost one might logically think it  better to simply to stay in your sleeping bag and dream of a silent and sweet lonesome hilltop.

But there are silly thoughts that vanish almost before they spray carelessly from the mind and then there are heart dreams.  Powerful messages that push through the chaff and clutter of the mind and show the straight true path of life.  For 9 days for some and 5 days for the rest, the Self Transcendence race cimg2514has been their lives. A 24 hour a day reality that never ceases to surprise you and yet in the end inspires you to reach high and travel further than you have ever dreamed possible.

There has been heat and cold and now on this the last day of the adventure the rain pours down out of a black sky and no one knows when it will stop.

The thin plastic roof of the counting shack fills so quickly with water that it cascades down the front like a small river.



It rains so heavily in the late afternoon that most just stay dry in the dugout.  Radi, Pratishrhutti, and Elena.  The rain however proves to be a fickle mistress.  It relents but does not give up.


Dipali is running today with beauty and precision.  At noon today, with 24 hours to go, she learned that she was just 81 miles away from reaching her record.  On the surface it seems doable, and yet who knows what nature will decide to bequeath on this brave and hardy band as they head into the long night and then as the new day blossoms.

Pam Reed is also running well and continues to demonstrate her heart, courage, talent, and will to go on.  The gap between her and Dipali has shifted slowly wider like some tectonic plate beneath the earth.  The presence of the other has helped them both and in the months and years to come they will remember well the look and gait of the other which they saw so often over 6 long days of racing.

cimg2543Pam says, “Its been great.  Its been difficult and I didn’t quite know how to maneuver it.  I think I did what I could do.”  For Pam every step past 300 miles has been new territory.  Even how to juggle rest and the road have been new challenges that have not easily offered up solutions.  As the record of 510 has slipped inexoribly from reach she has found another goal to help push and inspire her through this last day and that is the American record of 487.  A distance that is now just 56 miles away.

cimg2542She says, “It is neat to see how far you can push yourself.”  There is also the reality that all multi day runners have to accept and face, which is, “You just have to keep going.”  She also had a unique experience happen to her yesterday that was completely unexpected.  She describes a moment in which she says she felt a sense of profound inner peace.  She describes it as though it was a meditative experience.  She says, “what it felt like is what I think his message is,” referring to Sri Chinmoy the inspiration for the Self Transcendence race.

She talks about pushing herself to new limits and yet at the same time being detached from the effort and instead enjoy a real sense of peace.  As she looks back at the last 6 days she says, “I guess I learned a lot.”

Pam Reed Interview

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cimg2526cimg2531A long weary experience for me,” says Machupran who saw his goals evolve and change at almost every step.  He now wants to simply finish tomorrow with the numbers 777 on the board.  Yet for this supremely talented athlete I would not be surprised at anything.  One goal which is unlikely to change is as he says, “to end the race with a smile on my face.”

Madhupran Interview

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p1030256p1030257Sarah Barnett says, “I am happy because I went beyond the last race I did. I am very grateful” Like most runners she envisioned some higher numbers but will still easily come away with a new personal record.  Being here with people who share her own love of running and wish to transcend means it is so easy to feel at home and enjoy the little vibrant community.  She is inspired by so many who have achieved new records.  She says, “I hope each race we try and go beyond.”

kaneenika“I have done 437 miles in the 6 day and I hope to do 700 miles by tomorrow.” Kaneenika has pushed past personal bests in almost every front.  She says, “I feel that if I go beyond my physical problems and concentrate more inside, I feel I can transcend myself.”  The distance between herself and her goal of 700 miles is just 47 miles right now.  Her inner goal she has no doubt already achieved.

photo by Jowan

kaneenika Interview

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cimg2523 Joe Cleary says, “I have rescheduled my thoughts and I am running 50 km a day which sounds okay to me.”  His goal of 300 miles has proved a little too ambitious for this 69 year old from Canada.  He has run more than double his previous total mileage and the experience is so positive he wants to come back.  He says about next years race, “I will be here.”

cimg2560His helper Cheryl says, “It is amazing watching all these people it really is inspiring. It makes you think you can do anything.”

Joe Cleary interview

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cimg2536p1030285Darren Worts has 379 miles and his folks survived the night in their car in the parking lot.

Roman Dzieriatka has 185 and will likely take in a baseball game tomorrow after the race is over.

petep1030309Pete Stringer has 279 miles.

A short while ago there was celebrating for Pati Libinova 44 Chelyabinsk Russia who just ran 300 miles in her first multi day race.

p1030254p1030317Nirbili File says, “the hot weather was no good.”  But nonetheless the experience for her and her husband Nick, “was extremely deeply satisfying.”

Nirbili File interview

Vlastimil Dvoracek 49, Czech Republic, says, “I came to have a good race and did better than I expected.”

Vlastimil Dvoracek interview

p1030251p1030244Pradeep Hoogakker 30 Den Haag Netherlands tells me that in the first few days of the race the experience is more superficial than in the later stages, where he says, “you can experience peace and timelessness.”  He is 34 miles from surpassing last years total of 481.

Pradeep interview

Michel Gouin says, “You have to be very strong mentally to run this kind of race.  You have to have an open mind.”  He currently has run 492 miles and hopes to surpass his total from last year of 541.

Michel Guoin interview

p1030281“The whole race I have been pain free,” says Tirtha Voelckner 37 Munich Germany.  When she came to this race last year for the first time the longest race she had previously entered was 24 hours.  In last years race she ran 503 miles and at this point late in the afternoon, with many hours to go, she is just a few miles from last years total.  She says about this years race, “I am very glad I came out again.”

p1030283She feels in this years race she has been relatively pain free by not worrying about the miles but instead, concentrating on each lap as it comes.  To live in the moment and more importantly, concentrate on her heart.

Tirtha interview

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p1030295I have been doing kitchen runs, keeping runners happy,” says Asankita who has come from New Zealand, the last few years, to work on the race from start to finish.  He says that for him there is a joy factor involved with helping the runners achieve their goals that brings him back each year.

Asankita interview

p1030275Visitors of all kinds come to the race.

Sushovita had her birthday party here with lots of cake and song.

p1030247 “10 days is really a very big journey. we cannot compare it to the 6 days.”  When he last came to this race in 2005 Arun Bhardwaj 40, India ran the 6 day race for the first time and ran 346 miles.  He says his experience here is a spiritual journey.

p1030246When he describes pain he looks upon it with a unique perspective.  He feels that nothing can compare to a Mother’s pain when she gives birth.  It is with this philosophy he feels he can endure much more.  He had hoped to achieve 500 miles in this race but has learned from the experience here that, “the mind does not work only the heart works.”

He feels that he also has a mission to accomplish.  He hopes his achievements can inspire and make more dynamic his fellow Indians and the country as a whole.  One of his fellow runners called Arun, “One in a Billion.”

Arun interview

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p1030239“It is the best organized event I have ever been to.”  Brian Marshall is tired going into his 10th, and last day of the race, but seems very pleased with the 415 miles he has achieved walking the whole way.  “Its been great,” he says.  He relates to me a message he received from a friend of his in South Africa.  His friend said to him, “Don’t mess around cause you are going to blink and it will be all over.”p1030234

Brian Marshall interview

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By no means does selftranscendence

Mean an impossible task,

And possibility can and must reach


Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 13 by Sri Chinmoy.

One response to “In a Blink It Will All Be Over”

  1. This too is indeed a victory for us all. I became aware of something very deep through the skills and powerful self-transcendence from these 10 days reports in my own life: The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is great and much more than just a team, but a opportunity to transform everybody’s life who wants to be touched by it. It has the powerful blessings, knowledge and wisdom from Sri Chinmoy.

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