Ron Clarke was one of Australia’s greatest runners. At the height of his middle distance running career in the 1960’s he was able to establish 17 world records. He was certainly loved and respected not just in Australia but around the world. In what has to be one of the oddest circumstances of his lengthy competitive life he never won an Olympic medal though he was once given one by another great Olympian, Emile Zatopec in honor of all he had accomplished in the world of distance running.
Click below to see him setting a world record in 3 mile race in 1965:
Sri Chinmoy was asked this question in 1974.
Ron: What is God’s favourite season?
Sri Chinmoy: God’s favourite season is spring, when new hope, new life and new creation dawn. What God always wants from Himself is transcendence. This He can do only when He exercises new hope, new life and new creation constantly.
On this spring day another great Australian runner has entered his 3rd straight day of running here at the 10 day race. He was here 2 years ago running in the 6 day and had what he describes as, “a life changing event for me. I think essentially what happened is your body gets destroyed, and then your mind gets destroyed, and then your ego gets destroyed, then you are left as pure awareness. That is how I felt and there were a few moments in that race when it was just light and bliss.”
This talented 51 year old runner in that time since has established himself as one of the best multi day runners in the world and currently has his own world age group record in the 24 hour race when he ran 153.8 miles (247.6km) There are many fans of Martin who are very interested in hearing about how he is currently doing but before we do, one last quote from Ron Clarke
What is the best advice you can give to aspiring athletes?
There are two pieces of advice I believe are paramount. Enjoy what you are doing, and be consistent with it. Above all, I loved running. I never stopped for even a day and during my career I never saw any reason to ease down to “refresh myself”. Why? You don’t stop eating for even a day so neither should you need, or want, to stop training. Running is never boring…there are too many variations that can be used to make it interesting. Consequently, when you set out to begin running as an exercise, determine that whatever the circumstance, you will continue to train, or competing, every day of every week of every year In 1965, I raced 65 times, set 11 world records, competed in 9 different countries within 18 days (we were only allowed to travel for 4 weeks overseas in those days), and was still training as hard at the end of it (Derek Clayton and I ran for 18 miles on Christmas morning).
Martin is moving well ahead of the field in this race. For the first 3 girls however it is still a very tight race.
2 years ago Martin and I talked a lot about his experience then. At the time he felt that he approached his races with 3 different modes. One being as a scientist, another as a hippie, and finally as a mongrel dog. I joke with him that in fact these 3 characters are now wrapped up all in one in his handler for this race Allan Young. He adds respectfully, “he is a very kind chap and has a great sense of humor.” They met quite by accident at a race in which Allan was handling Irish runner Tony Mangan. He says that at that event Tony was not doing very well so he started to offer aid to Martin who was in the next trailer, which in turn inspired him to, “really my best result ever of all the running I have ever done.” He set the second best time for 48 hours.
At the time he didn’t realize that he had beaten the eventual 2nd place runner by only 300 meters. “So I am glad Allan pushed me along for the last half hour.” He adds, “there was something I knew in the back of my head that there was something important about running right through to the end.” (433.686 meters) He describes how something similar happened at another race recently in Taiwan. “I think there must be some graces that descended upon me for a couple of those events.”
Two years ago he won the 6 day race here with 487 miles. He had many profound experiences that took place to him back then. On one occasion, “I felt like I had a bolt of lightning down my spine and I had no pain for an hour, and I said, I want more of that.” (laughs) When I came away from the race I went back to my desk job, and I spent months and months with a sense of unease. I didn’t know what had gone on. Something had changed.”
“I was seeing people differently and all sorts of strange things, and I am a scientist by nature.” What came out of all this was a growing interest in spirituality and perhaps how to make even more progress. He had felt a real infinity with everyone he had met at the race. “It felt like one big family. It really drew me eventually to the path. Sri Chinmoy’s love of running as way of self transcendence. That is exactly what this race is about. So now I felt I will have to do the 10 day race.” He laughs, “I am not so sure about the 3100 mile”
We then discuss his intense focus over the first 2 days in which he was not at all interested in talking about the race. “I find, probably because my background is racing 24 and 48 hours that there is an intensity to my mind that needs to be dissipated. Now I have settled into it and day 3 is the day of surrender.
It is a really interesting feeling. The intensity and ego just drops and you feel much more oneness with what is going on. Even the competitive streak disappears. It is just beautiful to be out here. This is my home for 10 days.”
“There are some days when this is it. Where you are is the perfect spot to be. It is just a joy to be here and see all these people from all around the world. I want to enjoy every day and come through the whole thing feeling enriched, and I think if I do that properly the numbers will take care of themselves.”
The 6 day runners are showing up now for the start of the race on Sunday. A very familiar Don Winkley arrived this afternoon.
Samita who is leading the women in the 10 day race continues to show how she has lost nothing in her 20 year absence from multi day running
The weather tonight is supposed to get quite bad.
Usika prepares early for the heavy rains that you can feel will soon arrive
Arriving before the rains is Syona Ionov from Keiv. “It will be my first 6 day race. Because I have done 5 ten day races.” Because of job requirements he was not able to get time off from work and come and do the usual 10 day race. “Yesterday I cut my hair and I was wearing a suit. Many people asked me, why do you cut your hair? I am going to the 6 day race. Wow…. you are a teacher and a runner.”
“I know that after 3 days it is hard.” He says that in the longer race he usually feels new energy after the 7th day. I ask him why he comes. “I feel I am missing something inside when I do not come here and run. For me running a marathon I do not get the same experience that I do when I run a multi day race. A multi day race gives me a strong will, and this will I may use in my ordinary life.
Syona talk in Russian
Tonight will be a true test for all the tents
Those in the dorms will have a different type of experience
“It is going to rain soon.” Kaneenika is all smiles this afternoon but she isn’t looking forward to what the weather is currently forecast to bring this evening. “We don’t want rain.”
“I am having a great time, because I am in this race, and I love doing them.” She wasn’t feeling well the first day but seems to have pushed that experience away, “it is passed. I am happy it is over.’
“It hasn’t been so bad so far. I don’t like the wind, definitely not my favorite.”
For the last few years she had Sarah competing very closely with her and now this year she has Samita and Ilvaka. “We all inspire each other. I am always happy when someone is pushing me. I am always aiming for something. At least to improve my previous achievement. Sometimes when the conditions do not allow it I am happy with whatever comes.”
She agrees that after a couple of days of running she feels that she is more used to the pattern and enjoys it more. “I just go with the flow after 2 days.”
Her first day here was not up to her usual standard but she understands this clearly was because she was not feeling well. “I couldn’t really run. I had no energy. But now it feels great, because the energy is back and I am sure I can make it up. I am not giving up.”
A crew of experts were called in to fix a balky generator this afternoon.
Baladev helping out as he waits for his start on Sunday.
Kausal is helping out in medical for this race for the 2nd time. He realizes that with the start of the 6 day it will quickly become very complicated both for himself and all the medical staff. He says that for each runner who comes to him, “you have to concentrate on what they want, and offer something.”
He has helped out more often at the yearly 3100 mile race. “The 3100 mile race is something very hard for the mind to see, accept, and believe. So the moment you treat those guys you need a real spiritual attitude. For you are really serving someone. At this race you try and help them to keep going for 6 or 10 days. And they need adjustments or basic stuff. At the 3100 you really have to be very careful in what they need. It is a deeper thing.”
“For me it is fun, I have to say. I like to be with the boys and girls, and I like to be of service to them. It is a different feeling from normal patients. They may have minor things that come up during the race. Some digestive troubles even before the race.”
He describes that for him bringing his medical skills here is fun but it is also a kind of race for him. You get tired in treating people. You give and you receive but in the end of the day it is all joy. It is all bliss. You are tired but there is a kind of inner satisfaction that overwhelms the whole thing.”
“I strongly feel that being here is like an inner circle of energy and bliss. I believe.”
52 hours and counting
Priyavadin waiting for his time to come.
Fred Davis doing well.
Many days to go.
Question: What actually do you mean by “the birth of a new creation”?
Sri Chinmoy: With the birth of a new creation, Heaven sends a new hope to humanity and humanity offers a new promise to Heaven.
Sri Chinmoy, The Soul’s Special Promise, Part 2, Agni Press, 1999
6 responses to “April 19: New Creation”
I wish to be there and run!
You with your blog are my confort.
Great photos and writings.
Thank you for the feeling of the race, especially for those of us who know that feeling but cannot be there in person at this time 🙂
Hi Fred! I have been at 2 races with Fred. Last time was 3 Days at the Fair 2012.
Good interview Martin. Lots of love coming from Australia
Dad,Luke Lyn and Juz
This blog is really amazing! I feel like I am actually there at the race experiencing everything too! The detail and care to put this blog together is appreciated by so many of us! Thank you Utpal for your real dedicated service! The runners are inspiring me so much to push myself and really train for something,,,,,it seems like they receive so much……Thank you for this beautiful inspiration! I look forward to following the rest of the race. Pushpa rani
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