July 18: In My Heart Already

“It is a very serious number.” This number which is so serious for Yuri Trostenyuk is 2000 miles.  In practical terms he has probably been aiming towards this number now for the past 16 days when at that time he made his first 1000.  Hopefully if all goes well in just an additional 16 days more he will also be able to rack up another 1000 miles.  Then all that will remain left in front of him will be that last little bump of 100 miles.

In so many ways his life long dreams are now finding form within the actual reality of his life.  Coming in ways that he perhaps had not exactly imagined yet at the same time, with all his preparation and hard effort they have certainly not materialized out of thin air either.

When he ran up this sidewalk moments earlier his eyes were bright with gratitude.  He had hoped to actually have completed those 4 laps the previous night.  But the conditions yesterday were horrific and unfortunately will continue on this way for several days to come.  When asked about what it was like here for him, “Yesterday was a very serious day.”

Unless you are the most experienced of ultra runners these distances simply cannot be comprehended.   Certainly for even an average marathon runner there is no way of putting his accomplishment into perspective.


Out of curiosity I wondered, if Yuri had set off from his home in Vinnitsa 32 days ago, instead of running around the block here, just how far would he have been able to travel.

I am not sure if he speaks too many foreign languages but he would have needed quite a few before he completed the full 2000 miles west of his home in the Ukraine.   Because if he ran in that direction  he would have just about made it to Madrid.  A journey by car, that Google maps says should take about 34 hours.  That is if you were to use a mode of travel the most of us are more familiar with when we want to travel  such long distances.


As for that finish line which is getting just a little closer each hot day now, “It lives in my heart already.”

Yuri 2000

Photo by Bhashwar 1982

Anything that I want to find
Is already there
In the depths of my heart.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 39, Agni Press, 2004

The day will be both blessed and cursed by this fiery object that drifts across the sky and only leaves the runners for the last few dark hours of their day.


A will spend a portion of my day out under it and I will find myself praying regularly that I can simply get done what I have to do.


Before he runs those 4 laps this morning it is just a regular day.  A bag of dirty laundry on the handlebars of his bike.


Sarvagata quietly arrives as well.


Ice bags made ready.


Drinking of fluids starts early and never stops.


Surasa and Nidhruvi check out the most important reading of the day, the lap sheets.  Both did a remarkable 113


At the start Rupantar asks everyone to be extra cautious today.


There is at times a whisper of a breeze but only just


Ananda-Lahari was told by Dr. Kumar who visited the race yesterday simply, “just keep going.  You will be okay.”


The bottle contains a drink to help digestion.  It has lemon, salt, and sugar in it.


The path so familiar still has small secrets to share


Ashprihanal still is having a problem and seems to be lacking strength. Yesterday there was no flying…only walking.


Some beauty has been brought here by helping hands.


Atmavir continues to be astonishing.  Now he is 150 miles ahead of last year.  Baladev had a very good 106 laps yesterday.


“I think somebody from Iceland kindly donated some vitamins and supplements.”  Yesterday a large box of goodies arrived at the race at a time when they were most useful.  Pranava is the most likely bestower  of this generosity.


“It was so much appreciated by me because I have no idea what I am supposed to be taking.”  Sarah laughs as she says this.  “It was really nice.  It was such a hot day and everyone was feeling so low.  Then suddenly we got this big box of presents.  You know these things happen quite regularly.  It helps to give you a little lift.”

sarah and supplements


Some beauty just arrives on its own with a little help from nature.


Just to put this remarkable lady in a little better perspective.


1976 miles and counting.  By the mid day she will also arrive at 200


Things not always so serious she shares a happy moment with Irena.


Nidhruvi so similar


Strong, yet adapts so well to everything


Getting so much good help from her attentive crew


“I have had a particular problem the last few days.  It is heat related.”  Sopan is looking pretty good today.  Like everyone he suffered with the weather the last few days.


“I could not push myself harder for some reason, which is not normal for me.  I loose energy and can’t eat so well.  My energy crashed completely.”  Dr. Kumar came by and recommended that Sopan and a few others drink a simple concoction of water, lemon, salt, and sugar.  “He said drink it every 15 minutes all day long.  I can feel it immediately when I drink it.  It definitely got my energy up.”

sopan prayer

Before I leave for the morning he is clearly more energetic.  Last year on day 18 after 1000 miles his injuries forced him to leave the race.  Now as he starts day 33 he has over 1,800 miles beside his name.  He says that he hasn’t felt so good since when he ran here in 2006.  “It is good to be back.  I haven’t been here in a long time.”


Everybody’s friend today….while it lasts


Not quite hiding behind the flower is Vasu.


Behind the hat he is a little hard to find sometimes…He ran 113 laps.


Pranjal has a way of standing out.


“It is very hard on the body when you have so many days of over 30.  It takes too much energy.  Many people are just in survival mode.  You can’t push because it is too hard to go any faster.  This is why many people are just doing the necessary.”


He asks people to keep their fingers crossed.  But the forecast says the weather won’t break until Sunday.


Sarvagata did 124 laps yesterday a number that is nothing short of miraculous in these conditions.  If he were to keep it up it would mean anything is still possible.


Parvati reminds everyone that it is Nelson Mandela day.

nelson-mandela2Besides today being his 95th birthday people around the world are encouraged to provide community service.

The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”


Sri Chinmoy met with President Mandela on a number of occasions.


He said of him.

“South Africa sleeplessly needs the fragrance of your heart for its liberation and peace, and the whole world soulfully needs the garden of your life for its inspiration and bliss.”

A PERFECT IUSTICE-VOICE Nelson Mandela, torture-sufferer supreme, High Heaven’s Smile and earth’s solace-dream. Your heart has won the world’s admiration-choice. Within, without, a perfect justice-voice.

LONG WALK TO FREEDOM Long walk to freedom, long walk to freedom To be a child of oneness-kingdom. Long walk to freedom, long, long, long: Our proudest victory’s sweetest song.


Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy With Four African Peace-Immortals, Agni Press, 1996

Prayer of the Day



Recited by Sopan


Enthusiasm Awakeners




I have already instilled peace in my heart;
I shall never be distressed.
To You I have already offered
The flower of my heart’s expression.

Sri Chinmoy, Transcendence-Perfection, Agni Press, 1975


3 thoughts on “July 18: In My Heart Already”

  1. I had to laugh and laugh at something that is not at all to laugh, but when I see the map with the enormous distance from Vinnitsa to Madrid in only 32 days, joke, I can’t believe that a human being can do this.

    19 God Loves Our Small Jokes …

    God loves our small jokes,
    But He never likes our big jokes.
    Our biggest joke is:
    God does not need us.

    Sri Chinmoy, My Christmas-New Year-Vacation Aspiration-Prayers, Part 10, Agni Press, 2002

    God needs us! thank you all the runners and the helpers!

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