“I would like to offer my gratitude to Sri Chinmoy and to everybody. Everybody who organizes the race. Who serves the race. I would like to also offer gratitude to all those who not just do something here physically, but also those who even think about it and want to become better people.”
Vasu in about 4 hours time will complete his long journey. It will be his second finish in the event, but to see him on the course this year was like seeing an almost completely different person. He was not just stronger and faster he was also simply delightful to watch and occasionally run with.
His attitude was always positive, cheerful, and incredibly humble. Never for a moment was it about him, but rather everything to Vasu was always about how to please his Guru, Sri Chinmoy. Who he felt was solely responsible for everything that he did and also the kind of person he also wants eventually to become. Someone for whom Transcendence is not just 3100 mile race but for an entire lifetime.
I cannot tell just how many have been following his extraordinary achievement here this year. Certainly on websites across the Ukraine, Russia, and parts of the former Soviet Union there are many who are identifying with his incredible achievement of winning the race this year.
I notice that the time difference between here and his home in St Petersburg is 8 hours. Yet at his finish later this morning his friends there will gather and actually be able to watch his finish in real time on skype. Many others in the Ukraine and in other parts of Oneness Dream Boat shore will be anxious to also see and learn what wonders have happened here this day. None will be disappointed.
To show some perspective of his distance run here. Leaving St Petersburg Vasu would have run to just past the Mongolian border to Ulaangom.
The event by its sheer scope and nature compels the runner’s inner self to emerge and blossom. It may be possible to finish it on pure brute force and determination but I don’t think so. Something else has to happen. A divine miracle has to take place where the outer being has to listen and become in sync with the inner self, or at least make some pact or even grudging compromise When it all works in harmony than a beautiful soulful experience is expressed here at the race, again and again mile after mile. Vasu was just one of those cherished beings who always seemed in harmony with his heart’s cry and his outer smile.
“I tried to do my best last year and I tried to do my best this year. Last year I needed more patience and this year I had more happiness. It helped me so much. Last year and this year both very good for me. ”
I ask him about his helper Nicolay. “He was the big difference between last year and this year. He helped me so much. He did many things for me from the morning until the evening.” Nicolay would even go home with Vasu and give him a massage every night and then would leave and go on to his own place. “I am very grateful to Nicolay for his help. I do not think that this is my victory but our victory. This is our victory and Guru’s victory.”
It was God’s Plan
Right from the beginning of time
To give our soulful faith
A splendid victory.
Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, Part 33, Agni Press, 1982
Sarah has a flu this morning and will show up at the race a little later in the morning
Atmavir will also finish later on tonight. He has just 57 miles to go.
Vasu is greeted warmly by the others, it will be his last morning here.
Atmavir has had an exceptional race this year.
He has dealt with the heat and adversity and triumphed beautifully over it all.
His focus and determination have been astonishing. I hope to show his finish tomorrow.
Ashprihanal will finish the race on Saturday.
He overcame a tremendous physical blow from the extreme weather and worked hard and got through
But will he return for a year 13 we do not know yet or neither does he.
The evidence of heavy rain yesterday lingers
Pranja had a hard day yesterday with 110 laps.
Surasa tells me that she is not flying today.
Yesterday will be remembered as one in which her flight took her 117 laps. Now 209 miles from the finish
Little things are important.
Sarvagata had a better day yesterday with 106 laps. Surasa passed him as well.
Still 214 miles to go
Yuri is running well.
He did 111 laps in very wet conditions.
Nidhruvi has 5 days to run 275 miles
What do you see in those eyes if not the finish line
And help right beside her too.
The Swami is with us today.
No one knows his laps but they are probably a lot as well.
Sopan starts the day with 2640 miles
He will be here for 5 days as well.
Baladev wants to show me a poem he wrote today.
He ran 86 laps yesterday.
The board keeps changing
Vasu moving comfortably all the time.
Ananda-Lahari ran 123 laps yesterday. A number that is by far larger than any other day of the race this year. He tells me how he wanted to feel that he was in just the right gear, but perhaps he pushed too much. Only Vasu ran more than he did. He feels that he should have ran even more.
Sarah came late because of the flu.
She had a good day with 95 laps yesterday and tells me she is feeling better now as the morning progresses.
Vasu will be a powerful presence all morning.
He shares an email that he has received from home.
The board shows he has just 24 miles to go.
I joke with Nicolay that in a few hours he will be out of a job. He says no he will continue to work with Yuri. Till now, “it has been hard but inspiring.” He has known Vasu for 8 years. “I did not expect that Vasu would come first, and I did not know that it would be so hard. The hardest thing is the lack of sleep.”
The thing he liked best was the organization of the race. He has been to many competitions and so he knows what it is like at most events. “Basically it is the same but somethings are done here more detailed. There is more attention to the runners.”
“This race and at this place you can go high spiritually and make good progress.”
The prayer of the day
Recited in English and Russian by Vasu
Bipin changes the board for the last time for Vasu
Vasu puts on his clean shirt and carries the flags for the last lap. He will continue latter and complete 5000 km.
Then he crosses the line
“Vasu, you are the epitome of self transcendence. Last year in your first attempt. You finished the race in 51 days and 10 hours. This year you finished in 47 days, 5 hours and 39 minutes. You bettered your previous time by over 4 days. Vasu ran 65.32 miles per day, 105 km a day. He is now ranked 13th out of the 32 men and women who have finished the race. The 2013 champion, Vasu.”…..Sahishnu
God has prepared my meal. I have to prepare my hunger. God is ready with my Victory. I have to prepare myself to accept my Victory.
Sri Chinmoy, Meditations: Food For The Soul, Agni Press, 1970