July 1: Fulfill Yourself In the March Of Time

“I don’t really look at the board.”  Early this morning I congratulated Sarah on her great achievement from late last night.  Sometime in the depths of a pleasant New York evening she became the 5th runner to pass 1,000 miles in the race. It is usually a great moment for the runners, but one that is also tempered with the shocking and unavoidable reality that you still have another 2000 more miles to go.

So celebrating to access,  when she still has an unhorizoned view of the task yet to be accomplished is obviously premature.  If Sarah didn’t put on a hat and blow a whistle it is not too surprising.  She simply has too much respect for all the effort that got her this far and even more for what lies ahead.

sarah-and-board

A bit puzzled I suggest that it would be hard to not trip over such a milestone.  “Seriously I didn’t.  Everybody kept yelling at me, and I was wondering what was going on.”(laughs) “But that was very nice.”

Sarah has wanted to run this race for a very long time.  It was always a sweet dream that seemed to exist just beyond her reach.  That is until last year.  Last year when at last the opportunity came but a fully healthy body did not.

Determined to find her way to the finish line any way, she set off in what would have to be one of the most testing, difficult, and yet in some ways fulfilling experiences of her life.

sarah-good

By day 17, the same time last year, there was already literally no mathematical, physical, or any human way that she would be able to make 3100 miles within 52 days.

In all our lives we each have to face tests and challenges for ourselves.  To plumb the depths of our capacities in all kinds of difficult things.  But I wonder how many people would have had the strength and courage that this 38 year old lady from Adelaide had here last year.  How she came to the starting line at 6 o’clock and kept moving every single day.  Knowing each mile she ran would never be enough to allow her to cross that 3100 mile finish line.  The one that she had sought for so long.

And so she went home to Australia with 2696 miles.  A number that probably has little significance to her now, just as the big fat glorious 1000 miles had for her last night.

“In the back of your mind you are always thinking that you want to finish the race.  You have to keep some sort of balance.  Sometimes I can be joking with someone and you know there is a time to be serious as well.  Every day is important.  Just yesterday I felt an injury coming on the whole right side of my body started to ache.  So from one day to the next you don’t know what is going to happen.”

sarah-suin

“So every morning you sit at your shrine and pray.  You hope some grace will pull you through some how.  Every day is different.”

O unawakened earth, awake!
Challenge the skies’ commotion.
Conquer ignorance and pain.
Fulfill yourself in the march of time.

Sri Chinmoy, Transcendence-Perfection, Agni Press, 1975

trason sri chinmoy1989 24 hour race.  Ray Krolewicz standing on left

It is going to be another great day on the course.

course

Vajra one of the early ones on the block each morning keeping the course clean

pre-vajra

William is trying every trick in the book to deal with New York weather.

pre-william

Sarah’s table before the arrival of Sarah.

pre-sarah

Then Sarah’s table with Sarah.  But not for long.

pre-sarah2

Rupantar checks in with Yuri again, about his tooth.  Not much progress so far evidently.

pre-yuri

Counting table waiting for a counter.

pre-count

Abanata gets a quick counting lesson from Karibi

pre-karibi

Jayasalini putting on her shoes.

pre-jayasalini

The boys

pre-boys

Ray checking the mileage totals

pre-ray2

Struggling to the starting line.

pre-start

Start Day 17

start

A glorious morning and will be good all day

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Stutisheel goes out quickly.

course-silouhete

His 125 laps yesterday matches his previous best of any other day this year.

stutisheel2

He also made 1000 miles yesterday.

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He starts the day with 1027 miles and still has time to do a one man skit for the Enthusiasm-Awakeners.

stutisheel-performance

Then he turns around and keeps going.

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I know I am not a flying squirrel but with just the right jump maybe……

flower-squirrel

“Most of my friends don’t understand.  Some very close friends send me messages, and that is nice, says Sarah.

sarah-sun

“You go through highs and lows.  So when people see pictures of you smiling on the internet then they assume you are happy all the time.”

“I feel closest to the runners here.  It is funny because it seems like we all go through the same things at the same time.  You might have a day when we are all lower mileage, and struggling.  Then the next day it is the opposite.”

sarah2

“It is nice talking to the people who have done the race before.  They have come out to the race to support us.  They really understand what is going on, and can relate to everything that is happening.”

I suggest that Sarah looks as though she is having quite a different experience than the one she had here last year.  “If you are pain then you can’t enjoy yourself, to an extent. It is difficult.”

sarah4

She adds that right now she doesn’t have any major issues.  “It is just a really nice feeling out here.  It is different from last year.  I don’t know.  It is a sort of very close knit sort of feeling with the runners.”

“I think there is a balance between having fun.  I love doing some fast laps with Sarvagata.  If feels like little kids running together.  But at other times when you feel as though you have an injury coming on.  I say no sorry, I have to run on my own.  Because if you try and keep up with the other people than some times things can go wrong.”

“It is a learning experience.  We are all learning.  To hold back and not push.”

sarah-wide

“I love just chatting with the runners as well.  There are times when you just have to relax and walk with people, and have a good talk.”

“There are times when you feel a lot of joy, but I think we are all very conscious of the end goal.”

Click to Play Interview:

sarah

You go back. No You go back.

flower-squirrel3

Vasu had a magnificent day yesterday. By running a terrific 121 laps he finished the day with 1000 miles.

vasu-good

But he also knows very well when to push and when to back off.

vasu-and-and-ananda-lahari

His experience and patience showing all so well.

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Baladev had a better day yesterday with 102 laps.

baladev-crowd

He offers a little tribute to Canada today as it is the country’s birthday.

baladev-and-flag

Baladev will make 1000 miles by noon today.

baladev

Jayasalini starts the day 2 miles behind Baladev with 978.

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She ran another 110 lap day.

jayasalini-crowd

She is also running smart and getting things looked after.

jayasalin-bahula

She has pati taking excellent care of her as well.

camp-pati

When I ask her at what time she will make 1000 miles she really doesn’t know.  Just focusing instead of what she has to do.

jayasalini4

Sopan is having a very positive experience.  fllower-sopan

If he has a good day he also will make 1000 miles.  He feels that he has gained a lot inwardly this year here.  That the hard times have made him stronger and given him new insights into himself.  He feels more poise and also feels an even greater need to develop more of an inner cry.

sopan-good

Suhashani counting

camp-suhashani

The street sweeper getting a little help from a race director.

camp-rupantar

Two cyclists discussing equipment.  Also keeping track of laps and a runner named William.

camp-tim

Those runners must be nuts!  Wait a minute. I love nuts.

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Nidhruvi is now 26 miles ahead of last year.

flower-nidhruvi

She did 105 laps yesterday and she will also make 1000 miles today.

nidhruvi-helper

She learned so much running here last year.  That plus the thousands of miles she has run in other races.

nidhruvi3

Keeping on track

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Teekshanam is so consistent.

teekshanam4

He is most likely setting many many new Moldovan running records.  He ran 111 laps and seems to be gaining more confidence each day.

teekshanam2

He lives in Geneva and so today he is giving a little thought to the World Cup game between Switzerland and Argentina.  Pushkar from Zurich arrived last night for a visit.  Shashanka comes by most days.

pushkar-and-swiss

Pushkar has spent quite a few summers here on the course and had no intention of visiting this summer.  His new business keeps him quite busy and yet when he met Rupantar at a joy day about a month ago he got inspired to come for a week.

pushkar-camp

“In 2007 I came here to help for a week.”  The next year he came back to take part.   “In 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012 I ran the race.”

We are walking now around the course.  “I feel very at home here.  It is very nice.  All my brothers and sisters are here.”

Shanshanka comes by and informs Pushkar that he is wearing the wrong shirt.  Hinting that wearing Argentinian blue on a day when the Swiss team in Brazil will be wearing the red color like he is.

pushkar

“O sorry you are early.” The game is at noon and Pushkar has already made plans to watch and to change his shirt.

Shashanka describes the upcoming game as similar to David fighting Goliath.  Here he says, “is a different kind of competition. It is all about progress, surrender, about love.  About going forward and forward.  Transcending all your obstacles.”

pushkar2

“For me it fits what Shashanka just mentioned.  It is self improvement.  For me it is like a very long meditation.  You get really deep into yourself, and turn new leaves over.  You become a better human being.  In the inner worlds I don’t know what really happens, what the Supreme can do with all these runners.  It is very beautiful here.”

Click to Play Interview:

pushkar

William starts the day strongly.

flower-william

He is well aware of his laps and all the projections.  But now he wants to stay healthy and adapt more to the weather.

william-early

Clearly the presence of Tim has helped and given him a few extra laps.

william-tim-good

Tomorrow the weather is likely to get more NY summer like.  Hotter, more humid, and possible thunder showers.

william-sun

The little bits of beauty.

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I am going to reach the top.  Try and stop me.

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Sopan mentions to me the influence that Ananda-Lahari has on the race.  All the patience, poise and sweetness.  I mention this to him and he says he is of course simply doing his best.  In particular he feels that he is helping Ray.  Showing him another side to this unbelievable race.

ananda-lahari3

It is another day of Ray.

ray-board

Another day of sore feet and different shoes.

ray-feet

A day of conversations and happy times. Sahishnu mentions his previous records from 25 years ago now.  In 1989

ray-and-sahishnu2

When he went by me this morning he pointed up and recited a poem.

ray-sky2

This morning I reached my hands towards the sky

To rejoice

To perhaps touch God

Then I realized.

God is already touching me.

Click to Play:

ray poem

Aklanta has been helping the runners since the weekend.

eklanta-and-jayasalini

It is a service that all appreciate.  Right now he is adjusting Jayasalini.

eklanta-jayasalini2

His favorite sport these days is cycling.  He has a great picture of himself riding on his phone.  He is going to leave in 2 hours.

eklanta

Pranjal once again had a big day of 121 laps.

flower-pranjal

He made 1000 miles yesterday and starts the day with 1039

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Misha says the camp dog needs more power.  So does everybody.

camp-dog

Feet.

feet

Your face is familiar.  Have we met before?

flower-squirrel-4

Yuri had a big day with 121 laps.

flower-yuri

He has some fun times on the course every once in a while.

yuri-vasu-volocymyr

He starts the day with 1070 miles.  28 more than last year.

yuri2

Eklanta also gives him a treatment before he leaves.

eklanta-and-yuri

Yesterday was 122 laps for Sarvagata.

sarvagata2

He has been running very hard for many days.

sarvagata-crowd

There are a lot more days ahead.

cmp-sarvagata

Pushkar sings today’s prayer.

prayer-pushkar

Click to Play:

pushkar prayer

Enthusiasm-Awakeners

parvati

Song of the day

parvati-song

Click to Play:

parvati

How can you get more energy?
Only by challenging
What is dissatisfying you
Inside yourself.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 15, Agni Press, 1999

flower

 

 

4 Comments to “July 1: Fulfill Yourself In the March Of Time”

  1. Francesco says:

    Hi Utpal
    thank you.

    Practise your meditation — Your Destination
    Will come closer to you
    Day by day.

    Sri Chinmoy,49015 Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 50, Agni Press, 2009

  2. Sushuti says:

    Dear Utpal,
    I really don´t know how to thank you for those wonderful, outstanding, significant reports your are delivering every day! You are giving us extraordinary joy. Your style is unique and pulls our concentration right into our own hearts. You bring us again and again right there on the course.
    Thank you so much!!!
    Yours sincerely
    Sushuti

  3. Bigalita says:

    Happy is my heart to see all you wonderful and inspiring runners again. I had joined the Peace Run from Seattle to Vancouver and ended at the Peace Arch on the border of our two countries. It was beautiful in itself, but I really, really missed seeing you all – I had no internet connection at all during this time, now just arrived back in LA and trying to catch up. You are ALL doing an incredible job – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  4. Petra says:

    Dear Utpal,
    I am so grateful to you for the wonderful job you are doing. It is so beautiful to be part of the race through your blog. One cannot help but love the race, the runners and all the plants and creatures around the course. I love the way you capture beauty and really enjoyed your today´s “squirrels’ special” :)! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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