In all the years the 3100 has been taking place here in New York it has never ceased to amaze, astound, and thrill, both athletes and the general public alike. Words like impossible and unbelievable are regularly and futilely used to describe, in one hopeless fashion or another, just what it is that happens here every day for 52 continuous days.
No matter what adjectives you pull out of the dictionary to describe what it is and what truly happens, they simply don’t work. Or perhaps better expressed, they only tell a small portion of what the experience of the Self Transcendence 3100 is.
It is perhaps the very nature of self transcendence itself that it only reveals itself fully in an inner way. Something our mind cannot really comprehend and yet we recognize it just the same. But where science has made great strides in deconstructing and analyzing the physical world, learning and developing our own inner reality is a task that only we can take for ourselves.
Our knowledge of sport and athletics changed dramatically after the second world war. The world had changed so dramatically and people were interested in seeing how much they could accomplish using all the new enthusiasm for life that was spreading around the world.
Running saw many dramatic events take place that changed peoples ideas about fitness and physiology completely. The impossible 4 minute mile was broken by Roger Bannister, and a coach in New Zealand name Arthur Lydiard recognized that athletes could do more training than they had ever thought possible. By doing so they could perform as elite athletes like never before.
In Britain a young runner named Ron Hill, born in 1938, was part of a generation of runners who were willing to try for themselves running distances and times that had never been dreamed of not too many years earlier.
He understood, early on in his competitive running life, that training as much as he could was necessary in order to be the best that he could be. What Ron Hill’s career shows is a long list of achievements. He appeared in 3 Olympics, accomplished 3 world records. Won the Boston marathon in 1970 shattering the course record by 3 minutes along the way. Would race in 100 countries by the time he was 70 and ran 115 marathons in his life. The last being Boston in 1996.
But why the life of Ron Hill is not just a foot note is what he is still doing now, just a few months shy of his 76th birthday. Tarit tells me this morning the story. “He started the streak in 1964 of running every day.” The distance has to be a minimum of at least one mile.
“Ron is a lovely guy and he is now 75 years young. I have got to know him quite well over the last few years. His streak was almost broken on 2 occasions. The classic one was when he had a car crash. It was quite a serious one. He broke a couple of ribs and did something to his collar bone.”
“His first thought was not, O I have had a car crash but that I have already done my run this morning and that is sorted.” The next day he is in the hospital and his wife comes to visit and believes that his streak has been unceremoniously terminated. He is after all lying in a hospital bed with pins in place and bandages wrapped around him. When his wife went home. He had a chat with the nurses and said, “Can you help me out of bed. I am going to walk around the corridors for 40 minutes.”
He told Tarit that those laps in the hospital was the hardest distance he ever completed.
I ask Tarit the question, of what difference he sees between what Ron Hill continues to do and what the runners here are attempting. “The guys here are doing an event. They are motivated. There is a start and there is a finish. When it is your every day training, well Ron ran at a very high level, for a lot of that time. In later years even with no competition coming up, he was more or less a recreational runner. It is just so easy to skip a day. To keep that streak going shows a tremendous inner capacity. To have the motivation, to have a goal, and to stick with it.”
Come this December Ron Hill will have run every day for the past 50. I ask Tarit if he will ever stop, “Nope.” So he will run all the way to heaven.
Click to Play Interview:
Ron Hill Quote:
I think that there are a lot of times when people try to create artificial boundaries between who they are in their private professional intellectual and spiritual lives. Those artificial boundaries don’t need to exist. We bring all of that to every experience whether we allow it to come through or not.”
Why it is only 5:57. Still lots of time before the start.
The boys are still taking it easy
Jayasalini wraps her leg every day.
Vajra is going to do some counting.
See, see, right here. It says 118 laps and I know it was 119.
Tarit making notes in Willam’s log book.
Baladev taking care of some business.
Yuri checks his numbers and has yogurt. He made half way in 23 days and 2 hours.
Start Day 25
Stutisheel had a very tough day yesterday and I am not sure what happened.
The experience champion that he is there is no sign of anxiety or frustration. Today he seems to be moving well.
He did only 66 laps yesterday. But is still in high spirits he even tells a joke to the Enthusiasm Awakeners.
Hopefully today will be a better one. He starts the day with 1501 miles. Just 49 more to half way.
Sarah had a good day yesterday
She had 110 laps.
She will reach half way later today.
Running so well.
She is 216 miles ahead of last year.
I was told if I took this back to the store they would give me a bone for it……Or was it 5 cents?
Jayasalini also ran 110 laps yesterday.
Some time tonight she will reach the half way point.
Every once in a while she shows a serious look.
Vasuprada was inspired to come to the race after hearing Rupantar talk. She ran the 10 day race 2 times and is so inspired by what she sees here.
Jayasalini is inspiring many many people.
Look fella I have checked out your car out and the exhaust system is finished. Leave it here and I will have it fixed by the end of the day.
I am not sure how he keeps doing it but Teekshanam also had a great day yesterday.
He did 115 laps and starts the day with 1448 miles.
Last year after Nidhruvi completed the race she went back home and gave a series of slide show lectures about her race experiences.
Initially she says, “of course they can’t believe it. It is just impossible. Then I give them practical ideas. I want to show them what a person is capable of. The heart and soul are much stronger than the mind. The mind can never do that but if you stay in your heart you are able to do it because you can go beyond. To the beyond you can go only in your soul and heart.”
People have given her lots of feedback. “They tell me they have started running. They got so inspired they run more.”
She just received an email from a friend who used to run once or twice a week but since Nidhruvi started the race she has been inspired to run every day.
She says we all need to exercise, so that we can remain healthy, fit, young, and strong. Which we need to do for many years. It makes life more fulfilling if we do. “You feel more happy if you feel good”
“You should always trying to stay young. Everybody grows older so you have to do something.” In particular she suggests that it becomes even more important as we all age, particularly past the age of 40.
“We should never feel sorry for ourselves and think that exercise and sport are too strenuous.” She mentions that both William and Ray are well past the age of 50 and they are fit enough to be part of the race.
When I ask her age, she say, “I was 48 a few weeks ago. Now I am 49.” (laughs)
She has never got so much support and encouragement from friends as she has had this year. “The race really brings the people together, and it holds the people together. That is a nice thing.”
She says her friends get together in Vienna and have a presentation every Wednesday. The inspiration is so strong that when they feel tired or lack energy they just think about the race and are inspired. “They say to themselves, come on the runners are running all day long.”
I ask her what she does if negativity or doubt enter into her. “If those thoughts come I have to push them right away. I learned last year you must live in the here and now. You can’t even think of the next day or your mind will drive you crazy. If I start thinking that I still have to run for 27 more days, forget it.”
“You have to live in the here and now lap to lap. That is it, no more. Then it is possible.”
She imagines that this is her summer job. “It is New York city, 3100 miles. My working hours are from 6 in the morning until 12 midnight.”
I ask her if there is a bonus for this job. “In heaven and hopefully on earth too.” (laughs)
“Spirituality, and going beyond. Self Transcendence like anything.”
Click to Play Interview:
Vasuprada has been running off and on with Nidhruvi for the last couple of days. She tells me that last year when Nidhruvi was here she was not sure of herself. When she had any problems she didn’t know how to deal with them and was concerned that they might get worse.
“This time it is much better. Because she has more faith.”
She is not asking for advice so much from others but instead relying on her inner self to find solutions and to know what to do.
I ask if it inspires her in her own running. “Of course. Because they are all doing an amazing job. They run from 6 in the morning until midnight. They have to handle everything. The pain, the heat. It is most inspiring for me.”
Click to Play Interview:
I am sorry could you please repeat what you just said. And please remember you are speaking to a squirrel.
Baladev got 104 laps yesterday.
He is ready for the hot day ahead.
Lots of fluids today. But not too much table service at the Self Transcendence 3100 mile Hotel.
William had a tremendous day yesterday, 115 laps.
He is trying to take as much advantage as he can of the cooler parts of the day.
Often quite serious it is simply part of the way he likes to get the job done.
Tarit has been a great help since last Saturday.
To his surprise Kumar from Nepal shows up to do a lap with him. He now lives just 2 miles away and wants very much to do this race one day himself.
There are also moments of camaraderie and fun along the way.
Make sure you are going in the right direction.
Counters sorting things out.
Sopan made 1300 miles this morning.
He says, “Every week of the race so far I have been finding pennies on the ground on the course. 1 penny the first week, 1 the second week, 2 the third week and today as it is week 4, I found $1! ”
He also performed a skit with Vasu this morning.
Morning snacks have just arrived.
This is so embarrassing. Here I am again without my keys.
Ananda-Lahari had his biggest day since day 3. He had 96 laps.
Got you Ray.
Familiar bits of everyone.
Ray is feeling better today he says. Then in a short period of time starts to mention all the new people he has met in the last couple of day. The Indian man who is on the course each day. The 2 kids, who are now grown up, who had the race just across the street from them for the past 20 years. It was only this year that they learned about what was really happening.
Ray starts the day with 963 miles and just might make 1000 by tonight.
If you don’t like this song just hum a few bars of another and I will try and pick it up. I just love to sing.
Little gentle green patches.
Vasu had 118 laps yesterday.
Then early this evening he passed the momentous half way point. Note the presence of his helpful healing stick.
Yesterday Pranjal passed the half way point.
He says that now the easy part is done and the hard portion has just begun. “Usually around now I start to slow down.” He did 119 laps yesterday.
“Yesterday evening most people started to run again and have a pretty good day.” On the hot days he says it takes a lot of energy to survive.”
“So far I am quite happy with the race. I don’t usually follow the miles I just do my best every day. If he has given his all at the end of the day that is the only thing that counts. Not how many miles he does.
“So far I have been lucky I haven’t had any injuries.”
His 1577 miles is 49 more than last year.
How many times do I have to tell you. The race goes that way……
Which once again proves the old saying. You can’t teach a new worm an old trick
Can you please send me the address of that inch worm. I would like have him over to my place for lunch
Time, Temperature, and humidity
Yuri had 118 laps yesterday.
He is having such a great race. He starts the day with 1604 miles.
He is 83 miles ahead of last year.
Things both near and far.
Sarvagata had 118 laps
He is 113 miles ahead of last year.
Always inspiring to observe this powerful performance.
Each day even just a little more.
Tarit recites the prayer of the day.
Click to Play:
Song of the Day
Click to Play:
Question: When we feel unhappy, is it because we are not listening to our Inner Pilot, or is the Supreme having an experience in us?
Sri Chinmoy: The Supreme is not having a necessary experience. It is only that you have fallen from your highest height. Sometimes the Supreme may want to have an experience of unhappiness in you, but only on rare occasions. If you people feel sad every day, that is not because the Supreme wants to have an experience. In your inner life, you have reached some height; then you fall. Every day, every hour you fall from your own reality-height. It is not that God has nothing else to do but to experience unhappiness in and through you. Your consciousness has dropped; therefore, you are unhappy. On rare occasions only will God deliberately experience unhappiness in and through you.
Sri Chinmoy, The Giver And The Receiver, Agni Press, 1987