The race throughout the 24 hour cycle has many faces and moods. At night the glare and noise of the city retreats somewhat and it becomes a still and much calmer world. Yet still a place where so much is still happening and being transformed.
Click to Play Film:
Her fingers press firmly and confidentially into the muscles high up on a runner’s leg. Her hands in almost constant motion glide here and there in thoughtful sweeping gestures. Rarely at rest her fingers kneed deep into thick stiff muscle and then gently stroke away the knots and lumps and all the stubborn agony.
Tatjana has been doing this almost non-stop for 4 days now. Her face a bright calm radiant canvas, which has witnessed numberless aching stories. All performed on the stage of her wooden massage table at the back of the canvas medical tent.
In any other venue those who arrive before her healing fingers would be called patients, but to Tatjana they are all brave selfless runners and they are her family. For she, like all who come here inhabit, if only briefly a very unique world which is simply called The Self Transcendence race
She has actually seen very little of the race in some ways. Long long hours have consumed her time while here helping others. She jokes that she is seeing the race through the bodies that lie in an almost constant procession, stretched out before her on the table. But this is not a struggle or a burden for Tatjana. She is enjoying this amazing experience and would wish herself to be in no other place.
Tatjana first heard of this strange hard challenging world from her father. Omsk in Siberia is almost in another universe and yet he found his way here to New York in 2006 and to this race in Flushing Meadow Park.
Asked to describe her Dad upon his return, “he was like from another planet.” She does not know how many miles he ran but she says that he was transformed.
Eventually Tatjana moved to Moscow and the dream to one day come herself, and run in the race lingered, in a not too secret place within her heart. Injury prevented her from participating this year but in January she saw clearly that she could perform a different kind of role and still be part of it. While meditating she realized that she should come and help with massage.
“If I can’t make the race as a runner than I can make the race as a massager.”
She doesn’t really remember how many runners she has seen so far. But she has noticed in herself a kind of transformation that surprises her. She is able to work almost non stop and not get tired…….”almost.” (laughs)
“It is a good experience for me as a runner in the future.”
It is cold outside and it is late. The runners will drift in and out throughout the night and most likely Tatjana will still be here. When her table is empty she will go off to her own tent and grab a handful of hours rest. She knows that before the sun comes up again, another aching body will wish to be an attentive audience to her dancing healing hands.
Click to Play Interview:
There is a particular beauty that comes at night when the sun has slipped away.
Of course it is a busier night since the 6 day runners joined the Self Transcendence race today.
Counting and keeping the board up to date is a much bigger job.
Manpower has increased a lot to keep all the things working just right.
It is a cold and windy night.
The runners definitely appreciate their own special treats….In sometimes large quantities.
The kitchen always a popular spot. There seems to be little rest for Nipura and her crew
There is an emerging moon up in the sky offering what light is has to give.
Medical sees an influx of the hurt and the tired on cold windy nights.
Mark Dorion is back on the course
Smiling faces everywhere
Sarah has a lot to smile about too and she is leading the women runners
Chris Mak from Hong Kong takes a noodle break
No breaks for some….at least not yet
The magic of light at night
Dipali still out there
Nipura still in there
Friends and family everyone
Divinity touches the darkest night.
Lo, it is the night that has grown into
The Light infinite.