June 19: O Runner-Worlds Pinnacle-Spark

We mortals usually try our very best in this vast, complex, challenging, and wonderful world in which we all equally share.  Usually our actions and the brief histories of our lives goes unnoticed and unrecorded by the world at large.  Particularly when placed in comparison to all the colossal global events continually rising up in front of us clamoring for our attention.

Within us though we also know that all our efforts, and all our success and failures do not go unobserved or unappreciated in the realm of the spirit.  Our outer circumstances may appear weak and fleeting but within each of us is an eternal world.  One that is silent, still, and vast.  A realm of consciousness that is our true home and our only reality.

Knowingly or not, we inevitably all try and make our way towards this divinity that is within us.  In so doing we gradually reach out and become one with our own perfection.

Click On Picture Below to See Video:

*Ron Clarke setting 3 mile World Record*

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Occasionally individuals come into this world, who through the sheer magnificent of their actions do attract the attention of a great portion of humanity.  It is ingrained within us that we all hunger for motivation on one level, and more deeply, for progress and transformation on another.   Part of us continually yearns and cries out for inspiration and hope, which is so often obstructed by the trivial and the mundane. Which are portions of the veil, that the outer world uses to so easily obscure our own divinity, which is our birthright.

More rarely though, is that sometimes these same great souls do not just motivate us but they can also touch and inspire the sacred part within us.   When this happens their achievements and their greatness lifts us up as well.  On June 17th, just such a great soul bid farewell to a world still in awe of his achievements as a middle distance runner from more than 50 years ago.  Ron Clarke was 78, he was a champion as well to those far beyond the world of sport.

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In his career he set 17 middle distance world records, and though he never won an Olympic medal, the great Czech runner Emil Zatopek, made sure that he had one.  Once while Ron Clarke was visiting Zatopek he gave him a small wrapped parcel.  Opening it later on his return to Australia he was surprised to discover that Zatopek had given him one of his Gold Medals.

Ron Clarke over the years supported the Peace Run whenever it took place in his native Australia.

Ron-Clarke

Sri Chinmoy was always inspired by Ron Clarke both as an athlete and as visionary of how sports could inspire and uplift all of humanity.  In the year 2000, the year the Olympics were to be held in Sydney he was a firm advocate that Sri Chinmoy be part of the opening ceremonies by offering 30 seconds of silent mediation.

“The Olympic family has the opportunity, here in Australia, at the beginning of the New Millennium to create a moment in history that will be cherished for generations to come. Let the Games of the XXVII Olympiad be remembered for reigniting the Olympic vision of peace.”

In 1976 they met together in Melbourne where Sri Chinmoy wrote a song dedicated to him

Ron Clarke, Ron Clarke, Ron Clarke, Ron Clarke!
O runner-world’s pinnacle-spark,
Australia’s pure treasure-light,
The world salutes your champion-height.
In distance-speed a stupendous soul.
With seventeen crowns, yours is the goal.

At the start of day 6 routines are being formed

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Grahak arrives

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Janos has just updated the board

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A tired Yuri arrives

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Start Day 6

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This year marks the 11th time that Ananda-Lahari has taken part in the 3100 mile race.

Click Below To Play Day 6 Movie:

He tells me that he only learned quite late that he was going to run.  Then he had to scramble to get an airplane ticket. “For sure I was very happy.”

As the date got closer prior obligations kept him from giving the race too much of his attention.  “Then it happened so fast.”

Ananda-Lahari says being part of it allows him to combine his 2 favorite things, running and spiritual pilgrimage, and who knows what are the other things that are happening here.

“The pilgrimage is like a spiritual journey.  Pilgrims used to go to places in the Himalayas.  They were concentrating only on God and trying to enter into their own hearts.  Be in oneness with the world and with God.  The race is kind of a modern way of doing it.”

“I consider Sri Chinmoy, among other things, my running coach.  He said many things and wrote many things about running.”

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Ananda-Lahari says he received some tremendous inspiration reading recently something Sri Chinmoy had written about how to run a sub 2 hour marathon.

He described he says 4 things that were important to be successful. “Gratitude to Mother Earth, be in the heart, peace in the mind, purity in the vital, and alertness in the body.” Ananda-Lahari says so far he has been focusing on these things. “I am not going to run the marathon under 2 hours but I think for any kind of running if you want to improve.  It helps if you concentrate on these things.”

“It gives me joy.  My mind is flying.”

He also mentions that he arrived only 12 hours before the start.  “It is good to come much more advanced for the start of the race.  You need more time, to adjust to the time change. It is not only a matter of sleeping but also feeling good.  I am still not settled but I am doing well.”

When asked to describe what he was like 11 years ago and again now.  “I believe I am a completely different person.”

“I was like a baby.  Really weak, full of ego,  and insecurity.”

“I have more gratitude.  For me this was always a big challenge.”  Someone said to him a number of years ago when he felt that he was not performing very well.  “Don’t take this race for granted.  Feel gratitude.”

“This race is a great opportunity and it is a privilege to be here.”

Click To Play Interview:

Ananda-lahari

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Ashprihanal once again ran the most miles.  He ran 75 miles for day 5 and has 400 after 5 days.

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He is having a remarkable race

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It has not been hot today but you still have to drink

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Close and far

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Galya is in 2nd with 380 miles

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He is expecting showers imminently

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It was 5 years ago that he last ran the 3100 mile race.

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He is very strong.

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Atmavir is just 3 miles behind in 3rd.

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He took last year off.

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He ran 131 laps yesterday.

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Today’s running poem

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Yuri is 4th with 362 miles.

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Yuri ran 68 miles yesterday.

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Vasu had a hard day yesterday.

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He did 59 miles and has 355 miles.

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Nicolai is there to help.

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The long wide corners.

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Nirbhasa is in 6th place with 326 miles.

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The park caretaker called out to him and made him smile.

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Kodanda playing his cello

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Surasa is in 8th place.

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She ran 59 miles yesterday.

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Running with Kaneenika

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She has 322 miles.

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Near and far

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Today Grahak gets to read some really good news.  He ran 123 laps yesterday his best since day one.

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Looking determined.

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Getting some help from Janos.

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Little treasures beneath a tree.

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Kaneenika and a quiet smile.

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Getting help.

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She did 54 miles yesterday.  She has 311 miles.

 

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Stutisheel had a good day yesterday.  He ran 64 miles.

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Stutisheel has 311 miles.

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Misha watching

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Baladev has had shin splints since day 2

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He wraps cabbage around his ankle

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He ran 55 miles yesterday.

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Niharika is celebrating her birthday today at the race.  She can’t remember exactly how many summers she has been here for parts or if not all of the race.

Like Ashprihanal she comes from Finland.  I ask her if it is possible for people to understand what a great achievement he has accomplished by being here for 13 summers and also running 172 laps the first day.  Her answer, “no.”

niharika

Niharika says that when talking about the race to others back home they find it hard to believe.  “It can’t be true.”

She describes that often people come by and see the simple parts of the race.  The runners walking, the loop, everything looking…..okay.

“But if you do it 18 hours a day, for 52 days, than you really understand.”

I ask her what she experiences being here.  “It is difficult to describe the experience. It is something what you love. I love running, and I love to see runners.”

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“This is something really significant.”  She describes that she senses that there is a flow of self transcendence here at the race.  “It is ever changing. But this is so concrete.  It is something you can almost touch, and you see that it is really happening.  It is happening here and now. You can be part of it.  That is the most important thing.”

Click To Play Interview:

Niharika

Enthusiasm Awakeners

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Click to Play:

Parvati

Through the expansion of his heart, Zatopek always wanted to give and get joy. There is a most significant incident involving Ron Clarke. Ron Clarke was such a great runner. He set so many world records, but never got any gold medals. Zatopek’s sympathetic heart felt the sadness of Clarke’s heart. So in secret he gave Ron Clarke one of his gold medals, putting it in the younger runner’s suitcase while he was visiting him. When Clarke got home and opened his suitcase, to his wide surprise he found Zatopek’s gold medal.

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3 Comments to “June 19: O Runner-Worlds Pinnacle-Spark”

  1. Hridayinee Williams says:

    Thank you so much for the touching tribute to our Aussie running legend Ron Clarke. I saw myself in your photo when we met him on the Gold Coast during the Peace Run and it brought back memories of how incredibly nice he was to us. What a good soul. And, as always, it’s awesome to see all our living legends running around that immortal block in their 3100 mile journey. 🙂

  2. Francesco says:

    Hi Utpal
    thank you.

  3. nirmala says:

    Ananda Lahari: “I have more gratitude. For me this was always a big challenge.” Someone said to him a number of years ago when he felt that he was not performing very well. “Don’t take this race for granted. Feel gratitude.”

    “This race is a great opportunity and it is a privilege to be here.”

    Mamamia, how fast the time goes, because at that time he was in Zürich in the same enterprice as me and I know how Sri Chinmoy praised him like anything.

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