“I feel very good and I am very happy.”
Yuri is running the 3100 mile race for the 3rd time. He also has a world class smile. One, that when it spreads across his face can make even a cloudy day seem brighter. He has a lot to be happy with right now. He ran 69 miles yesterday and has a 6 day total of 431 miles.
Like all those running here for the past 6 days his face has not always worn a bright warm smile or his steps always been light upon the road. It is the hardest possible thing to run 3100 miles. But Yuri’s smile, one that just might be the brightest on the block is certainly a big part of his many strengths. One, that may not guarantee a faster time than last year, when he took second place, but most certainly it will help him through the dark hard patches that inevitably lie in the path of each and every runner here.
After running his first race 2013 he wrote a book about his experiences. He says that he is considering writing another. Yuri says, “I believe that running helps us go inside our hearts. This book is about how to be happy. How we can return to our source.”
He then tells me about an experience he had with one of the other runners. “I had an experience with Pranjal. Once when I was feeling very bad I was running behind him and I could feel that he was helping me. This tell us about the inner connection between the runners. How they can help each other even though they say nothing.”
“I have an outer goal of transcending last year’s result. But I have an inner goal and that is to dive deeper into my heart and to get happiness.”
The distance from his home in Vinnitsa Ukraine to New York is 7,470 Kilometers (4,641 Miles). Yuri has run 431 miles in 6 days.
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The arrival of Baladev and his laundry.
There are a lot of surprise visitors in town this weekend.
For most, working on shoes is almost a daily necessity.
Inserts and shoes constantly need to be adjusted.
Nirbhasa arrives and does little preparation.
Surasa enjoying a moment of pause.
Start of Day 7
For a brief period this morning the sun was up to greet the runners.
Vasu has had some very hard miles the past 2 days. He ran 54 miles yesterday.
Nicolai is trying his best to help.
The road is hard and long.
Surasa is not having it easy either.
She ran 52 miles yesterday.
Niharika helps with her back.
Stutisheel has been very consistent the past 2 days.
He ran 64 miles yesterday and has a 6 day total of 371 miles.
The shirt he is wearing today was given to him by Sri Chinmoy on July 6,2006 while running that year.
He is running well.
Gopee checking out the race.
“I came very early today. I came to see the runners start at 6am.”
It is now 2 hours later and Snehashila is across the street filling water cups for the 2 mile race which will begin shortly. She has already walked around the course twice before she did. Not a small achievement for a lady who is just a few weeks shy of turning 90.
Of all the running going on, “I love it, I love it, I love it. I don’t want to be away from it. I want to be here. I have to be in the midst of it.”
“I started running when I was 50. It makes me so happy.”
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“I really have no idea what is going on down there. It is certainly not for the birds.”
Pranjal goes home today.
Nirbhasa is having a superb race.
He ran 65 miles yesterday and has a total of 391
Very close to the ground
Kaneenika in the zone
The sun will be hidden soon.
Feet parallel to the ground
Grahak had another good day. He ran 69 miles and looks stronger.
He has 391 miles.
Life reaching out.
Galya ran 70 miles yesterday.
He starts the day tied with Atmavir for 2nd.
Baladev had 58 miles yesterday. He has a total of 346 for 6 days.
Atmavir is now in 2nd place with 451 miles
He had a very great 74 miles yesterday.
Matt Green has returned to shoot part of a documentary on his travels across the city.
Ananda-Lahari ran 50 miles yesterday. He has 374 miles.
Of the past 6 days Ashprihanal has run the most miles 5 of those days. Yesterday he ran 75 miles.
He has 475 miles for 6 days, for an average of 79 miles per day.
“I marvel at Sri Chinmoy’s vision for races like this.” Utsahi is visiting from Ottawa this weekend and I talk to him moment after he has finished running the 2 mile race.
“Way back he started the 24 hour races. The was about 35 years ago and they were held all over the world. The Ottawa race is still alive, continuous since then.”
“Back then 24 hours was impossible. It was impossible to run for 24 hours. No one would do that. He had that in his mind and heart. He had a vision for what humanity can do in the racing world. That was a little bit of a start.”
“Then he moved on. Now we are at 3100 miles. It is incredible. The mind can’t think about what is going on.”
“The concept of transcendence is so beautiful, so incredible. It is eternal in so many ways, because there is no end to transcendence. I ran 2 miles and I can do better, and tomorrow I will try and do better. That is my own little self at 70. These guys, every day you see them, and you see how they want to transcend. That is the motive behind it, it is not in competition mode. It is within them, I can do better. I will do better.”
“It is a beautiful concept and applies to all of our lives, not just to running.”
“So he is improving humanities ideals in so many ways. We need inspiration and this race is an incredible inspiration.”
Utsahi remembers when running a 26 mile marathon was considered a real challenge. He says look how the size of marathon fields has expanded. Of the 3100 mile race, “how will it evolve? We don’t know, but the seed is there. The runners here are the heroes of this new world.”
He will return to Ottawa on Sunday night. As for his thoughts on the race, “I will think about it all of the time.”
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Determination needs two friends to arrive at the Goal: sincerity of the heart and purity of the mind. When we have a purity-mind and a sincerity-heart, then determination can play its role most effectively and most powerfully inside our inner life and also inside our outer life. Determination is the first convincing step that expedites our Godward journey.