Last year Vasu set a personal best in this race by breaking his previous record by 1 hour and 15 minutes. In fact in each of his 3 previous races he transcended himself each time. For we impatient voyeurs on the sideline, a handful of minutes extracted from 47 plus days of struggle seems almost incomprehensible. A blink, a mere wisp of time and space, a fragment that our minds can barely hold to, but is still one which we can so easily measure and calculate.
To Vasu however, that 75 minutes was pure bliss, something that revealed the eternal. That absolute act of self transcendence is at the core of why he continues to strive and struggle so hard, each and every time he comes. That fragment of time for Vasu represents a kind of perfection of transcendence. One that has inspired him to come again and again. To seek out a glimpse of heaven in the hardest race on earth.
“On the physical plane I am having some problems with my knee.” Vasu reaches down and points to an area just below his left knee. His feeling of late is that even though it has been so bothersome that he has had more than 4 days of difficulties he believes the source of the problem is a mental one.
“I think this is my mind.”
His idea for a cure is a simple one. For nearly all of us his strategy is easier said than done. “I need to be more in my heart than in my mind.” Vasu says that it helped when he started listening to some recordings of Sri Chinmoy’s music. “It became a little bit better. Now sometimes I can run.”
As we are talking he is moving well. Yesterday he completed 66 miles. He has a 9 day total of 598.
“Sometimes it is very painful and I cannot walk. I would take rest. But now it has become better. I can run a few hours.”
A friend also showed him some exercises. “It helped a little bit. Nicolai did massage and that also helped.”
Vasu describes the best help he received took place 2 days ago on Father’s day. He felt as though he received some extra grace or compassion. He is not sure exactly what. He was able to run a little more. He ran 63 miles that day compared to 58 miles the previous day. “It was even more than the minimum. Before that I could not do it for 3 or 4 days.”
I ask a hard question. Does Vasu get unhappy when he experiences these tough times. “Not exactly. Sometimes I receive more inwardly. When I concentrate on my heart I feel love and the presence of Sri Chinmoy. More than the usual way, when I run.”
I ask Vasu if he loves the race. “I think everybody loves this race.” He accepts and appreciates all aspects of this great struggle. “Without the hard part we cannot feel good.”
“During the hard we can dive inside.”
Click to Play Interview:
The dog is the first thing to go out on Stutisheel’s table.
Kaneenika has her own special friends.
Rupantar records his daily movie. Vasu is arriving on his bike behind.
Start Day 10
Only briefly is the service road this quiet.
Ashprihanal continues to be magnificent.
Ashprihanal ran 78 miles yesterday. 4 more miles than Atmavir.
There is no pattern to his movements. His arms sway and fly here and there. Yet Ashprihanal goes and goes. He has 710 miles.
So magnificent to see it happen on this his 13th year.
Atmavir ran 74 miles yesterday.
He has 672 miles for 9 days.
Joey’s painted rocks decorating the school fence.
Galya ran 130 laps yesterday, which makes 71 miles. His total is 667 miles for 9 days.
It is going to be a hot and humid day.
“I don’t see any grass, but if there were it would definitely be greener than here.”
“O yes make a joke about sitting on a fence. But just you try it.”
“I am going to write to google maps. This can’t be the easiest way to get to Starbucks.”
Yuri had 68 miles yesterday. His total is 635 miles.
A poem by Sri Chinmoy.
Grahak ran 69 miles yesterday. He finished day 9 with a total of 599 miles.
He is now running consistently well.
Problems for now no longer his companions.
Nirbhasa getting help from Pradeep.
Nirbhasa ran 64 miles yesterday. His total is 583 miles for 9 days.
Tomorrow will the first time he has run beyond 10 days.
“I feel that the runners are creating a divine slip stream around the course. We get to come and just float on it. There is an actual energy river going around the course. Especially when the race is going on”.
Nayana is one of many local people who come every day to the race. To help, to cheer, or to just enjoy.
It is not as though the course does not have some special feeling about it during the rest of the year. “But I definitely feel it when the runners are here. It is a major part of my spiritual life when the race is on.”
The experience she describes can be found in other places and when she performs her own spiritual activities but it is definitely unique and special to the 3100. “It is so easy to get. The runners have created it.”
Talking about her spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy and his love of sports. “I don’t think his sports are a metaphor for anything. I feel they are actual tangible expression of different qualities that Sri Chinmoy was trying to bring into the world.”
Asked if she feels sad when the race is over. “Definitely but I don’t think the runners are sad.”
Click to Play Interview:
Pushkar is going home today.
He likes to sing withe the Enthusiasm Awakeners every morning.
Stutisheel had 70 miles yesterday. His best since day one. He has 572 miles.
Kaneenika ran 56 miles yesterday.
Her face so calm and serene.
Surasa had a better day yesterday. She ran 57 miles.
Enjoying a phone call
No parked cars this morning.
“Boy do these tires need to be rotated.”
Ananda-Lahari ran 50 miles yesterday. He has 526 miles.
Baladev also ran 50 miles. He has 514 miles.
He has written a poem:
Life is an adventure
God is waiting for you
To garland you
With his boundless joy and pride
Click to Play:
Poem of the day.
Click to Play:
Click to Play:
Dive deep within and you will discover
That inside your body is your heart,
Inside your heart is your soul,
And inside your soul is God.