“I am moving a little better.” It is now Kaneenika’s 23rd day of running at the 3100 mile race, and even to a casual observer she is clearly moving well, and in the process not making it too easy for a camera man to keep up with her.
In 20 years of competitive running in numerous multi day races, 45 year Kaneenika Janakova has not only moved a lot but achieved a lot along the way. Thousands upon thousands of miles have passed beneath her feet in those years. In that time she has set records, won events, and proven herself to be one of the very best distance athletes in the world.
Traditionally her premier event has been the 10 day race held each year in Flushing Meadow. A race that she has won overall on 2 occasions. It was in 1014 that she set her personal best of 727 miles. The furthest she has ever run before this race was a 1000 mile event. But the obstinate hard rectangle, that garlands Thomas Edison High school has begrudgingly surrendered its miles to her. Its hard surface, glides without notice under a pedestrians shoes, but to runners who become so acquainted to its foibles for 18 hours every day, it is another story.
Kaneenika’s feet have had an intimate contest with the loop around the school thus far. In the past 22 days she has completed it 2384 times, and has the painful blisters to prove it. Yesterday though she ran 60 miles, the best she has done in 5 days. It was 5 days earlier that she surpassed her record by running beyond 1000 miles. It was a shock she says. “It was as though the body was surprised at what was happening.”
She says though, “with every lap now I am going beyond.”
“My 1000 mile race was really hard. When I did it I thought it was the hardest thing I ever did. I can’t really compare the 2, because this is hard as well. But there is something different about this race.”
“When I did the 10 day race I am always thinking, can this not be 7, or 8, or 9 days. But in this race I know I have to reach the 3100, or whatever I reach. It is not like, can I finish tomorrow.”
Speaking of Ashprihanal’s performance this year, “it is very inspiring. I am very happy to be in this race with runners like Ashprihanal, Galya, and Surasa. I can see and feel that everybody is so focused, and that helps me a lot.”
Kaneenika confesses that she herself sometimes looses focus. “But than I try and go back to my source and try and stay focused.”
“It is quite interesting. When the construction was happening last week sometimes you had to go on the road. As soon as I stepped on the road I felt as though I was lost. I feel so safe and so secure here (On the sidewalk course.) Sri Chinmoy created this for us.”
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The day will not be hot but it will be humid.
Suhasini preparing a drink for Kaneenika
Misha making the electrolyte drink for everyone. Vajra has already helped set up and cleaned the course.
Yuri pleased with his best day in the past week
Kaneenika trying her best to overcome her blisters.
Start Day 23
Ashprihanal says his flu symptoms are gone and so he ran 77 miles again yesterday and set new records at 2700 km and 22 days.
He is ahead of the old record by 29 miles.
He knows what he has to do and now has 1409 miles to go.
Getting closer with every step.
Galya did 72 miles yesterday. He is closing in on his own remarkable 70 plus mile streak. He just has to maintain this for 3 more days.
He looks so strong. He got to the half way mark mid day yesterday.
Galya has the energy and enthusiasm to perform a little skit on many days.
Vasu moved into 3rd place with his 72 mile day.
Vasu now has 1517 miles and will reach half way late this morning.
The sun will not be obscured all day.
Yuri did 68 miles yesterday and now has 1512. He will make it to half way this morning.
The fountains are spraying as Atmavir runs by.
Atmavir ran 40 miles yesterday.
Speaking with Nirbhasa
The running formula lost for now. Walking is how he makes his way throughout the past 6 days.
Kodanda inspired by the rising sun.
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A hidden flower
Surasa had 62 miles yesterday. She has 1348 miles.
She is getting a lot of inspiration from lots of places.
Stutisheel had a very good day with 65 miles.
His total is now 1342 miles. His phone allows him to keep remarkable records of his progress.
Jagadata celebrates his 38th birthday by counting laps this morning.
Closer than you think
Nirbhasa has had some difficult times the past 5 days. He did 49 miles yesterday and has a total of 1337 miles.
Getting the message?
A visitor perched in a tree.
Ananda-Lahari had 44 miles yesterday.
Who has found a way to provide some karmic payback
Baladev passing through the camp.
He did 55 miles yesterday and has 1198 miles.
Big and the small.
Karnayati is modest about her abilities as dishwasher. Nirjharini had enthused about her world class abilities. “I am as good as anyone else. I just happened to be available.
This morning she is far from soapy water and has instead a pencil in her hand and has 6 clipboards in front of her. “I really love to count. I love to see the runners. But I find it hard to sit. So after a couple of hours I am really happy to go and do something else.” (laughs)
“I would rather be running or doing something. The kitchen really suits me.”
As for counting she is meticulous in this task as well. She also describes how it is important to make a connection with each runner so that they are not concerned that any of their precious laps disappear. “The runner and the counter is a relationship.”
Karnayati, even though she has run many long races struggles like nearly everyone to grasp the magnitude of running 3100 miles. “It is so way beyond anything that I have done. I can only just imagine what it is like to be out here on this hard pavement every day. In a very public arena, with very little sleep. It is awesome.”
I ask her if there is any similarity between her own running experience and those of the 12 running here. “I think it is similar but you have to get the inner inspiration to do this.”
She has been drawn very close to the race over the years but knows that the experience of running 3100 miles will never be hers. “I feel that I can transcend myself by helping. I think it is an inner cry that has to be expressed. (what motivates the runners here)
“This is not something you do for name or fame or anything else. There has to be a real inner drive or urge to go through it. I think many multi day runners think about it because it is like a mountain. It is a step beyond anything that you have done. There is a physical human desire to accomplish something more, but that isn’t enough to do this race. You have to have more push somehow. An inner need to do it.”
As for Ashprihanal, “he is so far beyond the categories that I have reached. He is the most amazing runner. Watching him run is so easy for him it is like drinking water for him. It comes so naturally. It is not without effort. Without any company. It has to be a whole inner experience. I can just touch on comprehending. He makes it look easier than it really is. There is no joke being out there like that, and the pressure he puts on himself. Somehow he seems to have the ability to just do it. Without thinking about it. I think that is the trick. You just do it.”
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Prayer of the Day:
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We have to believe
In a higher power.
Only by believing
In a higher power
Can we go beyond and beyond
Our limited human capacity.