July 24: Constant Blessings

“I never broke the record before today.”

This is the 13th time that 44 year old Finnish runner Ashprihanal has run the hardest, longest race in the world.  The Self Transcendence race record books are full of his accomplishments, but today he has set a very unique record when he won the Self Transcendence 3100 mile race and set a new incredible record. One that was apparently years in the making but today took just 40 days, 9 hours, and 6 seconds to accomplish.

“It feels very nice.  I feel that I did it for Guru.” As Ashprihanal is saying these things he is sitting in a chair as relaxed and content as it may be possible to be.  He has not had this opportunity to relax for more than 40 days.  If offered he also would not have taken it.  He never once slipped from his relentless pushing over the 3100 miles he has run.

In the background Sahishnu, one of the race directors calls out.  “You did 3 kilometers a day more than Madhupran did.”

“That is good.” Ashprihanal’s time is 23 hours faster than Madhupran when he set the record in 2006.  Recently he sent this message to Ashprihanal

I am tremendously happy for you - you deserve the world record! Your constancy and focus is spectacular. I have always admired you for your ease. You run like a feather. This is self-transcendence par excellence. You are the greatest! I am happy for you with all my heart.

Madhupran Wolfgang Schwerk

When asked if he had been thinking about the record from the first day, “absolutely.  It was definitely my plan, right from the start.  I had a funny experience my first day.  Mdhupran’s first day was 85 miles.  My best first day so far was 90 miles.  So I was thinking I would do between 85 and 90 miles the first day.”

“Than some voice in my head said, stop that false modesty, and so then I did 94 miles.  I stopped thinking about what I was doing, and just went for it.  It worked.”


“Grahak started helping me after 2 weeks.  At first he was kind of stiff.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to help me.  Than it turned out very good.  The main thing was to have oneness.  Than also he knew everything.  It was perfect help.  He is the 3rd best runner of the 3100.  You need a friend.”

“He also said the right things at the right moment.”

Ashprihanal says that in the earliest races his favorite moment is when Sri Chinmoy would sit next to him after he finished.  “That used to be the nicest moment.  Now I guess this is pretty nice.”

“Guru always in believed in transcendence.  Once you do something life goes on and you find new adventures.  Next year I am going to do some climbing, Guru’s mountains.”


“I couldn’t do it without Guru’s constant blessings.  The force was there all the time.  It was not my capacity.  I feel that he wanted it to be done.  So I was just enjoying the ride.”

“I kind of felt that Guru asked me to do it.  So than I promised to be focused all the time and run till 12.”

By completing the race 13 times he also ties the record set by Suprabha.  Asked if he would do it again, “I think so.  I will meditate and see what I feel.  This is Guru’s special race.  He came here every day many times a day.”

Click to Play Interview:


Getting out of the car this morning for the last time this race.


For very tired Nirbhasa there will be many more mornings.


The weather will be great today again.


The board gets changed.


Surasa checking here mileage.


Start Day 41


This is a day that will be very much about the 44 year old man from Helsinki who will be making history.


He is magnificent all day.


He ran 77 miles yesterday and has 43 miles to finish his task.


The Enthusiasm Awakeners honor him his last morning.


There is an innocence and purity about him.


Let all who have been witness to his heroic selfless efforts, not just this year, but for 13 summers offer him their deepest heart’s gratitude for what he has accomplished here.


Miracles are not hard to find when you look in the right places.  Particularly if you search within yourself first.


In nearly any other year Galya’s achievement here would be dazzling.  He ran his 40th day of above 70.  He now has 2883 miles and will finish on Sunday.


Happiness is meant for all of us.


Vasu had 71 miles yesterday and he now has 2784 miles.


Yuri had 62 miles yesterday


Yuri now has 2703 miles.


Atmavir had an extraordinary day with 75 miles.


He now has 2522 miles.


Perhaps the road will remain golden for him.


Sanyogita has the race shirts ready for Ashprihanal’s finish


“All the items on the menu are great, but I usually just go for the all you can eat buffet.”


Lots of poems lots of refreshment.


Surasa the magnificent. She had 64 miles yesterday and now has 2495 miles.


Vandya every morning


12 days more including today.


Kaneenika had 60 miles yesterday.


A smile and more from Tamara.


Kaneenika has 2413 miles


687 more miles to go.


Stutisheel had 60 miles yesterday.


He now has 2412 miles


Nirbhasa had 60 miles yesterday and is on track.


He has 2404 miles.


Baladev had 50 miles yesterday.


He now has 2121 miles.


Near, nearer, nearest.


Ananda-Lahari had 47 miles yesterday and now has 2085 miles.


Counters always needed.


“In the history of the race there was one year when there was just 3 of us running.  It got pretty lonely on the course sometimes.”  Suprabha recalls that also that year Sri Chinmoy would sometimes run from his house over to the race just after they had started.  “He would run up the first little hill.  What a thrill first thing in the morning.”


“Once in a while he would just drive by.  He didn’t come then like he did in the latter years.”  She describes the thrill in particular because it came at a time when his injuries were such that they allowed him to run once more after having been not able to run for some time.

“After that Guru started coming around in his car.  Than he started coming around for the Enthusiasm Awkeners.”

There is a lengthy talk that Sri Chinmoy gave on running after Suprabha had asked him a question.  “I was asking if there was something I could do inwardly.”


“The first thing he said was.  There is no inwardly and outwardly.  You cannot separate them.  That was really beautiful.”  It was a long answer and she cannot recall it all but remembers him saying how important it was to be in the heart. “Imagining that we are 3,4, or 5 years old, running in a beautiful garden.”

“Running for the joy of it, and feeling enthusiasm, and sweetness.  He brought in so many beautiful things.  He also went into the bitterness of the mind.  If we let the mind take over.  If we only look at the sidewalk, or think about the mileage.  Than it is like torture.  But if you go into the heart you just remember how much you love the running.”

“If you think, who is inspiring you after all.  If it is your Supreme or your soul.”

As Suprabha is talking Ashprihanal runs by.  “I feel he really embodies his soul’s qualities.  Aspiration fire in the heart, something like that.  He is just all aspiration.  You especially see it in his running.”


“Sweetness is not just something that girls have.  Men and boys can also have sweetness.  He definitely has sweetness I feel.  Even during all the situations that you encounter during the race.  Not always easy.  He always maintains a sweetness.”

“He seems to be above some of the stuff that we are dealing with down here.”

Click to Play Interview:


Mandra reads the Daily Prayer


Click to Play:


Andy’s daughter painted this picture of Ashprihanal being lifted by 2 Jharna Kala birds.


Ashprihanal just about to break the tape.

Click to Hear Audio:

finish line audio


Sahishnu’s speech and ceremony

Click to Play:

ceremony 2


Many more wish they were here to witness this incredible moment of history being made in Queens NY.  But this victory is also for all those who are looking within themselves.  Hoping to reveal their own constant blessings.

Enthusiasm Awakeners


Click to Play:


Constantly will your life be blessed with fulfilling achievements if you grow into the flame of aspiration.

Sri Chinmoy, Arise! Awake! Thoughts of a yogi, Frederick Fell, Inc., 1972


7 thoughts on “July 24: Constant Blessings”

  1. Ashprihanal, you are without doubt the greatest ultra distance runner in history. To have the courage, sweetness, humility, faith and confidence to go for the record from day one is beyond inspiring. We are all gratitude to you. To all the runners, organisers, helpers and crew, the entire world is utterly grateful to you, whether we know it or not.
    Finally, this is of course the victory of the founder and boundless inspiration of the 3100 mile race, Sri Chinmoy. Heaven and Earth are ringing out with the cry “Jai Guru!”

  2. WOW!!!! That’s really inspiring!
    Utpal, THANK YOU many, many, many times for the opportunity to be with the runners, to be at the Race through your blog. Being in Kazakhstan, I could everyday feel the Race atmosphere. Thank you for your incredible job, each day’s video is like a small masterpiece with music combination and great shots and audio. THANK YOU! Congratulation to our champion-brother ASPRIHANAL!!!

  3. A million times gratitude for your incredible reports and speedy placement onto your site. I really felt so excited, thrilled and joyful all day today from the moment I awoke and then heard Ashprihanal finished, minutes before our two mile race here in Auckland. We all congratulate his Supreme Victory. 🙂

  4. Thanks to webcam we were able to witness Ashprihanal’s hostorical finish live from the course in NY.

    What a nice gift to him by driving him around in a heavenly decorated float. I couldn’t help but think of Pushpak, the airship that carried victorious Rama back to his homeland.

  5. Divine felicitations to Ashprihanal! In pleasing the Supreme so supremely, he has lifted us all up and brought us into his joy world. Millions of thank-yous to him, and to everyone who is sharing in this historic race.

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