July 7… Discovering New Experiences

“Another beautiful hot day.”

For Ananda-Lahari nearly every day here is a beautiful one.  And this being his 12th summer in a row at the race, he is not unfamiliar with how the heat and sticky humidity can come along and simply smother most peoples enthusiasm to even move little alone run.

He say that sometimes oppressive weather conditions affect everybody.  Right now he is walking.  “It is different when it affects me when I am running.  If I am running and I feel good than it doesn’t really matter.  I can run through anything.”

Today he is not running and instead is walking briskly.  He says, “it doesn’t change the speed.”

Recently he was remembering  how he first got introduced to ultra races.  “It was in 1998 and I went to Scotland to learn English.”  It was there that he got his first experience when he helped Tarit at the Westhighland Way race.

“It was very very impressive.  I did not know anything about long distance running.”


Ananda-Lahari says that the race is 96 miles long, so the runners have very little chance to rest along the way.  He says that according the rules the runner has to be accompanied by another runner the last 10km.

He could not believe how fast he had to run in order to keep up with Tarit.  “To me he was not running he was sprinting.  This was really a nice experience for me.”

The following day Tarit then informed Ananda-Lahari he was going back to work.  “For me this was too much.  This was really impressive.”


“In my youth I did a lot of running but it was orienteering.  It was shorter distances and it was always in the woods.  I never ran on the road.  I never liked it.  Orienteering is more playful and joyful.”

He was in NY he says in the Spring of 1999 and he helped out at the 10 day race.  “I really got inspired.  I had not even run a marathon.”  So in the fall he decided he would try the 700 mile race.  “I really wanted to run that race.”  He says he did not make the distance within the 12 day cut off.

“Somehow it attracts me the long distance running.  I don’t know why.  I just like it.”

He says of course he is struggling, “but it is part of the game.  I am really happy to be here and I am really happy to be able to go for it.  For sure it is not easy, but this is what I want to do.”

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Ananda-Lahari says the main thing he feels is how Sri Chinmoy is inspiring him inwardly.  “This is about self transcendence.  The transcendence of our limitations.”

He touches his heart and says that there are many parts that make up people.  The body ultimately does not last but in the heart is the soul which does not go away.  For him he experiences self transcendence on many levels.”

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He describes lethargy and how it makes you want to sleep but he feels that it cannot be satisfied.  Even if he rested for 5 hours it would still not be satisfied.  “Here you have no chance.  I know that if I take  break it doesn’t help.”

“You just go on.  You are constantly discovering new experiences.  It brings forward for me my inner cry for God.  So that I will be a better person more worthy for this world.”

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Keep trying!
It so often happens
That the last key opens the door.
Likewise, it is your last prayer
That may grant you salvation,
And your last meditation
That may grant you realisation.

The board.  Many were affected by yesterday’s heat and humidity.


By Sunday the weather should improve

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The van arrives

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Ashprihanal still has congestion in his lungs

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Baladev arrives

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Kaneenika had a great day yesterday with 117 laps

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The boys

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The girls

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Vajra examines the picture that Rupantar has just put up

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It is a picture of Sri Chinmoy taken in 1980 when he used to play tennis at the courts just across the street.  Jamaica high school track is just behind him.

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Start of Day 19


First steps

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Hardly see it

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Vasu did 63 miles.  He has 1291 miles


Near the school

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Atmavir did 64 miles


He has 1256 miles


Yuri did 64 miles


He has 1231 miles


Service road


Ashprihanal did 65 miles

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He has 1188 miles


Red clover

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Surasa did 62 miles.  She has 1165 miles


Still time

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Kaneenika did 64 miles


She has 1144 miles


Coming into camp

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A poem


Very far

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Shamita did 50 miles


She has 1099 miles

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A speck of blue

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Stutisheel did 54 miles.  He has 1073 miles


Service road

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Baladev did 59 miles


He has 1028 miles


Nothing too small

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Ananda-Lahari had 46 miles and has 1015 miles

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Taking prasad

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Across the road


Sopan did 45 miles and has 1011 miles


Sopan making the turn

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Volodymyr was no longer able to continue after 4 hours on the course this morning.


Yesterday  he was only able to complete 37 miles

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It was a hard decision but his physical difficulties were simply too much

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Getting ready for the big change.

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A newspaper article from 1998

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Very green


“I feel there are a lot of similarities particularly because, I love running.”  Harita has just returned from being on the Peace Run.

“When you are on the Peace Run it is about giving your whole heart.  You are doing something that you love but it has a lot of meaning.  You feel that you can offer something.”

“When I see the runners out here I get the same feeling.  Of course I think this is a lot harder.”


I ask whether what happens here affects anything beyond this one block.  “I know that it does, because I know Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy.  The message that the Peace Run is sharing every day and the message the 3100 mile race is sharing every day is that world transformation starts on an individual level.”

“Here is a most powerful example of going beyond yourself.  Of self transcendence, of diving within to be more in touch with the divinity within ourselves.  You can see this here on the most powerful you could ever see right here.”

“I think it is a tremendous inspiration for the whole world.”

Click to Play:


Lyalya translating into Russian the Daily prayer

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“Saroja says, “I love to come every morning and sing with the singers and see these incredibly brave runners.  They are so inspiring.”

Saroja reads the Daily Prayer

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Click to Play:

Poem saroja

Enthusiasm Awakeners


Click to Play:


My mind will tell me
Only what others have taught it:
“A flower is beautiful”.
But my heart feels and sees everything
As a new experience.
It may even discover tremendous power
Inside a tiny flower.
Then how can we say
That the heart is mistaken
When it tells us,
“A flower is powerful”.

2 responses to “July 7… Discovering New Experiences”

  1. Beautiful Utpal! So good to see the pictures and so beautiful to read… Every day it seems I am actually at the race, feeling the sunshine, hearing the singers, and somehow a little bit of oneness with the runners. Gratitude

  2. Taking in your wonderful writing and pictures of the race is a nightly treat for me–so amazingly heartening! Thank you again for all your work and coverage.

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