For those interested in simplifying their lives, at least temporarily. Running for 18 hours a days for 52 days may exemplify a stripped down, superbly focused lifestyle that is hard to beat.
Yes it is brutally hard and unrelenting. But once you are immersed in this world wholeheartedly the rest of the clutter and superficial enticements that constantly nag us tend to disappear. Or at least in theory that is the case.
50 year old Vasu Duzhiy who is running the race for the 5th time however is in another league altogether when it comes to his steadfast devotion to the race.
Each of the runners over the years have come here have brought remarkable skills and qualities. But in all honesty I have never met anyone whose life has been so stripped of external distractions and problems quite like Vasu.
As he starts day 34 he has 1000 miles left to go and 19 days in which to do it.
Because he has run so well up till now he only has to run 52 miles a day in order to make it. But for more than a week his blister has been hobbling him physically. True to his sweet nature however he remains unrelentingly cheerful.
Moments after we start our little run together he has just memorized the Daily Poem. One which Sri Chinmoy composed on this day in 2007. He recites it for me in both English and Russian.
At the moment he is running well but says he had a bad morning (which means he could only walk slowly). “To be happy helps me so much. This is our medicine.”
I ask though, when it is hurting so much how can he still be happy. “I think Guru does it. I try to be in his consciousness. I try to pray. I try to sing. I try to meditate. I also speak with other runners. This also helps because everybody has some problems. If we speak or joke it helps.”
“I think it is good. We are one family.”
When asked if he is looking forward to the end. He smiles and says, “I hope that I can finish. Do it for Guru’s victory.”
“Everyday I get many letters and it helps me so much.” Vasu says that one person is sending him a poem about smiling every day. “It is so nice.”
He feels that since he first started running the race 5 years ago more people are now interested in the 3100.
And a comment that could only come from Vasu. “I am grateful for my blister because many disciples have shown their kind hearts and inspired me to run. We are a big family.”
I must never lose
contact with my
and His Forgiveness-
Guru Sri Chinmoy
July 22nd, 2007
The weather is going to be challenging to say the least for the next few days
Vajra getting ready to leave
Kaneenika pulls up
Ashprihanal stretches and looks at the board
Ananda-Lahari locks his bike
The big picture at 5:56
Janos lacing a pair of shoes
Start Day 34
The picture doesn’t show how punishingly hot and humid it will be
Atmavir ran the most laps yesterday 120. 65 miles
He now has 2217 miles. 101 miles more than last year.
He is also 14 miles ahead of Yuri
Coming through camp
Yuri did 119 laps and also 65 miles.
He now has 2203 miles
Ashprihanal did 61 miles
He now has 2190 miles. 13 miles behind Yuri
Coming into camp
Vasu did 52 miles
He has 2118 miles
Kaneenika did 47 miles
She now has 2082 miles
Kaneenika is 94 miles ahead of last year
A little blue
Surasa did 51 miles
She now has 2025 miles
Stutisheel did 51 miles
He now has 1871 miles
“Man, do I ever have a terrible itch and I don’t have fingers to scratch it.”
Sopan did 44 miles
He now has 1865 miles
need lots of fluids
Baladev did 48 miles
He now has 1848 miles
Across the road
Ananda-Lahari did 42 miles
He now has 1733 miles
“It is great as usual.” A typical Vajra response
“There are never really bad days. There are just days that are challenging.”
When asked if he ever had any of those he laughs, “Like today.”
“Today I saw more trash than I usually see. More bending down more picking up. As the years gather around me it is more difficult to bend down. But I do it any way because there is a joy in just doing it.”
“You learn after being on this path that you are not living for yourself. You are living for others. In the hope that in some way you are serving the Supreme.”
“So it is serving God the creation.”
“Sri Chinmoy is a living presence in every second of my life.”
Click to Play:
Nirjharini and the cooks arrive
Uddipan checking in with Zulma on the 10 a.m. totals
Shashanka read the Daily Poem
Click to Play:
Click to Play:
You bring to the world
The message of oneness.
You tell each and everyone
That we are members of one family —