In just his 2nd attempt at the 3100 mile race in 2013 Vasu finished first. Now, 4 years later in this his 6th race, he will once again be champion. But for someone who has accomplished such an incredible task, you could not possibly ask for a more humble, modest, and self giving winner.
On Thursday night when he comes up the sidewalk one last time there will be no grand prize, no headlines around the world, but instead a gathering of his loved ones. Those who know and appreciate his greatness. It will be an accomplishment that so very very few could accomplish and one in which there could be no better a deserving winner.
When I ask him if he can hear the finish line yet, he says, “I hope. There will come a time.”
“Every time something happens when you get to the finish line. Some flow comes. It is so nice.”
When asked what he has received this year. “I think I have learned many things in this race. Especially I am very happy with my helpers. I was given 3 helpers this year. Especially Sasha, he is so young, and humble. I am just happy. Usually you have to take time to learn how to work with your helpers. But this year everything has been good. I am very grateful.”
It will be his 2nd fastest time. “We try and do self transcendence. Sometimes it is not easy physically. We also try and do it inwardly. We try and be more within ourselves. To pray more and be in a good consciousness. This helps us.”
Vasu also consciously tries to make the course more divine and pure. Something he does physically many times a day by picking up garbage and litter. He feels that by doing this that the consciousness and vibration of Sri Chinmoy can be made stronger along the course.
He laughs when I ask if he misses the race when he is not here. “Yes of course. I always dream of each new race to come.”
There has been concern about falling down on the course. Something that happened to Yolanda yesterday. Vasu tells me a couple of stories about just such a thing. “Usually at night before we finish the race we are a little bit tired. Sometimes we fall down. In my first race in 2012 Grahak also ran that race.”
“One night Grahak passed me just before the corner. When I turned the corner myself I saw him lying down on the ground on his back.
“My mind was a little slow and I didn’t understand what had happened. But I saw his shoes in one place and one in another, and as well a big stone. So then I understood that he had just fallen down.”
“I picked up is shoes and then helped him to stand up. He just put his feet in his shoes. On his shoulder was blood. He paid no attention. He just put on his shoes and started to run.
“After a few laps I met him and told him, you are my hero. You just put on your shoes and ran. He then went on to set his fastest time.”
“2 years later Jayaslini was running here. Once I was running behind her and she just fell down in front of me. So I tried to help her stand up. Then I told her the story about Grahak and she was so happy. She did not cry, she just began to run. Her Mother, who was there helping her, but Jayasalini did not tell her anything about the fall.”
Vasu tells me that he has fallen a few times himself. “Usually I catch my self by falling onto my hands. My knee doesn’t even touch the ground. But one time I fell down and this time my knee just bumped against the ground. So I just lay down on the sidewalk. But it was not hard. It felt as though I was in the lap of the Supreme. It was very soft, very nice.”
“So as I was lying there on the ground I gave gratitude to the Supreme for this race. I then stood up and everything was very good.”
There shall come a time
When all feet will proudly tread