This morning I asked Yuri if he wouldn’t mind being interviewed once again. He immediately and happily agreed. He is one of those rare kind of people who seems constantly willing and selfless, no matter what is asked of them. He is a personality of such rare sweetness and delicacy but at the same time has a kind of deep inner commitment and determination that I deeply admire.
When pouring a long string of plastic cups, his hands in plastic gloves, he just goes on and on. He never gets distracted but at the same time is very much aware what is happening around him. He is a happy man in his very own most sacred place and knows that in another year he will once again be one of the running sidewalk heroes.
Out of curiosity I checked Yuri’s mileage for last year, and after day 33 I am not surprised to see that his 2203 miles is 14 miles further than Vasu. Comparisons like this are of course silly and I mean not to take anything away from Vasu who is currently leading with 2189. The chemistry of the runners each year and even each day changes. A strong performance pulls the others. The dedicated service of Yuri every day on the sidelines is also crucial and helps the runners in so many in other ways.
When I ask him about the race so far he says, “amazing. There are always inner experiences. It is like a spiritual festival.”
Asked if he missed not running, “when the race started I felt it every morning. But my body is not strong enough yet to do it. My heart and my soul are patiently waiting for when it will happen.”
A few days earlier he spoke with Vasu and encouraged him to pay more attention to his heart. “God is willing to tell us how to act in this or that situation. His whisper we can always feel it in our heart.”
“My consciousness and my heart is here at the race. I am in complete oneness with them.”
I ask him just how important the self transcendence race is to him. “It is the highlight of my life. For me it is the highest experience that I can have. Right here is Sri Chinmoy, here is the Supreme, and right here is my transformation. That is the most important thing.”
Through experiments, the outer life advances.
Through experiences, the inner life discovers.
The board at the start of Day 34
It is hot and muggy but there is a light breeze
Yesterday was a difficult one for a lot of the runners. The heat and humidity were an ongoing battle. Yolanda has managed to get a little weight back but the necessary miles are much harder to find.
She says to me, “I didn’t come here to get eaten alive.” (Never give up)
Sergey and Andrey
Checking the sheet
Kaneenika and Harita
Alakanada talking with Yolanda
Rupantar checking on everyone
Nirbhasa and Databir
Time for the shoes
Start Day 34
A warm day getting hot
Vasu did 60 miles 110 laps
He now has 2189 miles
Nirbhasa did 62 miles 113 laps
He now has 2105 miles
Kaneenika once again did the most mileage 64 miles 118 laps
She now has 2083 miles
She is 1 mile ahead of last year’s pace
Harita did 59 miles 108 laps
She now has 1961 miles
Telling jokes with Nidhruvi
A great performance.
Yolanda did 41 miles 76 laps. Just no energy yesterday
She now has 1921 miles
Doing her best
Smarana did 52 miles 95 laps
He now has 1877 miles
Sergey did 49 miles 91 laps
He now has 1815 miles
After taking off his knee brace
Andrey did 34 miles 62 laps
He now has 1787 miles
Nidhruvi did 49 miles 92 laps
She now has 1706 miles
getting help from Mareike
Ananda-Lahari did 30 miles 55 laps
He now has 1626 miles
A council of wise sages
“Why wait a month for a solar eclipse when you can have a squirrelclipse right now.”
Joana’s last day
Yuri reads the Daily prayer in English and Russian
Click to Play:
Click to Play:
Each inner experience is God’s descending Compassion and man’s glowing and fulfilling transformation.