Day 26… One Big Family (July 12)

Feeding the 3100 mile runners is no easy task and yet Nirjharini has been the head cook now of the race for the past 15 years.  Creating individual dishes specifically for each runner’s needs and appetites is a herculean task.  Now imagine this responsibility spread out over an 18 hour day.  Ensuring that each athlete has enough fuel to run 59.6 miles a day and more, and stay healthy and of course happy.

When you enter the race kitchen there are a number of impressions that greet you immediately.  Aromas of fresh food you are aware of well before you even knock on the door.  Once inside spotless cleanliness, and purity are something you cannot but unavoidably feel and experience.  It is what I imagine a temple of food is like.

Nirjharini and her crew all work with such love and joy it reminds me of how some great restaurants can provide great taste but you go away somehow still lacking.  Her food is always delicious and made with love. The best ingredient in all of life’s dishes.

I ask Nirjharini what she likes about helping in this important way for the race. “I look forward to this race all year.  Being here for me is a very special time.  It is a very sacred time.”  Nirjharini also carries very sweet memories of the early years at the race when Sri Chinmoy, the marathon team founder was still with us.”

Nirjharini says, “it is amazing what the runners do.  It is extremely inspiring.  They are all doing something unimaginable. I am very grateful that I can be part of this race, preparing food.  I really really admire the runners.  They are a big inspiration in my life.”

“The runners give us tips and we are trying to change the food for them,” … Mirka

“It is great.  It is one big family and I really enjoy it.  We can feel the oneness with the runners.  You can start to feel what each one likes or doesn’t like.  I feel like I am home here. It is really great.”….Sadajyoti

“I think it is a really really special race.  It is such a beautiful feeling to be here.  You can feel the Supreme’s energy very strongly.” Kamaneeya works as a counter most days as well as working in the kitchen.  The inner experience she describes, “it is so so strong it is really beautiful.”

I did not leave after my visit to the kitchen hungry in any way.

*Not pictured are Tanuja and Virochana*

The Board at the start of Day 26 *Note the totals may not be accurate…… The magic number is 1,490*

Dipali’s Race Tips

A brief shower comes early

William and Tim


Vajra and Kobi

Paramartha setting up the counting tables


“Is it still raining.”



The boys

Start of Day 26

A damp but pleasant start to the day

Vasu starts the day slowly and carrying an umbrella

He did 68 miles

He starts the day with 1745 miles.   33 more miles than Kobi

Vasu having a great race

His sun is shining


Kobi did 69 miles

He now has 1712 miles

Did 2 more laps than Vasu yesterday

Dog admirer

Team Kobi last night


Sopan did 60 miles

He now has 1514 miles

He leads Surasa by 5 miles


Surasa did 59 miles

Surasa last night

She now has 1509 miles


Everyone wins

It is drying out

Ushika did 62 miles

He now has 1503 miles.  6 miles less than Surasa

Day 26


Max helping Alexei with the morning poem

Smarana did 62 miles

He now has 1488 miles.  Just 2 miles off the magic number

Smarana last night


Some webcam issues

Kaneenika did 62 miles

She now has 1449 miles

At the race last night

Laila helping out this morning


Dipali this morning


William did 47 miles

He now has 1447 miles. William will be setting a new record when he reaches 1500

With Tim last night

Telling a joke.  “Someone has been mysteriously adding soil to my garden.  The plot thickens.”

Team William last night

Time for sunshine


Ananda-Lahari ran 47 miles

He now has 1415 miles

Kodanda playing last night




“An official from the NYC Squirrel patrol came by to check the camp area for any squirrels, or mischievous mooching birds.”

Poem of the Day read by Jayashri

Click to Play:

Poem Jayashri

Enthusiasm Awakeners

Click to Play:


The vision of a oneness-family
Will one day cover
The length and breadth
Of the world.

4 thoughts on “Day 26… One Big Family (July 12)”

  1. It is wonderful that Utpal has come out from behind the camera (or curtain), to report on this superhuman race!
    It adds another layer in the fantastic reporting to us the mortal beings.
    He is truly a wizard ‍♂️, as we now really see with his wonderful powers of time travel.
    Good luck to all the special, amazing , and fantastic runners, may they all have a healthy, beautiful , transcendent, and meaningful run!

  2. Our dear sister Nerjarini and crew, you guys are so amasing! We are so grateful for your tremendous Service!

  3. Always a favourite interview — the one with the cooks.
    15 years??? And it appears the standard of attitude, care and quality is only increasing!
    They are on their feet all day in a high-pressure, hot kitchen — and yet they seem calm, joyful and ‘cool as cucumbers’. Transcendence in support of others. Awe-inspiring!
    Thanks, Utpal!

  4. Deepest Gratitude to Utpal…everytime i see the report of the day, I Breath the intendi tu and the family- oneness feeling of the race. All of you, the .helpers,.not only the Runners are so great. YOU give us so much inspiration, love and go forward.

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