Day 24… Inner Hunger (July 9)

There may be only 8 heroic runners in this years 3100 mile race, but the number who work long, hard, and selflessly to make it all work with clock like precision far exceeds that number.  I don’t know how spending 15 summers cooking for super ultra distance runners would look on her resume but I suspect Nirjharini  doesn’t really care. Her job here is secure.

She is as devoted to the event as it is quite possible to be.  Her skills as a cook in a restaurant in Oslo are noteworthy but her time in Queens, fine tuning the daily nutrition needs of these elite runners is remarkable.  “Every 2 hours we are sending food out to the runners.  They need to eat constantly.  Each runner needs 10,000 calories a day.  Otherwise they will lose weight.  Usually they lose weight but we try to keep it as little as possible.  Because they need the energy to run.  If they get too skinny, their muscles get smaller, and then they can’t run as well any more.”

“So we try and feed them well so they keep their energy and they are able to keep going.”

Nirjharini has a team of 4 girls helping her.  Mandra and Mirka were unfortunately on different schedules.

I ask Nayaja, who is also a long distance runner what similarities she sees in her job cooking and running.  ” It is self-transcendence in both cases.  You are always trying to transcend your capacity.  I do it when I am running and also when I am cooking.”  She says her day starts at 4am and continues till about 1pm.  “I like to start very early so that I can send something to the race before the runners start.”

“I was here 2 years ago helping in the kitchen.  So this is my 2nd time.” She has been in the Spring 6 day race but thinks the difference between the 2 events is huge.  “I can imagine the experience they are going through even though mine is much shorter. It is so hard but at the same time you get a lot of joy and light.”

Leila says that she is cooking here for the first time.  “I have heard about it but I have never been here during the race.  It is a really new experience for me.  For me it is a great experience to be of service.  To try and help the runners as best I can.  Also to learn to be more flexible as every day here is so different.  So you have to adapt to the changes.”

“It is a great experience to learn how to cook better and how to adapt better.”

Nirjharini says, “For me during the race time somehow disappears.  I am not thinking about the beginning or the end.  I am so much in the present.  I am not even thinking about this race ending, just today and now.”

“I love this race so much I could do it all year.  But for the sake of the runners there should come an end.”

Dipali’s Race Tips #4

The Board at the Start of Day 24

Camp early

The clock

Aharan came late last night and will once again be responsible for the morning set up.



Morning yogurt


Nirbhasa greets Aharan




Start Day 24

Zulika taking pictures of the sun

A great day to run

Ashprihanal has 1533 miles

He ran 70 miles yesterday

Mid morning he makes halfway

picture by Dipali

He leads Nirbhasa by 36 miles

picture by Mandra

He is running well


A greeting


Nirbhasa has 1497 miles

He ran 65 miles yesterday

He leads Vasu by 48 miles


Yahva, Max, and Todor

Vasu has 1449 miles

He ran 51 miles yesterday

He is 14 miles ahead of Smarana


Niccolai helping Dipali

Smarana has 1435 miles

He ran 54 miles yesterday

He is 65 miles above the magic number

He is doing well.  He is 16 miles ahead of Ananda-Lahari



Nirjharini checking on Smarana

Ananda-Lahari has 1419 miles

He ran 54 miles yesterday

He is 49 miles above the magic number


Patricias gardening

Harita has 1393 miles

She ran 60 miles yesterday and is 23 miles ahead of the magic number


Salil getting ready to tell a joke with Nirbhasa

Todor has 1375 miles

He ran 60 miles yesterday

He is 5 miles above the magic number

Day 24 with Todor




Ushika has 1229 miles

He ran 51 miles yesterday

Morning mail


Sahishnu with a special gift

“Boy o boy they are going to have to fix this sidewalk.  I nearly tripped.”

A special thanks to all of them

Poem of the Day held by Aharan

My only Paradise
Is my

Sri Chinmoy

July 9th, 2006

Enthusiasm Awakeners

The inner hunger
Is much more intense
Than the outer hunger.

5 Comments to “Day 24… Inner Hunger (July 9)”

  1. Hridayinee Williams says:

    Love Dipalis race tips videos… reminds me of being her race helper! Love the focus on the kitchen team who are so dedicated to nourishing all the runners. My love and gratitude to these 3 girls and also to Mandra who must be on the later shift in the kitchen. Well done team!!!

  2. Kamaneeya says:

    Light reveals and manifests life only when aspiration ceaselessly feeds our inner hunger.

    Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol. 4, No. 8, March 27, 1969, AUM

  3. Kedar says:

    As a restaurant worker myself (in the SACRED in Zurich) I can appreciate the intense work the cooking girls are doing each day of the race.

  4. Ksenia says:

    Amazing Ashprihanal, amazing!!!
    Vasu, good, good, good, go, go, go!!!
    Dear Utpal, please do some everyday knee joints gymnastics!

  5. nirmala says:

    “Hunger Satisfaction Peace-Home” this is the name we got for our first Resaurant in the 80s and 90s
    and now it is a new Restaurant: “The secret and sacred ways of Amazing Strength” which I love a lot.

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