April 19th…..The Longest Journey

“One hour at a time, one day at a time, one lap at a time.  Enjoy the journey.  Find your highest capacity.  We hope to give as much as we can to help you get through this.”…..Part of pre race speech by Sahishnu.

Each and every
Heart-dream of mine
Has the capacity
To take the highest flight
And the longest journey.

Sri Chinmoy, Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 181, Agni Press, 1993

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Yolanda comes to the starting line

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Sahishnu introducing the runners

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The Day Before….April 18th

“I have come every year since 2007, so this is my 10th year.”

Of all the runners attending the race Fred Davis 111 may be the one who has attended more of these events back to back than anyone else.


He confesses that over the years he has never felt that he has performed as well as he is capable of doing.  His personal best over 10 days he set in 2010 when he did 505 miles.  Still at age 68 he is tirelessly enthusiastic.  Fred has completed 325 ultras over the past 34 years.

Fred says that the thing he likes most about the 6 and 10 day race here in Flushing Meadow is the contributions of all those who help and the other runners who like himself enjoy attending.

Sitting with Fred as we speak is a newcomer to the 10 day race Yolanda Holder.  She has previously completed 6 day races where her best performance has been 403 miles in the Across the Years race in Arizona.  She says that Fred has been very helpful.  “He has been telling me to take it easy.  Don’t go out too fast, because we have 4 extra days.”

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Fred who has come here from his home in Cleveland even picked Yolanda up at the airport.  “He is wonderful.  He is a blessing.”

Admitting to some pre race jitters she says her left foot has been bothering her but says that Fred tells her it is all in her head.  “I am very nervous because I haven’t gone past 6 days, 403 miles.  I don’t know what is going to happen.  Normally this is kind of normal for me.  I am kind of anxious.”

When asked what brought her here to the East coast from her home in Corona California.  “I like a challenge.  The race director invited me.  He has been following me in my 6 day race in Arizona.  He was amazed that I can power walk.”

Link to Yolanda’s website:



“This is challenging.  Even doing 6 days is challenging.  10 days…..we will see.”

As for a goal.  “I do see a number.  I want to break the American Women’s record which is 510.  So I definitely see 511.”  The previous mark was set in 1997 at the race here in Flushing Meadow.

Yolanda says that she has developed several plans in order to be able to do this.  “I have it on a little card because when you get tired sometimes you can’t add and you can’t think.  You can’t think properly when you are doing 6 day races.  So I wrote down every day what number I should be on.”

I tell her that Fred is the master of the pre race charts.  “I have one this year but it is a little different,” he says. “Before I used to break it down into 24 hours.  This time I have broken it down into 18 hours.  If I get behind I have 6 hours left.  My goal this year is to just stay out here.  But as you know sometimes I can disappear for a whole day.”

“This year I am not so much worried about mileage.  My goal is to be on my feet 18 hours a day.”


Yolanda says, “he has a goal and I am going to keep on him.”

“If I am on my feet for 18 hours I can do at least 54 miles a day.  Right now my minimum goal is 540 miles.”

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Set Up for the 6 & 10 Day Race…April 17th

Manoshri and her sister Gautami are back at the race for their 2nd year.  Helping them both this year just as she did last year is their Mom.

For now it is mostly just the tents of the 10 day runners which are going up.


Where the reason-cloud ends
My journey begins.
Where the doubt-poison ends
My goal begins.

The crew has been working for 4 days now setting up the village.


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