Day 44: Inner Call

Though Andrea completed the 3100 mile race close to midnight last night he has chosen, as many do to run an additional 13 laps in order to make a full 5,000 kilometers.

Asked how he felt, he said,  “Quite good I would say.  I am really happy and satisfied.”

” I never had a clear goal at the beginning.  Because you never really know your shape, and you never know how the race is going to turn out, it’s so long.  But after one week or 10 days, I knew I could do better than last year.”

Sri chinmoy Ultra Photo

“So then it was goal after goal.”  He says that after 2 weeks of running, his helper Arpan, encouraged him to attempt to go for under 43 days.  “Then last week we realized we could go for 3rd place overall.  It was one goal after another.  Luckily I got them all.”

As for why he would choose such a difficult event.  “It is a drive that you feel from within.  Once you do it there is this inner call.”

“Without my helpers, I would not be able to perform at that level.  Definitely I could finish the race, but not in this way.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“Arpan did a great job he was motivating me for 2 days because he saw that I was very close, to go under 43 days.  To get 3rd place overall.  He was pushing and pushing me.  Emotionally and psychologically.  He was telling me you can do it.  Come on let’s go.  Luckily I managed not to fall apart.”

“The inner part of the race, somehow I realized that the race for me was already done. It was meant to be like this.  When you struggle in the race you think it is about you, and your effort.  But in the end I realized it was already meant to be like this.  The inner part already knows in advance what is going to happen.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Andrea Marcato Finish

Andrea’a time was 42 Days: 17 hours: 38 minutes: 18 seconds

 

The board changes slowly

The crowd gathers for the momentous occasion

Runners pass

Plans are made

Nearly time

Emotional

The champion’s wreath of honor

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

A precious moment for all

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

This year’s champion

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

A great performance

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Day 43: Divine Warrior

“Since last week I have gone through different challenging times.  Ultimately it is all God’s grace.  We just have to be surrendered instruments and have faith that everything is being taken care of.”

“Really a big part of that is also being at times a divine warrior, and really have to bring forward all your determination, and fight against those parts of yourself that want to give up.  Slow down or think that everything is too hard.”

“All of these things come forward in this race to be illumined and to be challenged.  That’s what makes the race so meaningful.  It gives you the capacity to see these lower parts of yourself.  See your limitations and then dive within to find the capacity to overcome them.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“I was thinking that when I talk about being in the flow.  I thought that you might think that it sounds like just coming here and flowing along effortlessly.”

“For me the connection to the flow often means really having to fight to bring forward the highest in yourself.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Harita feels that though each of her races here as well as each day she runs are uniquely different the essence of transformation continues to touch the same parts of herself.  At the same time every day is new and every experience is new.  You can’t compare it you really have to live in the moment.

“To take whatever comes and try and make the best of it with the tools that you have and have faith that are making progress and that you are moving forward. ”

“Sometimes you feel…..o man, how long am I going to have to deal with this.  Some aspect of my personality or some weakness.  But we always have to know that we all really are moving forward. The process of self transformation and illumination is really a long process.  A lifetime after lifetime process.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“But we have to start somewhere and keep going, and continue and never give up, and have faith that we are moving forward.”

“The nature of this race is that you are continually moving helps to remind you that the momentum is created when you keep taking step after step.  Even if you are slow all those steps add up.  That is so symbolic to life as well.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 42: You Need To Transcend

“It starts with the simple things.  Do one step more than you planned.  Do something better than you planned.  To expand. Then you will start feeling joy from this expansion. It is never comfortable, but ultimately you will feel joy from self-transcendence.”

“We all need to expand and transcend ourselves. Then you will get access to joy.”

Stutisheel describes how that even though he has participated in the race 13 times there is always something new to be learned and experienced.

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

The eternal lesson the race offers he says is that we all need to depend more upon, God’s compassion, and on God’s grace much more than others faith in you.

“The secret of attaining something unimaginable or impossible is to be as close as possible to the Supreme’s grace and the Supreme’s compassion, and God’s heart.”

“God is not planning to make it difficult for us.  It is actually easy.  All the obstacles we put before ourselves are usually from our own minds.  We just need to be more in our hearts and to be happy.” By doing this he suggests we can start feeling things and doing things that are just unimaginable.

Though Stutisheel was able to run 58 miles yesterday his overall total of 2336 means it is nearly impossible for him to make 3100 miles before the 52 day cut off.  He says that in the past when he has fallen behind he has lost all motivation to keep pushing.  “I was just walking, eating, and sleeping.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“But now it is different.  I am really continuing to do my best.  I feel from within that I need to continue performing at my maximum.  So I am moving forward.”

Flower

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 41: Have Faith

“I am really happy that I am ahead of my schedule, in respect to last year and I hope everything keeps turning for the better.”

“I take every day as a single battle.  I never think about tomorrow, because somehow it never comes.  So every day I try and give my best.  Every day I try and put in the effort to do the work.  I am trying to do all the necessary things that will make me happy at the end of the day. ”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“I would definitely say it is a little half and half.  I always had it as a kid and I have been working on it over the years.  I try to really improve it.  Willpower is a really powerful tool.  If you can hammer than you should do it.”

“I have been pushing and pushing and pushing.  I have no fear that something could happen.  I hold the line and I know what I want so I go for it.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

When talking about his 2 helpers Arpan and Anupam.  “They are the most precious tools for this performance.  They support me in every way.   They care for me.  They know in advance what I need.  What is good for me.  Which kind of food I want.  So they pave the way for a better performance. I would really like to thank them.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Andrea then went on to offer appreciation to all those who have supported him.  “I am really happy that I can inspire people.”

“Meditation and concentration are very powerful tools.  They give the extra kick let’s say.  Also faith.  You have to have faith in something. This belief pushes you forward when you get in trouble. Then this faith can carry you on.  It is an additional power that I think everybody needs.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 40: Anything Is Possible

As someone who is prone to grumbling and forecasting that the sky is falling; a slow or fast lap around the course with Ananda-Lahari is one of the best antidotes I know to clinging negativity.  He is literally always positive.  Even today when he is almost 1,000 miles shy of the goal and only 12 days left to do it, he is happy.

He is so content in doing this impossible ordeal, that he is now running for the 17th time that I feel ashamed to complain about any of the real or imagined problems that seem to wash over me when I least expect it.

Sri Chinmoy Ultra photo

It is impossible to be glum when he and you are striding along and the smile he is wearing is so dazzling you can feel so unprepared for the cascade of cheerfulness that simply washes over you when in his presence.

Sri Chinmoy Ultra photo

I can’t complain when I run with Ananda-Lahari. I simply am required to retreat to my own heart which is a place that he seems to have taken up residence for an enormous portion of his day, and which I am told we all should do a lot more of.

Sri Chinmoy Ultra photo

I just have to smile when we are together.  Sometimes not so great a smile which may more resemble an abbreviated frown under closer inspection but a smile nonetheless.

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 39: Inner Help

“Sasha has been very good.  This time he is my only helper. (In the past Vasu has been able to count on a number of helpers)

This time he has to do everything by himself.  He has to make it all happen.  But we are trying our best to make it all possible.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra photo

“Inner help is much more important than the outer help.” Vasu feels in particular when Sasha takes a meditation break and leaves the course, when he returns he is energized as well. “I am very grateful to him for that.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Sasha says that for him helping Vasu is a very special experience.

“I am happy that I can be here.  This is now my 4th time helping Vasu at the race.”

“Of course it is a huge experience.  It is a very long journey and along the way we understand more and go deeper.  We find out that we can all do so much more than we expect of ourselves.  We just have to imagine.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 38: This Is My Goal

“About 3 days ago I experienced my rock bottom.  I was feeling so heavy and I couldn’t resist the gravity.  But for some reason after I passed 2000 miles everything got easier.”

“Of course I was tired but somehow everything got easier.”

photo by Garima

“So this race has been my goal.  This years race it was not clear whether or not it would be held because of the covid. But the race started, and for me to be part of the race that is everything.  I am so happy.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra photo

“Of course to be able to complete the distance that would be my goal but really to be in the race is so nice it is my goal.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

” I would say that my most elated feelings came was the moment the race started, and I started running.  That was my most excited elated feeling.  But I have to say I try not to get too excited.  I prefer to stay calm and stable.  That is my overall attitude, and what I am trying to achieve.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 37: Transcend Myself

Wei Ming officially joined the long distance club in 2005 when he participated in his first 100 km race.  It was something he says he didn’t expect after first running a marathon.  “I ran more than 4 hours.  I didn’t expect it would be so hard.  I didn’t realize that pacing was so important for a marathon.” He felt he did not do well.

“I enjoy now the slow pace of ultramarathons.  I enjoy the slowness and being relaxed.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Wei Ming’s strategy he says is to limit his daily distance to 100km.  A number which he feels is his physical limit.  “It makes sense to me to run this way for 3100 miles. I know what my limitations are.”

“For 32 days I ran more than 100 km.  I have never done this before. I was surprised I could do it but at the same time I started missing home and my family so it gave me mixed feelings. I feel sad at the same time.”

“I feel so much wisdom from Sri Chinmoy.  I feel I am transcending myself here. I appreciate the opportunity to be here.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

Wei Ming first ran a Sri Chinmoy marathon team race in 2014. He says he is not a follower but feels he identifies and is inspired by many of the beliefs and philosophy of Sri Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

A few days ago he felt like he was hitting the wall, “but in spite of that I am learning a lot about myself and just how important running is to me.  I really appreciate the opportunity to be here.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Day 36: We Help Each Other

“Every day to some degree it feels like the job is being done for me.  And on the better days it really feels like the job is being done for me.”

“On the not so good days it feels like ……either you can say I need to put in more effort.   But that real effort is like praying more for the receptivity to have faith that the job is being done for me.”

“In one sense physically this is a small world.  We are going around and around a small block in Jamaica Queens.  In one sense its small because you don’t have to worry about all the worldly things you normally have to think about or focusing on.  Your main focus is just to keep going forward.”

“That is small in one way, but at the same time it is completely representative of life on earth.  The circular nature of the race is like the whole universe.   The planets go around the sun.”

Sri Chinmoy Ultra Photo

“Everything about this race is representative of our own life, and of the whole world, and the reality that we all face every day.  The challenges and obstacles as well as the opportunities for us to make progress.  To become more spiritual.  To have more faith in the cosmic flow, in God, and the divinity within ourselves, and to connect more with each other.”

“To really feel the universe inside us and to really feel how we can help each other.”

“I am just one of the people running, but there are so many people making this happen.   There could be hundreds if not thousands of people making this happen in so many different ways. I am just a small part of it.”

Read the rest of this entry »