April 18 Six & Ten Day Race …..New Goals

The first 24 hours have passed

The night has been cold and windy but dry

Alex and friend Samus

Zoey has 60 miles

Volodymyr has 72 miles and is about to soak his feet

Vasuprada has 57

A 360 view of the race today

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April 17 Start of 10 Day Race 2018…The Inner Journey

The course has mostly dried out since yesterday and in the morning the 10 day runners are signing in

Yuri will be running

Getting the banner up

Alex from Fort Worth

tents are mostly up


Petra is not running for 4 more days

Sergey and friend

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Day Before 10 Day Race 2018

Under some very challenging circumstances.  George and Erlinda Biondic set up their tent in Flushing Meadow the day before the start of the 10 Day Race

Overnight and into the morning hours rains were heavy

But Bipin is confident the course will drain by morning

Construction continues

The dugouts are the last of the major building

Once the frame is up a tarp is put over

By noon the sky was clearing

Don Winkley runs tomorrow

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6 & 10 Day Race Set Up April 15

There are still 2 days before the start of the 10 day race

Bipin and his crew have been working hard now for the past few days getting everything set up

There are many helpers like Dan who have helped with the setup many times

The kitchen at least has a roof

Race director Rupantar

Tents are going up


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April 27….Finish (Always Something New)

Bugjargal won the 10 day race today with 739 miles.  He placed with the second place finisher Igor, who completed 713 miles at the finish line.

Jesper came in 3rd with 627 miles.  He says he trained very hard for this race, but unlike many other times he has run he suffered from many ailments.  All of which in their unique way contributed to a powerful and positive experience.

Nataliya won the Women’s 10 Day with 578 miles

Click below to play Budjergal Interview

Vinati was 2nd with 569 miles

Kim was 3rd with 525 miles

Ashprihanal won the 6 day with 441 miles and John Geesler was 2nd with 425 miles

Nearly there

Susan Marshall won the 6 day women with 408 miles

Her goal had been to complete 400 miles.  She celebrated at the time briefly with her helper Hridayinee

Kim Allan was 2nd with 364 miles.   Shirley had 162 miles

Winners all

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April 26….Day 10 (Each Man Is A Miracle of Miracles)

“I guess I am happy.”  One can’t blame Ashirvad if he is a little uncertain of his feelings.  This is his first 6 day race and over the course of the past 5 days he has run 212 miles.

“It is a great opportunity to be here.  Everything is perfect.”  When asked what got him to come out and run this year.   “I have a lot of friends who are good runners, not like me, and they somehow encouraged me.  I never even thought about doing it till some time last year.” In earlier years he came many times to help with computer technical support.

“What happens here is magical somehow.  There is an energy, there is a feeling that goes through everything.”  Ashirvad says this energy permeates not just the other runners but also the course and as well all those who help or even come by to support the race.

“I have started to take notice and realize every place along the course.  There is a certain identity.”  Nothing goes unnoticed from the puddles to the trash cans to the trees.  “Each becomes an element that makes the course so unique.”

He says all the experiences both high and low force you to live in the moment.  “It keeps you focused on right here right now.”

“I am surprised that my mind did not go off or start to get bored because there is always something new.  It is either the pain or an experience that you have, or the weather. All those things are changing all the time.  It forces you to be in the moment.”

“I am of course happy.  The last day is the happiest day of the entire race.”

Andrei says that he thinks about the race quite often at home and has deep feelings about it.  “I get inspiration when I think about it.”

He says while the race goes on he sometimes feels pressure and even that I don’t like it.  “But after awhile when I recover and feel better.  Now everything is okay.”

“From the 2n or 3rd day I feel as though I have changed my mind a little bit.  My problems I felt like they disappeared, or became no so important.  After this I felt peace was coming into me, into my mind.  No problems bothered me.”

“Its been an amazing experience.”  Ashadeep is running her very first 6 day race.

“There have definitely been highs and lows.  But everything has been a miracle.  The race has totally blown my mind in every way.”

She says she is surprised what the body can accomplish when grace descends.

“I tried my best not to have any expectations.  I did want to make the 150 miles over the first 3 days.  I knew that was Sri Chinmoy’s original cutoff.  “I was very happy that I completed that.  For the next 3 days I was just happy that I could continue.  Ashadeep has 241 miles for 5 days.

She says that she will be both a little happy and a little sad when tomorrow she is completing her last lap of the race.  “Definitely it is very magical out here.  There is a very strong force.”

The furthest she has ever raced is the 47 mile race.  When asked why the big jump to this race, “just my heart.”

“I have been to this race many times to help count.  I have always felt a pull towards it.  “It took me 4 years to get ready and to actually do it.”

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April 25….Day 9 (Going to the Source)

Mark Dorion is telling me a story from the night before.  Andrei Somov had asked him deep into the night what he got out of running the race.

“I have had very many highs and very many lows this past week.  I am trying to be steady but that is just how life sometimes confronts you.”

Mark feels that finding that balance is something every person has to confront in their own lives when face with adversity and challenge.  “There are days when nothing seems to be going your way and then you forget sometimes just how many days when things do go your own way.”

He also feels of course that ultra races are like climbing great mountains.  “It is never the same mountain twice in any way.  Not the people, not the physical feelings and not the spiritual feelings.  There is always something new.”

“I like to challenge myself.”  Ronnie Wong has had a lifetime of challenge as ultra distance runner.  At age 70 he has come back to the 6 day trying to set an age group record.  After 4 days he has 182 miles.

Ronnie says he had a surgery just this past October.  “For 6 weeks I could not run at all.”

“After my operation I wanted to see if I could run this kind of distance.  I am not completely recovered yet.”

“Right now I don’t have any pain.  This rain is okay.  I seem to work better when there it is a little wet.”  It has been 9 years since Vedisha has been here at the race.  The hard part for her she says, “is to push through your boundaries in order to reach your goals.”

“Years are flying but something happened a year ago.”  Vedisha says that she had an inflamed vein in one of her legs.  “I came out of that experience with Sri Chinmoy’s help.  Since then I just felt I have felt little hints and messages that I should do this race.”

Her message she says, “was let’s try this again.  I really didn’t want to believe it because my problem was with my leg.  So I said okay.  Let’s try. Because of this I had to have 100% faith because logically you would never do something like this after that kind of surgery.”

“It was really painful and in August I could hardly walk.  But miraculously I came out of that.  I think doing the race for me is a kind of a tribute to Sri Chinmoy and my way of saying thank you.”

As for the race so far she says you learn more from silence.  “Inside silence, and you also observe your surroundings more as well as the inner world.  Maybe it is my hallucination or imagination but being here is a very nice opportunity to observe these things that you would never do in your day to day ordinary life.”

“Now I have the time and the surroundings are provided.


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April 24….Day 8 (Keep Moving)

“If I stop for too long my feet hurt.” I joke that means she needs to keep moving for the next 3 days.

Kim Allan has been leading the women’s 6 day race from the start.  “It is a good thing it means you can’t muck around.  At the end of 72 hours she has 220 miles a number that puts her at 3rd place overall.

“It has been tough.  The road is undulating.  It is a tough course.”

“When things go wrong it kind of escalates.  In shorter races you can think it will be over at 100km.  But when things go wrong you think, o my gosh, I still have 4 days.”

Her longest event prior to this was to run for 86 hours where I did 500km but it wasn’t a race.  Kim tells me that she is familiar with other Sri Chinmoy Marathon team events from her home in New Zealand.  “I did the 24 hour race in Auckland and it is awesome.  It is a really enjoyable experience apart from the pain.”

“I am happy I am still going.  I had stomach issues that first night at 1 in the morning.” After which she had blisters and realized things weren’t going according to her plan.  “The thought of sticking it out for 6 days seemed enormous.  I guess I am proud that I am still here.”

Kim feels that at this point in the race it is her mental strength that she is relying on most.  “I am not doing a lot of running.  I have managed to maintain my miles by staying awake.  I have had 2 hours and 30 minutes sleep since the start of the race.”

“I just stay up all night knocking the mileage out.”  She has a 17 mile lead over Vikena.  She says that at the beginning she was competing only with herself.  But now, “It is hard when you find yourself in front.  You kind of want to hold it.  You get competitive.”

She says that Vikena is running really strongly.  “The only way I have managed to keep my place is that when she is sleeping I just keep going.  Every lap I do she still has to pull that one back.  She is a lovely lady.  I don’t want to be competitive with her.”

Her feeling about the race thus far, “It is wonderful.”

“I feel very fortunate to be here.  Every time I come here after finishing, it makes me more mature.  The race gives me a better understanding of life.”

“I take this race like I do life.  Many times in life we feel ourselves in difficult conditions.  Here the same thing happens.  Sometimes it is cold, sometimes it is windy and because of that you feel low.  The answer you find is to keep moving on.”

“Nothing else do you need to do, just keep moving on.  2 days I go I was in a real bad patch.  My feet were sore.  I used the mantra, Keep moving on, and now I am doing good.  I am still on my 50 miles a day pace.”

“Personally I take this race as an opportunity to inspire the citizens of my country, India.”

*translation by Stutisheel*

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Day 7 (Late Night)

Still moving

Nipura in kitchen

food all night long


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April 23….Day 7 (Stay Inside Your Heart)

“I like to challenge myself.”

This is the 4th time Budjargal Byambaa has come to the race and so far he has run spectacularly and consistently over the past 6 days. He has 456 miles and leads the 10 day field by 21 miles.  When I ask him why he is running so much better this year he says, “I made sure that I trained better back in my home in Mongolia.”

* translation courtesy of Ariuka*

“In previous years my training was split between Canada, U.S., and China.  This time what worked out well was I trained in my country Mongolia.  The climate there is very friendly, and good for challenging yourself. ”

He adds that his goal is both to run well with big miles and win the race.  As to what he has learned, “Your heart power is much stronger than your mind power.  If you stay in the heart, you can forget all about your pains.”

“It has been dark for 2 days and now that it is sunny people are starting to feel happy.” Gundega has done the race 5 times and this is the 2nd time she has been in the 10 day.  After 6 days she has 327 miles and is in 4th place.

The difference between the 10 and 6 is that the 10 is a longer experience.  As for her miles she says, “when I started I think I cared but then after 4 days I had an interesting inner experience.  I wasn’t caring about the right thing.”   She realized that more important than her mileage was being in a good consciousness.”

When that happened she immediately felt her stress and worries vanish.  “I am so happy.”

I ask her how it is possible to be in a good consciousness when the race is so difficult.  “You can walk, you listen to music, You can imagine you are a small child.  You can do many many things.”

Gundega says every race she is shown something new.  “You always learn something about yourself.  It is really really important.  It is progress.”

“I spent all of last year preparing for the race.”  Injured, she could not run the 6 day last year.  How she got interested she says, “it started 4 years ago when I came to help at the 3100 mile race.  It gave me the inspiration to start training for this event.”

“The energy at these races is so amazing.  I didn’t come with any big expectations I just wanted to offer myself and do my best.  This year was going to be a learning experience.”  After 2 days she has 126 miles.

She feels that being happy and joyful and having positive thoughts are really important to the race experience.  “It makes such a difference in how one feels.”

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