Archive for the ‘race interviews’ Category

June 30, Utpal: Extend Your Limits

June 30, 2015
“There are 2 constructions going on at the same time.  It is only for the strong.”
Stutisheel, and all the other runners are going to have endure an extraordinary amount of distraction for the next 2 days.  Construction on the school, with its unique hazards of scaffolding and trucks, was an anticipated feature of this years race.  This morning the other shoe dropped.  Large equipment rolled up the street just after dawn and work men starting tearing up the asphalt.  There will be not even one quiet, dust, or odor free place on the course for the next 2 days.

For a veteran like Stutisheel I am curious if it bothers him, all the commotion.  “It is still shocking, no matter how many times you have did it before.  Of course you can say it extends your limits of everything.  Of accepting, of transcending, of patience, of everything.” “From the outer point of view it is what it is.  I feel though that we (the runners) have enough power to dive deep within, and not be distracted so much.  This is the case when you are really in the heart.  When you are in your own inner world.  Than it is not a distraction.” stutisheel3 Read more

June 29, Utpal: Divine Food

June 29, 2015
“I am making a very special thing.  It is a juice made of carrots and apples.  It is full of vitamins and it is very good for runners.”
Klara says this with such enthusiasm and warmth that I almost think for a moment that I have stepped out of the every day world and entered a sweet, wonderful, new reality.  Like Nirjharini herself, who has crewed the kitchen at the 3100 mile race for 11 years, this little kitchen I just walked into is like nothing most of us have ever seen before. And yes the food is divine.

 It is not the stoves, sinks, and refrigerators that separates it from the from the mundane every day kitchen.  What makes me feel that I have entered some bright portion of heaven, is instead the warmth and love and patience, that permeates the spotless room.  It is a consciousness, for lack of a better word, that also seems to be part and parcel of every single aspect of the race.The 5 girls who make up the core team of cooks work astonishing hours and create dozens of unique individualized portions.  Keeping the runners charged and fulfilled  for all the 18 hours they are on the course.  This all means that there has to be a very strict schedule from 5am and than on until 9:30 pm.  The runners themselves each have such unique needs and restrictions.

cook11 Read more

June 28, Utpal: To Watch Such Dedication

June 28, 2015
Sahishnu becomes animated as he speaks about the heavy rains that swept across the area last night.  He and Sandhani have long had the jobs of watching over the race during the dwindling hours of evening.   At midnight they put the race to bed and will not find their own beds for many hours after.
To demonstrate the force of the rain and wind, he stretches out his arms and than sweeps them forward.  A gesture that conveys the full breadth and depth of the deluge that had to have made the race for much of the late night even more than the challenging experience it already is.

It was estimated that about 3 inches of rain fell in the period leading up to midnight when the race shut down for the day. “It was miserable and still someone like Ashprihanal, Galya, and Atmavir can go over 70 miles.  It just shows you their athletic brilliance at the same time under complete control of the various elements.  It was thrilling to watch.” Jowan2 Read more

June 27, Utpal: Every Day a Miracle

June 27, 2015
“Every day out here is a miracle for me.  I am just going to keep going as far as I can. Hopefully it is enough to finish.  If it is not than every day has been great.”

This morning when I ask Grahak how he feels his first reaction is a very large sigh.  For most of the last week his mileage results have been stellar but the physical concerns that he brought to the block have refused to go away. He says this morning at least he has been experiencing some mental turmoil.  Frustrated that the easy flow of pain free running has not yet made him a consistent friend and companion.

“I have got some real problems.  I am trying to sort each one out, one at a time.” “I have a bit of a sore calf but it is getting better.” Then as if it was an every day occurrence he mentions he had a fever the night before. This morning he took many laps before his noticeable limp went away.  “I am having real problems with a hip injury.  I knew I had it before I came.  It is really playing on my mind a bit.” Quite often Grahak has a unique facial expression.  I ask him about it.  “I guess that is when I focus inwardly.  The more I do it the better.” Photo by Jowan 2007 Read more

June 26, Utpal: Everybody Has a Journey

June 26, 2015
Each of the 12 runners here has their own unique vision of what the race means to them and their own distinct voice in expressing what it is they see and feel and experience here.  Building this vision and this story with each new lap and each new day they run around the course.
Every word or thought that they might share has incredible value and potency.  Already each runner has run close to, or already exceeded 700 miles.

This is the 7th time Baladev has run the 3100 mile race.  This morning he has been singing some of Sri Chinmoy’s songs.  He carries an mp3 player often, “I am listening a lot.  When you sing you need to use more energy.  You need to be in the mood to sing.  But I am listening often during the whole day.”

“Sometimes I am listening to a song and I feel as though it is inside me. You are the song.  When you feel that you are the song, it is amazing.” baladev Read more

June 25, Utpal: Just Go Forward

June 25, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all. “I am good.  A little bit slower this morning. I just go without ever pace I am able to do.  The main thing is to just go forward.” Nirbhasa says this with the same cheerful lightness and enthusiasm that has categorized everything he has said and done for more than 11 days. In that period he has run further in time and longer in distance, than this 35 year old jack of all trades from Ireland has ever done before in his life. He, like all the runners in the 3100 mile race though still have a very very long way yet to go. Last night when he left the course to grab a few hours of sleep he went home on his bicycle with the scoreboard showing 710 miles beside his name.  His previous best of 702 had been accomplished more than a year ago at the 10 day race in Fushing Meadow. Nirbhasa calls pushing beyond his previous marks of 10 days and 702 miles as, “they are nice little milestones along the way.” “The main thing is to stay in the moment.  At this stage it is still quite early.  If you think about what you have left to do.  It is kind of too much.” I mention to Nirbhasa that both he and Kaneenika are venturing into new realms running the 3100 for the first time.  The two of them had run the 10 day race for a few years. “It is a completely different race.  The surface is one thing.  On…

June 24, Upal: Inwardly Happy

June 24, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all. When Kaneenika started running this morning at the 3100 mile race she was taking her first steps into uncharted territory for her. Many times she has run the 10 day race in Flushing Meadow but for her today is the start of day 11.  A new milestone in an exemplary and distinguished career of this 45 year old runner from Bratislava Slovakia. When I approached her to speak this morning I asked if I could run a lap with her.  She laughed, “I have run many laps.” As of this morning she had run around the block 1088 times in the previous 10 days. I first ask a typical and quite possibly a rude question.  Is she happy?  From the vantage point of the sidelines Kaneenika has been radiant every day since she started.  Her face brightened almost always by a gentle clear smile.  I add as well to that question that it has to be hard to be as happy as she appears to be. “It is always like that during these races.” I am curious just how different it must be for her here rather than the one mile loop in Flushing Meadow where she has run for so many Spring races.  “I have been feeling it since day 3……..or maybe from the beginning of the race.  Even though I have had experiences from the shorter races.  This is just so different.” “I never really wanted to do this race before.  Believe it or not.  It just happened last year, that I got…

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