Archive for the ‘race interviews’ Category

June 23, Utpal: We Can Dive Inside

June 23, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all. Last year Vasu set a personal best in this race by breaking his previous record by 1 hour and 15 minutes.  In fact in each of his 3 previous races he transcended himself each time.  For we impatient voyeurs on the sideline, a handful of minutes extracted from 47 plus days of struggle seems almost incomprehensible.  A blink, a mere wisp of time and space, a fragment that our minds can barely hold to, but is still one which we can so easily measure and calculate. To Vasu however, that 75 minutes was pure bliss, something that revealed the eternal.  That absolute act of self transcendence is at the core of why he continues to strive and struggle so hard, each and every time he comes.  That fragment of time for Vasu represents a kind of perfection of transcendence.  One that has inspired him to come again and again.  To seek out a glimpse of heaven in the hardest race on earth. “On the physical plane I am having some problems with my knee.”  Vasu reaches down and points to an area just below his left knee.  His feeling of late is that even though it has been so bothersome that he has had more than 4 days of difficulties he believes the source of the problem is a mental one. “I think this is my mind.” His idea for a cure is a simple one.  For nearly all of us his strategy is easier said than done. “I need to be more in…

June 22, Utpal: My Soul Running

June 22, 2015
“I am having a good time this year, but I still remember the 10 day race.”
Atmavir has had a long and remarkable history running the 3100 mile race.  Starting in 2007 he ran 7 straight years.  His best performance was in 2009 when he ran 45 days and 3 hours.  Last year he decided to take a break.  In order to prepare for this year’s race, he ran the 10 day race in the Spring.

 He had a good performance but in the later part of the race he got sick.  A real wake up call to the whimsical reality of what can happen to expectations and performances in multi day running.  “Everything changes,” he says. “You need to change your approach.”  He knows that one moment you can be doing well and then have a sharp reality check delivered by surprise.“I don’t have real ambitions this year.  Maybe that is why I am doing so well.  I am personally surprised by myself.” As of the start of day 8 he is in 2nd place with 597 miles.  He ran 70 miles yesterday. “I was really happy about yesterday.  It was extremely difficult weather for me.” Over the years heat and humidity have been his staunchest foes.

atmavir-and-tree Read more:

June 21, Utpal: New Things to Transcend

June 21, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all.  “I really would like to come back.” I had just joked with Suprabha that Ashprihanal is going to tie her record of completing the race 13 times.  She laughs as she says this, but her comment is not far from the range of the possible. Suprabha has continually defied our notions of strength and determination.  A wisp of humanity that seems surcharged with boundless energy.  Its source, clearly not linked to her slim petite physique. Yet when you listen to her soft gentle words, as she speaks about her time spent so long upon this road you can begin to sense the origin of her unique and special gift. Suprabha has always dedicated each of her steps, her laps, and her miles to the divinity within.  An inspiration and a source not lost on any of us who have watched and appreciated her running year after.  Clearly  Suprabha has forged a unique connection to some form of higher power for many many years. In those 13 summers she ran the race she completed 40,300 miles circling the block.  When asked what kind of mileage she is putting in now she confesses, “it is really not enough.” Suprabha’s running since she last participated here in 2009 has not been without challenges.  In March she went with some friends to run the Chico half marathon.  The place where her late spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy ran his first marathon. By doing some extra loops they actually ran a full marathon.  “What a beautiful course.  I just loved it….

June 20, Utpal: Go inside Our Hearts

June 20, 2015
“I feel very good and I am very happy.” Yuri is running the 3100 mile race for the 3rd time.  He also has a world class smile.  One, that when it spreads across his face can make even a cloudy day seem brighter.  He has a lot to be happy with right now.  He ran 69 miles yesterday and has a 6 day  total of 431 miles.

Like all those running here for the past 6 days his face has not always worn a bright warm smile or his steps always been light upon the road.  It is the hardest possible thing to run 3100 miles.  But Yuri’s smile, one that just might be the brightest on the block is certainly a big part of his many strengths.  One, that may not guarantee a faster time than last year, when he took second place, but most certainly it will help him through the dark hard patches that inevitably lie in the path of each and every runner here.

After running his first race 2013 he wrote a book about his experiences.  He says that he is considering writing another.  Yuri says, “I believe that running helps us go inside our hearts. This book is about how to be happy.  How we can return to our source.” yuri Read more

June 19, Utpal: O Runner-World’s Pinnacle-Spark

June 19, 2015
We mortals usually try our very best in this vast, complex, challenging, and wonderful world in which we all equally share.  Usually our actions and the brief histories of our lives goes unnoticed and unrecorded by the world at large.  Particularly when placed in comparison to all the colossal global events continually rising up in front of us clamoring for our attention. Within us though we also know that all our efforts, and all our success and failures do not go unobserved or unappreciated in the realm of the spirit.  Our outer circumstances may appear weak and fleeting but within each of us is an eternal world.  One that is silent, still, and vast.  A realm of consciousness that is our true home and our only reality. Knowingly or not, we inevitably all try and make our way towards this divinity that is within us.  In so doing we gradually reach out and become one with our own perfection. *Ron Clarke setting 3 mile World Record* Ron-Clarke2 Read more

June 18, Utpal: Being Home

June 18, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all. Stutisheel and his wife spent much of last winter living in Florida. A Place that was ideal for training for this years race. This will be 11th time he will spend his summer here in New York.  A place, that in reality he has not seen that much of.  Considering all the days, weeks, and months he has visited. What he is all too familiar with, and in fact has a great affection for, is this one block in Queens.  Just a tiny fragment of the great city that surrounds it. But still one he is lovingly devoted to for 18 hours each day. He came 2 weeks prior to the start of the 3100 mile race however and got a very good introduction to some of the less pleasant aspects of big city life.  He spared me details but I could well imagine a myriad of unpleasant potential possibilities. However all this dramatically changed last Sunday.  “When the race started I immediately felt back home.  It was such a nice feeling……..and still is.(day5) So I am really enjoying being at home.” “It is my feeling that this race puts you back in your heart. Back to your source you can say.  To be what is natural for your to be.  So if you follow the current it is a pretty amazing journey.” Stutisheel believes that the experience he has here running can be found no where else.  “But to have something similar, or in the same category.  I believe any ultra event.  Or something…

June 17, Utpal: Patience is the key

June 17, 2015

Archived – click Post Title to view all. “The first day I was happy and the 2nd day was really tough.  It was one of the hardest days I have ever had out here.” Grahak ran 51 miles that day Grahak Cunningham first ran the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile race 8 years ago in 2007. Remarkably he returned the following 2 years and improved his performance each time.  Putting a clear and visible face on the sometimes subtle experience of self transcendence. For all the usual kind of reasons that life often throws at us, he missed the race the folowing 2 years.  In 2012 however he came back and had an amazing performance.  He not only won the race but in the process also set the 4th fastest time in the history of the race.  Grahak completed the race in 43 days, 10 hours. That all took place 3 years ago.  A long time when considering that race conditioning does not have an unlimited shelf life. Of his 2nd day on the course he says, “I ran from 6 until 10:30am. Then that was it.  I had to walk for the rest of the day.  I had no energy.  It was really tough.  It took so long to do a lap.  I was struggling.” “Then yesterday I didn’t do that many miles but I had energy and I was really happy.” (63 miles) Grahak is not certain why he had the difficulties that he had.  His day 2 experience reminded him of the struggle he went through in his first year at the…

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