Archive for the ‘race interviews’ Category

Day 16…Always Newness (July 3, Utpal)

July 3, 2017

Archived – click Post Title to view all. Sergey has been one of the bright surprises of this years 3100 mile race.  He has not had a lot of experience in multi day running only having competed in 4 multi day races in the past 5 years.  His personal best of 627 miles in the 2016 10 day race hinted at the potential but over the past 15 days his performance here has blossomed.   5 days ago he comfortably ran past that mark of 627 miles and as of this morning, as he starts day 16 he has 911 miles completed.  Every new step taking him further and further into personal self transcendence.  When we met this morning I joked with him.  I asked if he had at last got the hang of the race yet or did he need a few more weeks.   “A lot has happened but it has not become any easier.” “Every day new surprises and new experiences, and new tests.  Because of that the race is becoming more and more interesting to me.  You don’t know what to expect.  Always newness.  It forces you to be in good condition, good spirit, and good form.” “Every day you have to solve new problems, on a physical level, on a mental level, and on a psychic level. But it is good that this race has with it many experienced runners.  Who have already overcome this arduous challenge, and they are giving me lots of support.” “They very gladly and easily share their experience and help me in my hardest…

Day 15. This is Paradise (July 2, Utpal)

July 2, 2017

Archived – click Post Title to view all. So many marvels, both grand and small take place at the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race that you could never record them all.  Sometimes it is hard enough to just record the important things, like the laps of course.  Throughout each runners day things happen, that will not only lift them up but in many ways touch and inspire many others. Vasu, who is running for his 6th time is so incredibly exceptional in his unfettered devotion to the race that I often feel inadequate when I speak with him.  He is devoid of any artifice or superficiality.  When he says that running here is like being in Paradise I can only aspire to be able to see the race so purely as he does.  For in his unswerving clarity of vision is something I feel lacking and I suspect that the rest of us could all wish we had even just a little more of, such tireless dedication to the divine within. This morning he tells me a little story about seeing a small boy getting his shoelace wrapped up in his bicycle and thus forcing him to fall over.  Without hesitation he checked on the child, released the lace, and got him on his way.  Only latter on the far side of the course was Vasu approached by the boys Father, who promptly thanked him. Who knows how much that brief act of kindness ate into his mileage for the day.  It did not matter to Vasu.  Nor does it matter when…

Day 14. Higher Part of Yourself (July 1, Utpal)

July 1, 2017

Archived – click Post Title to view all. I met Harita this morning at the corner of 168th st. as she came up the service road towards me.  I often run along this route during the year and am hardly aware at all that it is anything more than a slight incline.  But to Harita, who has now circled this same corner 1270 times now in the past 13 days it is a hill. When you lay on the sidewalk, as I have done taking pictures, you can see it unmistakably.  It helps me to get a better understanding,  that all the little details of the course get observed by the runners in ways that we can never fully grasp or understand. For the last 2 days now Harita has been running 111 laps each day which is just about 61 miles.  “I kind of realized the first few days of the race that if I want to do the necessary miles each day that I would have to stay really focused.” “I don’t always stay really focused in my regular life.  It is a really good practice for me and a really good opportunity for me.  I can but I often get distracted.  I love people, I love talking to people.  I am interested in a lot of things.” I saw her early speaking on the phone.  “That was actually one of the first times I spoke with people on the phone.  I haven’t really used my phone much.  I felt, especially for the first couple of weeks that it was…

Day 13…A Oneness-Family (June 30)

June 30, 2017

As Smarana heads into his 13th day on the course I ask him if he has had to once again change plans.  I quiz him whether he is moved on from his first plan and started to skip through the various letters of the alphabet.  He has been going through some major blister issues over the past few days. “Well plan A always has to be elastic.  Otherwise it is going to be tough here. If you stick to preconceived concepts” “I would really like to speak about the oneness aspect of the race.  Due to some technical problems we didn’t get any messages via the Marathon Team website.  At least ones from Austria, I don’t know why. We didn’t get any messages so I just surrendered.  I just let it go.” “Then they started using a different web account and messages started to come.  It made such a difference.” “Sometimes you get lost in details.  The lap becomes very small, your world.  Then you have to broaden your perspective again.  It was so helpful to get the messages.  My helper (Horst) even had tears.  It was a touching thing.” Continue reading 

Day 12. Inner Search (June 29, Utpal)

June 29, 2017

Archived – click Post Title to view all. 2 years ago Nirbhasa ran the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race for the first time.  After 11 days of running he had accumulated 710 miles.  Last year was a break year and once again he is running the longest race in the world.  This time after 11 days he has 725 miles, which in the peculiar trajectory of race statistics, would indicate a very good improvement.   When I ask Nirbhasa if he feels it is going well he says, “I am taking it one day at a time.  I don’t think about the accumulative amount of laps.  But I do remember at this stage of the race last time I started going down hill pretty quickly.” He doesn’t know exactly what happened back then.  The files show that he started going well under 60 mile per day up until about the half way point on Day 26.  “My body just wasn’t used to it.  It started around day 11 or 12.  Before that all I had done was a 10 day race.  So that could have a lot to do with it.” “Maybe now I am just doing better at management with things like sleep.  I am really trying now to look after myself.  To be in bed as soon as possible after this finishes.” Nirbhasa says he learned a lot from his race experience here in 2015.  “But there is still a lot more to discover.  You come back with new goals.  Things that you could have done better outwardly.  Things that you could…

Day 11. Always Better (June 11, Utpal)

June 28, 2017

Archived – click Post Title to view all. “It’s really nice weather so far.”  Kaneenika is wearing a vest this morning. It was a cool clear night.  Now there is a light breeze, the sky is bright, the air is clear it is an almost perfect day to be running for 18 hours around this sacred half mile block in Queens New York. “We have had some rain and it has been mostly quite cool.  Sometimes the weather affects me.  If it is too hot and humid then definitively.”  We all of course know that the scourge of oppressive summer heat will be coming soon enough. This is Kaneenika’s 3rd year in a row of running here and I was curious how she makes up her mind about doing it.  “Until I think, the beginning of February, I was almost 100 percent sure that I wasn’t going to do the race.  Then, I don’t know what happened.  It just happened that I got a really strong feeling that yes, I want to do the race.” “I think it is my soul that compels me to do it.  Otherwise I can’t explain it.  Because I was really ready to skip this year.  I was more than ready and willing not to do it.” I suggest that when she was so successful being able to complete the distance last year that she had more confidence and knowledge of how to do the race this time.  “That is why we are here.  To make it always better.  To go deeper.  To handle situations better.” When asked…

Day 10. The Longest Journey (June 27, Utpal)

June 27, 2017

Archived – click Post Title to view all. He is a sweet enigma.  Ananda-Lahari, in this his 13 straight appearance at the Self-Transcendence 3100 mile race has spent more time, covered more distance, and smiled more soulfully than any of the other runners he now shares the course with. When we think of races we usually think of placing, of crossing of finishing line, and the hopes for some, of being able to declare victory.  Ananda-Lahari, though he is built of all the same moving parts as the rest of humanity is simply designed and constructed within to view this race in a much different way.  Certainly some part of him wants always to complete the distance.  Something that has eluded him 7 of 12 times he has come.  Instead he is drawn to do this impossible act in a way that appears to be detached from the obvious results. He runs as fast he can go, he rarely takes breaks, and stays on the course as late as any of the other runners.  In his absolute devotion to what he does, in his pure and uncomplicated dedication he is satisfied.  Because I believe he sees his spiritual journey as one that is not bound by the sidewalks he circles tirelessly each day.  But instead by the unseen progress he is making within towards a higher goal.  One that has no trophy, no finish line, only his own perfect perfection. When I ask if he thinks of the loops around the course as repetitive, he says, “It doesn’t look like you…

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