24889March 3, Chico Marathon Anniversary
- Mar 2, 2011On March 3, 1979 in a small community outside San Francisco, California, USA, Sri Chinmoy attempted and completed his first official Marathon running race of 26.2 miles, or 42 Km, in 4:31:34. The race was officially called the Bidwell Classic and it was held in Chico, California, so we usually refer to it as the Chico Marathon.
Two years later, on March 7, 1979 he ran the same Marathon in Chico in 4:30:21, after having run nine more marathons since the first Chico Marathon. Guru had trained seriously for all of them at a time when he was also playing a lot of tennis, giving concerts, painting, writing, traveling and offering regular meditations, functions, etc.
Although our own lives may seem too busy to train for a marathon, I am sure most of us can use the exercise, even if we have to walk during our training and racing. Guru did everything just to inspire us, to motivate us to aspire on all levels in our lives. For anyone who is aspiring in a running way, this occasion is a great opportunity to get your physical discipline started for the New Year.
That is why every year in New York and other Centres around the world who are inspired to, we hold an event to celebrated Guru's great marathon running beginnings and achievements. This Saturday, March 5, we will have a marathon in New York to celebrate Guru's first Marathon in Chico and his great marathon achievements.
We have had special shirts made up for the occasion as we have been doing for the past few years as well. They are quite beautiful and inspiring and I know some visitors will want some when they come in April. Let me know if you or anyone wants a special Chico Marathon Anniversary T-shirt or long sleeve and I will reserve some.
There may be only a handful of runners who will run the whole distance alone, but there will be many more who would like to participate by running part of the distance. They will be members of a relay team to combine their miles to add up to at least 26.2 miles for each team. Unofficially so far we have the Annam Brahma Team, the Oneness-Fountain Heart Team, the Pulak's House Team, and Paree's Group Team.
This is always an exciting way to start the upcoming spring weather, especially because our winter here was quite brutal in January. Now we can remember and feel the aspiration and joy of exercise and training as our Guru did throughout the winter so he can run races as the weather warmed up.
We will also have special Prasad for the Anniversary as we usually do to remember this event. I am sure other Centres will be celebrating in their own way as well. Please let us know what you plan to do or what you do after the fact as well. Here are a couple of Guru's Marathon poems to inspire us:
"I am running a marathon,
Self-pity, self-doubt, all gone.
The golden Goal is beckoning me.
I am now ecstasy-flood-sea."
"Twenty-six miles I am running,
Smiling, dancing, no crying.
I am a marathon runner:
This one is printed on the back of our T-shirts this year.
So good luck to all those who wish to attempt to run the whole distance. For most people who cannot or will not run a marathon there are many ways to join in the oneness-joy of Guru's achievement, including running or walking part of the marathon with others.
Happy Chico Marathon 32nd Anniversary,