Re: Big day: ultra-race awards, concert
Thank you for the wonderful message about the ultra-trio awards. When
I read it, I could really picture myself there at Aspiration-Ground,
watching it all unfold with my own eyes. It wasn't so long ago that I
got to sit down on the court on a big chair, for the 3100-mile race
awards ceremony! It definitely gives me inspiration to start training
for next year's race...or at least to start thinking about training!
--- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, nayak_ltp
> Today we had a double-header event at the Aspiration-Ground Tennis
> Court. First came the award ceremony for the ultra trio, the 1300-
> mile and 1000 and 700-mile races. Sri Chinmoy arrived early for the
> 3 p.m. ceremony, and the runners filtered in until the place was full
> at 3 p.m. The runners were like glorious but wounded soldiers, some
> barely walking. You could see the victory of the race in their
> bodies, and almost every one of them was pleasant and smiling. One
> commented to me that it was like a different world, being finished
> with the race and back at the tennis court with Sri Chinmoy.
> Sahishnu did a terrific job of introducing the ceremony. You felt in
> his voice his love of this event and all the hard work that went
> through the hands and hearts of the support staff to bring it off. He
> had a nice touch of humor that just added to the dignity of the
> moment. Then, one by one, the runners were introduced, all 20 of
> them, including Don Winkley who was not present but had broken some
> world records in his stay at the course but who had left before the
> full term of the run. The man and woman winners of each event
> received their trophy from the hands of Sri Chinmoy--surely an honor--
> and every other runner individually received a warm smile of
> appreciation from him, as well.
> The runners were celebrities for this ceremony. After days of quite
> anonymous running (who can witness all of the steps, all of the
> miles, who can feel it in the intimate way that the runners
> themselves feel it--that is why I say "anonymous"), after all of this
> running, the runners were the center of attention, sitting down on
> the court on big chairs with Sri Chinmoy in front of them and
> hundreds of appreciative supporters in the audience.
> Each runner has to be appreciated fully and each of the core support
> team was very self-sacrificing. Without saying that anyone at all is
> better than anyone, I do wish to say that some individuals stood out
> for me. Paula from Austria, who won the 1000-miler for the women,
> was a heart melter as she received her award. You could feel her
> simplicity and her gratitude as she gazed at Sri Chinmoy and wore her
> victory garland on her dear head. Chanakhya, a real veteran of the
> ultra-runs, and one of the most likable people on earth, received
> enormous applause as he took his award. Chanakhya is so into running
> and so involved with it that hardly a runner has not felt a good push
> from him. Rupantar got a nice shower of applause as he took his
> prasad. This self-effacing individual always does what is needed,
> without blowing his trumpet, and he is the director of this
> enormously complicated event. And, I mentioned Sahishnu above.
> After the award ceremony, Sri Chinmoy presented a birthday present to
> ultra-runner Trishul Cherns' wife. Trishul and his wife are familiar
> figures participating in and supporting local ultra-running.
> After a break of about 15 minutes, Sri Chinmoy offered a concert, as
> he does most months on the 27th. Today is the 20th anniversary of his
> cello playing, as Lotika pointed out in a companion message at this
> site. While he announced that he will observe the cello anniversary
> on this Friday, he played on several other instruments, including
> esraj, Western flute, sitar, Hawaiian guitar, and a unique instrument
> prepared by Dhanu: the great musician Sri Chinmoy wore a pair of
> gloves, and each time he tapped his fingers or slapped his hands,
> there was a chorus (or single note) of percussion sounds, including,
> successively, drum, cymbal, and others. Very nice! In voting after
> the concert, I voted for that instrument as my favorite, though the
> esraj won, as people responded to the Maestro's request that we pass
> by him and vote for our favorite.
> At the end of the concert there was a lavish prasad of 20 items (for
> the 20th cello anniversary), including an Indian alu pie handed by
> the Master, and still warm, and delicious, and then the balance of
> the giant prasad was taken from in front of him. It was a wonderful
> afternoon and evening, and four hours with our hero teacher was
> enough to put everyone, even the worst pessimist, in a great mood.
> Thanks to all of you who post such interesting things about our path
> at this site.
> To see photos of the final day at the race, go to