- There have been lots of postings about this year's Self-
Transcendence Marathon on August 25th. For those who'd like to re-
live the great day, there are many photos now in the gallery:
I'm fascinated to read the stories posted by the faster runners - my
mind boggles because I am an "enthusiastic slow plodder". It always
thrills me to see the fast runners flying by, and astonishes me that
they are long finished while I still have many miles to go.
This year's marathon was not my best time (5:33) but it was
absolutely my best ever marathon experience (my 7th). I hadn't
managed to train much this year, but because I love this marathon so
much I decided to do it anyway using a run/walk system of 8 minutes
running/2 minutes walking.
For the first couple of miles my mind was repeating some kind of
mantra telling me how crazy this attempt was and generally trying to
make me feel miserable. However, on the second lap I saw Sri
Chinmoy - he was driving the beside the course in the reverse
direction, meditating on all the runners as they went by. This
cheered me up immensely and gave me a feeling of confidence and
assurance. I stopped thinking about the distance ahead and applied
myself to only the next mile and to keeping cheerful.
As the miles ticked by my joy increased, and going at a slower pace
meant that I was really able to observe the increadible beauty of
the lake, with its birdlife and wildflowers. My mind finally
surrendered and accepted the simple role of just dealing with the
stopwatch and remembering when to drink, leaving my heart free to
run and smile. I was having such a beautiful inner experience that
I was almost (note that I say "almost"!) sorry to arrive at the last
lap and finally cross the finish line.
I'm so grateful to Sri Chinmoy for initiating this special marathon,
not just for the great race-day experience, but also for the joy and
inspiration so many of us get during the year while we are preparing
and training. My lack of training this year, due to injury and
illness, really underlined for me by its abscence what a
transformative experience this annual marathon has had on my life.