In his inspiring Blog Perfection Journey New York based disciple, long-time lover of the ultra sports scene and being a brilliant journalist and writer, Utpal Marshall tells us the story of the 47-mile Run, created in 1977 by spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy (see picture left) who offered all a totally surprising and unprecedented invitation back then. “Starting at midnight, on August 27th, when his 47th birthday was to begin we were all invited to run in a 47 mile race. Many years have passed since we all heard this news. It is a distance now that is minuscule when compared to the thousands of miles that are now run regularly in many of the marathon teams scheduled events. At the time however it was such a formidable number that even the young, trained, and very fit runners could not really comprehend how it could be done. To make it even more interesting it was to be run on a course that started on the gritty cinder track of Jamaica high school in the suburbs of New York City and then meander around the outer block with its bumpy sidewalks, sharp turns, and the formidable Margaret Tietz hill. It was an unbelievable challenge and most had no idea what to expect. It was after all almost twice as far as a marathon. It was hard to even imagine if we could make it to the track for that last victory lap and still be able to grab the flag and make it through to the finish.
It is late and the final moments of day are swiftly passing. Midnight looms ever closer with its own special thrill and excitement. The first thing most notice, despite the lateness of the hour is that no one is sleepy, no one is tired, the expectation and wonder of it all is fast approaching. Even if one cannot manage to run 47 miles the race requires the help of many. Over the night the counters will be replaced by a second crew. Remarkably there are many runners here who also ran the marathon just 2 days ago. Teekhnata ran a 3:56 marathon. For many this will be the first time they have run this distance. 19 year old Antara-Prarabhat remarkably ran his first marathon 2 days ago in 4:25. Now he will run his first 47. Vilupti recently had her 47th birthday. She could think of nothing better to honor her Guru than to run the race for her first time. 30 Years ago tonight Virendra set the record of 5:09 that has never been equaled. Others like Dipali (see picture right) have a winning streak that goes back to 1983. Tonight is also her 52nd birthday. Much more, including dozens of pictures and audio interview you can find directly on Utpal’s Blog Perfection-Journey.