The 27th Zurich Lake Marathon Swim 2014

40 solo swimmers and 21 teams from all over the world started early in the morning in Rapperswil with the goal to reach Zurich within 12 hours by swimming nonstop on the Lake Zurich. In the beginning the sky was cloudy, but around noon the sun came to the fore and the air temperature climbed up to 27°C. Around Meilen the lake was choppy, the water temperature was ca. 21- 22° C. First to reach Zurich was Marco Allegretti from Italy in 6 h 19 m 41s. He beat the record of Jürg Schmid (CH) in the cate- gory “Men without wetsuit” from 2008. Fastest in the women’s category was Rachael Lee from Ireland with 7h 02m 15s. In the category “Relays with wetsuit” the team “Young, fast and furious” from Switzerland placed first in 6h 59m 11s. “Young and fast” the three girls are indeed, being only 12, 13 and 14 years of age! This is the short online summary; the full version is available on DVD.


26th Swim Marathon on the Lake of Zurich

In August 2013 the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team organized its 26th International Self-Transcendence Marathon Swim on the Lake of Zurich. Enjoy the highlights of one of the most treasured swimming competitions, for which the participants have to wait years to be accepted (Video by Kedar Misani). A longer version is available as a DVD.

50 solo-swimmers and 24 relay teams from all over the world started early in the morning in Rapperswil with the goal to reach Zurich within 12 hours by swimming nonstop. In the beginning the sky was a bit cloudy but soon the sun came to the fore and the air temperature climbed up to 28° (82° F) with a water temperature of 24-25,5° (73-78° F). At around 11 am a heavy storm front appeared to hit the Lake of Zurich but miraculously it passed by very sharply. First to reach Zu- rich was Oliver Wilkinson (GB) in 6:56:36 h. The fastest team was „SC Thalwil“ (CH) in 7:09:50 h. There were two re- cords in the Masters’ categories (over 40 years): Patti Bauernfeind (US) placed first in the the women’s category “Mas- ters without wetsuit” in 7:53:34 h. The second record was set by Friderike Wachs (DE) with 8:14:22 h in the women’s cate- gory „Masters with wetsuit“.

LIFE Voices 35: Prachar Stegemann – A deeper Sense of Peace

In this episode of LIFE Voices, Prachar Stegeman from Canberra, Australia shares his thoughts on spirituality, music and meditation. Prachar is a meditation student of Sri Chinmoy and helps to organise a range of sporting events in Australia and the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run. The episode is entitled ‘A Deeper Sense of Peace’ and Prachar explains how he became interested in meditation to help his work as a concert pianist. Prachar also talks about how studying meditation under Sri Chinmoy opened up a whole range of new possibilities from singing to sport. Length: 18:34 min. Produced by Kedar Misani, kedarvideo Switzerland.

“Inspiration News” back on track!

Some years ago disciples of Sri Chinmoy published a regular news report with inspiring stories from around the world. After a break the series starts again with a great new episode, produced by UItpal Marshall. Have a look and learn more about the German Channel Swimmer Vasanti Niemz, a Self-Transcendence Race in Moscow, a visit to an orphenage in Vietnam and glimpses from the World Harmony Run in Cardiff, England, where also one of Sri Chinmoy’s life-size statues recently has been inaugurated.

Sri Chinmoy to be honored in California

As posted on the Blog “The Daily News of Open Water Swimming” yesterday, “Sri Chinmoy will be honored on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California at the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on September 22nd, 2012. The Honour Administrator, whose given name was Chinmoy Kumar Ghose, passed away in 2007 and was an Indian spiritual teacher, poet, artist and athlete. He inspired many in the endurance world and is the namesake of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team that holds many athletic events worldwide including the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. He founded the Sri Chinmoy Centre and was uniquely prolific in his work. Over the course of his life, he wrote 1,500 books, 115,000 poems and 20,000 songs, created 200,000 paintings and gave nearly 800 free peace concerts around the world. He advocated self-transcendence by expanding one’s consciousness to conquer the mind’s perceived limitations. In the spirit of self‑transcendence, his students have completed extraordinary feats of endurance. Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team have swum the English Channel over forty times and are an integral part of the renowned and always popular International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen. His legacy will be recognized at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference and honored the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame dinner on the RMS Queen Mary on September 22nd in Long Beach, California.

German endurance athlete and member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team Vasanti Niemz will accept his awarded honor on his behalf. As a two-time English Channel swimmer (in 1985 and 2010), Niemz says, “In the spirit of self-transcendence that Sri Chinmoy incorporated himself and a member of his team, it is my pleasure to tell a little of how things developed and about the history of the International Self-Transcendence Marathon-Schwimmen in Lake Zürich.” To learn more and register for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies and the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit here.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source

See also Vasanti’s interview on Meditation and Swimming on vimeo.

Vasanti Niemz on Swimming and Self-Transcendence

In 1985 Vasanti Niemz became the first member of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team to cross the English Channel. 25 years later, at age 53 she swam the Channel a second time, as part of a personal ultra-triathlon Dover-Calais-Aachen. And she has new plans for the future.  In this interview conducted at the Seashore in Nha Trang, Vietnam, Vasanti reveals how meditation is a major part in her training and adventures.

Ocean Monk – A modern meditation feature film

For once this is not a quiet meditation video but a dynamic and modern film that demonstrates the power of meditation in combination with the joy of surfing. Ocean Monk chronicles the inner and outer search of a group of monks who make their home in New York City. Students of the late Indian teacher, Sri Chinmoy who lived in Queens for over 40 years, this band of friends discovered the beauty and power of the nearby surfing beaches and incorporated their love for the ocean into their search for enlightenment. Ocean Monk explores the ideals which drive their life as well as the pounding winter surf which sustains them. Ocean Monk has been selected to premiere at the 2010 New York Surf Film Festival ( It will also appear at the Big Apple Film Festival in NYC and the St. Louis International Film Festival. This is a trailer. More info: Ocean Monk is produced by Sanjay Rawal who meditates himself since many years under the guidance of Sri Chinmoy.

Successful English Channel Relay Swim

The route of the Channel swimmers

As an international team members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team swam the English Channel from Dover to Calias in 13 hours and 41 minutes at the 21st of September 2010. Team members were: Viharin (Czech Repulic, Prague), Harkara (Germany, Augsburg), Angikar (Serbia, Nis), Jatansheel (Germany, Heidelberg), Mahakulina (Slowenia, Ljubljana) and selfless helper Vlado (Czech Repulic, Prague). We had optimal conditions for our channel crossing. The sun was shining and the airtemperature was between 17°C and 20°C. The water was calm and 17°C “warm”. There was almost no wind, we just had a strong current, because we started at the end of the nide-tide. You cannot get better conditions, so the crossing became a relaxed boat-journey with powerful swim-sessions. In a relay everyone swims for one hour and then has a 4 hour brake. After the brake you swim again for one hour. Therefore you could give really 100% in the swimming session. We started at 6:58 o’clock and the day greeted us with a wonderful sunrise. The order of our relay was from the fastest to the slowest swimmer: Mahakulina, Viharin, Jatnasheel, Harkara, Angikar. We felt great and no one got seasick, except our selfless helper Vlado. Even being a little seasick, he was still helping. After 10 hours the boat-pilot said: if we do not speed up, then we will miss the goal Cap Gris-Nez and have to swim at least 5 hours more. It was Mahakulina’s turn and everyone was pushing hard. We could see the french coast already, but the strong current takes you away, parallel to the coast. For about 20 minutes three dolphins accompanied us. That was a nice experience! Jatnasheel swam already in the dawn and when it became my turn, it was pitch dark. The swimmer gets a light attached to his bathcap and bathtrouser, so that the boat-pilot can still see the swimmer. It was a great honor for me to be the final swimmer. Close to the goal the boat stops, because it cannot drive to the shore. Angikar joined me and we swam together to the cliffs of Cap Gris-Nez. My muscles where burning and it was hard to catch up with the rested Angikar. Shortly before the cliffs you can already see the rocks underwater. Only a few more meters, my arms felt like heavy stones, because I was sprinting before. Then I felt the rocks underneath my feed and climbed up. The rocks where very sharp, because of all the shells attached to the rocks, but luckily I got only a few small scratches. We did it! Everyone was happy. – Harkara

Self-Transcendence on Lake Zurich

On August 8th 2010 the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team organized the 23rd Self – Transcendence Marathon Swim on Lake Zurich. A challenging weather from sunshine to thunderstorm surrounded this most popular swimming competition in Switzerland. Overall winner was Norbert Wild, Germany, in the Neopren category with a time of 6:34:07 h, fastest woman was Julie Ann Galloway, USA, now living in Dublin, with a time of 6:35:41 h. Enjoy the great atmosphere in this very special ultra sports event! More info, photos and the full result list you will find here:

78 year old Nun is Triathlon Champion

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I had the privilege to meet and interview an extraordinary woman in New York. Sister Madonna is a 78 old catholic nun from Spokane, Washington, who was not only dedicating her life to her religious life but also made history in the running scene. At 52 she ran her first race, soon after she completed a marathon in less than 3 1/2 hours. Since then she has participated in 20 Hawaiian Ironman races and 300 Triathlons throughout the world. At 78 she is by far the fastest in her age category. The whole interview lasted for almost one hour and it was amazing and fascinating to hear her stories and learn about her experiences. This is the full version (41:45 min) of the interview I made for the LIFE Voices series. The shorter 13-minute version with various illustration you can find here: