Sri Chinmoy 12+24 h Race 2016 in Basel

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At the 28th edition of the Sri Chinmoy 12+24 Hour Race Basel, thanks to the German Championships, we had a new record of participants: 127 runners at the 24 Hour- and 34 runners at the 12 Hour Race. A total of 14 different nations participated.

The 24 Hour Race: Dietmar Korntner from Austria (243.068k) and Maria Jansson (see picture above) from Sweden (242.686k) had an incredibly tight and exciting finale. Maria achieved a new world-best for this year, set a new Swedish record and the sixth best result ever run by a woman in a roadrace, only 4.39k less than the world record of Elisabeth Hawker (GBR). And this was performed in horrible weather conditions with 20 hours of rain, the worst weather we ever had at our race in Basel in the last 28 years. The German Championships were won by Stu Thoms with 237.164k and Antje Krause with 210.505. And the titel of the Swiss Champion went Simon Schmid with 202.576k and Ursula Herger with 188.40k.

The 12 Hour Race: This event started at midnigh with Sigrid Hoffmann (GER) showing a fantastic race. With 122.492k  she was not only the winner overall but she broke the 22 year old German record in the category W50. In the men’s category Marc Garcia from Switzerland won with 116.017k.

Photo by Kedar Misani

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Vajin Armstrong Second in Swiss Alpine Race in Davos

vajin-davos-finishThe Swiss Alpine Marathon took place for the 28th time over the last July weekend in Davos and I was lucky enough to be one of the invited athletes for this years race. This event has a strong New Zealand connection with the winner of the Kepler Challenge travelling over to take part for many years during the ’90′s. Despite it’s name it is actually 78km long and is one of the largest trail ultra’s in the world with up to 1500 starters. The K78, as it is known, is part of a much larger series of races over the weekend that includes a marathon, a 30km race, a half marathon and numerous walking options. Overall more than 6000 people descend on the Swiss alpine town of Davos for the event. I had travelled to this race once before, in 2011, but sadly injury meant I never finished. For me this years race was an opportunity to show what I could do on a course that I felt suited me.

Race day dawned beauitiful and clear with the promise of plenty of heat to come, just how I like it. As usual there was a good field of internationals including 6x previous winner Jonas Budd of Sweden. Jonas, if you have not heard of him before, is very much the man when it comes the K78 but is also well known for multiple podiums at World 100km champs and placing 2nd at this years Comrades. Despite being 78km the race looks and starts like a road marathon, ie no packs or hydration just shorts and singlets. The pace was solid from the start (sub 3.40kms) and it felt awesome to be running with Jonas and Huw Lobb (2.14 marathon and 2nd place at Jungfrau) over the first 35km. When we hit the first real climb which took us up to Bergun, I had to stop for a bathroom break, but then still managed to catch and drop both of them to take the lead. (Marathon split was 2.43 for me)

From there I knew Jonas always closes hard, (he just got 2nd at Comrades with the fastest 2nd half) so I knew the big climb up to the Kerschhutte was the one place I could do some damage. I ended up 6+mins up at the top of the first climb and he admits he was starting to really worry. From there you have 5.5km of pretty rough alpine running up to the Seertig pass at 2700m, this is where Jonas usually starts making his move. He took about 3mins out of me through this section as it was really hard to get the legs moving on the downs after running up for more than 1hr30. On the steep descent from the Sertig pass I was doing alright until I took a massive fall when I was only a couple of hundred metres from being back on some good runnable terrain. Both calves cramped and I think I may have broken some ribs. I got up and luckily I could still run but I was very slow for the next few kms and this is when Jonas came past just after the 15km to go sign. I had no chance to go with him at that point as I was still just trying to get back into some sort of a rhythm.

Still I pushed him more than in any of his other seven victories, and he one of the worlds best. If you had offered me finishing seven mins behind him, before the race, I would have taken it no questions asked. People were freaking out when I got over 6mins on him, they were wondering who is this New Zealander. I was proud to have raced here to the best of my abilities and was extremely grateful to my friends, family and sponsors for helping me to turn my dreams into reality.

Vajin Armstrong, member of the Sri Chinmy Marathon Team

 

“Happiness” in the Amazing Stength Restaurant in Zurich

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“These sweet gems of wisdom by my dear friend Sri Chinmoy
are timeless truths full of encouragement, love and goodness.”
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Since the opening of the new vegan Restaurant AMAZING STRENGTH at the Müllerstrasse in Zurich (not far from the main station) I was fascinated and attracted by the enterprise owned by the Soyana company, a very dynamic production place for organic tofu and related products. It all started with a Vegelateria, the first Swiss ice cream shop serving ice cream with natural and organic ingredients, not using milk products and white sugar, end of of January of this year. In the meantime the next step could be reached in offering 25 seats in the restaurant adjunct to the Vegelateria. And yesterday the third in a series of exhibitions and events opened: color panels with quotes by Sri Chinmoy on happiness.

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A.W. Dänzer at the opening of the “Happiness” Exhibition in Zurich

The book in connection with the exhibition is called “The Jewels of Happiness”. Author, creative artist and renowned peace visionary Sri Chinmoy offers timeless wisdom and simple exercises for readers of all backgrounds. The complete audio book was released on March 12th with a launch on March 19th in New York City. Luminaries from all walks of life reach read a chapter from The Jewels of Happiness – including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Addwitiya Roberta Flack, Narada Michael Walden and Sudhahota Carl Lewis! Perfectly suited to our fast-paced lifestyles, The Jewels of Happiness includes short, insightful sections full of uplifting wisdom, charming aphorisms and easy to learn exercises. Each section stands on its own-with the entire book forming a tapestry of inspiration. “You can have the most joy just by imagining a child infinitely more beautiful than any child that you have seen in this world,” writes Sri Chinmoy. “You have inside you a child who is infinitely more beautiful. Just imagine it. While imagining it, you will get utmost joy.” Each of the 13 chapters in The Jewels of Happiness is on a different theme, such as peace, joy, patience, enthusiasm, sincerity, love, self-giving, humility, compassion, self-trascendence, simplicity and forgiveness.

At the opening of the exhibition there was also a screening of the film “happy” by Roko Belic. The movie takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, the film explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Viewers’ Comments: “Happy is one of those movies that will make you a better person for having seen it! An excellent, thought provoking movie that will grab your attention and your heart. This should be required viewing for everyone… There is a well done piece also about what doesn’t make kid’s happy. A great movie that will warm your heart, stir your soul and hopefully make you think about a practical application in your own life.”

“Important movie for the young. This is a movie where the subject matter is far more important than the quality of the movie itself (which is good). Had I received messages like this when I was young, I am sure I would have made fewer mistakes. Young persons understand that happiness is a life goal but they are often confused among conflicting messages on how to get there. By illustrating those who have achieved happiness as well as those who have not, the movie could potentially be very useful in helping young people make responsible and fulfilling life choices. So hopefully this little movie will be recognized as a motivational tool for the young and used in our classrooms and in other venues where teens might be receptive to its message.”

“Amazing. This film will make you happy! What an amazing feeling I had after watching this film. Film may not be the correct term in describing this passion project of genius, Roko Belic… I think the word experience is apt. Funded and executive produced by comedy directing legend Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Evan Almighty), Mr. Belic takes us around the globe in a search for what it means to be happy…and we find it! It is hard to put into words what he has accomplished in this riveting and eye-opening documentary, but we see and feel that true happiness is pretty easy to attain. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor.” 

The exhibition will be on display at Müllerstrasse 64 in Zurich until October 17th 2013 and is available daily during the opening hour of the restaurant from 11 am to 9 pm from Monday through Saturday. Check it out and don’t forget to taste the “best ice cream of Switzerland” as many say…

25 Years of Ultra Races in Basel

For 25 years the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team has been organizing one of the most popular ultra races, the 12 + 24 Hour Self-Transcendence Races in Basel, Switzerland. This short summary brings you the highlights of these unique sports events that live from the beautiful and soulful atmosphere as well as from the perfection of its organizing team. Enjoy the “*Spirit of Basel”. Length: 7:15 min. – The next edition of the 12 + 24 Hour Race in Basel will be held on May 4/5, 2013, for more information and inscription see the official website.

Sri Chinmoy’s big Concert in Davos

On May 27 of 1987, spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) had a 7-hour Concert & Meditation in the Swiss village Davos where he performed on many musical instruments he never played before: various kind of flutes, different chimes, string instruments, the cello, a contra bass, synthesizers and some unusual instruments like the sound-producing Indonesian wood sticks. In between the musical pieces he meditated in silence. Watch the highlights of this historical event. Length: 1:31 h. Filmed and produced by Kedar Misani, Switzerland

Swiss Girl helps in Thailand

Swiss Joy (19) says: “In a disaster you can do two things. Sit back and watch or get up and do something. Anything. Whatever you can. The first option didn´t really work out for me.. So I flew 9056.6 kilometers to do something. Anything. Whatever I can.” For the next 19 days she is now reporting about her activities in this blog:  http://floodrelief19thailand.tumblr.com/ Here is her first post:

Landing in Suvarnabhumi Airport at 18.24 on November 3rd 2011 you wouldn´t have guessed that 2/3 of Thailand was under water or that the Thai people were facing what has been called “the worst flood in half a century”. In fact the plane was full, the people calm and the atmosphere normal. Normal? I was beginning to wonder what bubble I had landed in. Standing outside waiting to be picked up a large Royal Thai Army truck passed, and I knew I was in the right place afterall. As we took up the tollway through Chaengwatthana, Don Muang and then Rangsit I saw that the media, for once, had not over-dramatized their boradcasts.

Trucks, garbage trucks, huge buses, and cargo transporters are stacked to the brim with sand bags. More than 30km of cars parked along the side of the tollway left and right, leaving only 2 lines free to drive on. Motorcycle taxi´s waiting like valet´s to pick you up and drive you along the endless car-line to find your car. Some have covered their cars with a protective sheet, not knowing when they would return. A large police tent is seen in the distance, with officers trying to manage the heavy traffic. Below us everything is under water. People have gathered in seek of shelter in an abandoned Police post on the tollway. Looking out to my left it is pitch dark. Roads are no longer visible, having been swallowed whole by the masses of water. The scattered lamp posts can be connected like dots to be able to make out where the road was. Now, just the reflection of the house and post lights like tiny ships out at sea indicate where the Soi´s once were. A massive blanket of water covers the abandoned villages below us. Where is the light house, I wonder, for all those lost sailors.

We drive by buildings that are completely dark due to power cuts or sheer desertification and abandonment. If it wasn’t for the half moon, providing what seemed to be the only source of light, we would probably not even see most of the buildings. Car after car parked till the very end of the tollway. They cover bridges and U-turn bridges as well. And as we slowly, inch by inch, drive down the exit we see left and right piles, even walls, of sandbags blockading the water from erasing the only road left. Numerous large pumps are positioned to pump the water escaping onto the road back over the barrier. Policemen and volunteers, some standing and some sleeping on the sandbags, guide the cars with floodlights along the flooded path. Who knows how long they have been out here for. A rescue boat on the other side of the barrier goes by, men with life jackets and flashlights head into the streets shouting out to home owners who have chosen to stay behind. – Joy

Sri Chinmoy’s major peace manifestation in Switzerland

On March 31, 1985 spiritual master Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) gave his first big concert in the Zurich Hallenstadion, a prestigious hall, where normally large sports events, musicals or pop concerts take place. Sri Chinmoy transformed the hall into a vessel of spiritual manifestation. About 6000 seekers from all over Europe attended the performance that was divided into three parts an lasted for more than three hours. Sri Chinmoy often meditated between the different instruments. Enjoy this historical recording, now for the first time available online. Length: 2:07 h.

Lake Zurich Swim 2011

41 solo-swimmers and 26 relay-teams from 18 different nations started early in the morning of August 7th 2011 in Rapperswil with goal to reach Zurich within 12 hours by swimming nonstop. Heavy rain in the morning and wind in the afternoon made it quite a challenge for both swimmers and helpers. First to reach Zurich was the team “Are-we-there-yet?” with Terry Bantock (South-Africa) and Russell Shiels (USA): they completed the 26.4k in 6h 49m 50s. Fastest solo-swimmer was Thomas Ladurner from Italy (without wetsuit) in 06:54:45 and in the women’s category Anja Sigloch from Germany (with wetsuit) in 06:56:57. Enjoy the video of the event!

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: www.ch.srichinmoyraces.org