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

Val Muskett: Aiming for records after 60

ValVal Muskett (60), who runs for Hill City-University, broke her own age group (60+) world record in the 12hr race in the Sri Chinmoy series in Auckland at the weekend. Despite an ankle complaint in the three weeks leading up the event, she ran 110.79km, almost 1.5km further than her previous record, set in Adelaide earlier this year. Muskett was not on target to break her record at the marathon and 6hr marks, but put in a strong second half to win the race and topple her previous record. ”I had a poor first six hours, it didn’t quite go how I wanted. But the second six hours was pretty good,” she said. ”It’s a 400m running track.”

Before setting her original record in Adelaide, Muskett was just looking for events to use as training. ”I needed something to keep the wheels turning, so I said to my husband, `Don’t buy me a birthday present … let’s find a race that I can go and have a go at a world record. The aim was to go and have a holiday and break the record, which I did.” Muskett, who ran the Christchurch marathon in 3hr 35min earlier in the year, has represented New Zealand 12 times in various distances and plans to make it 13 next year. She ran 193km at the world championships in the Netherlands last year to qualify for next year’s event in Italy. If running 24hr straight was not enough, she plans to run a six-day race in England or Australia after next year’s world championships. ”My aim is to represent New Zealand one last time while I’m 60 … then I may well appear in a six-day race before I finally actually hang up my shoes. I want to try just one.” As well as Muskett’s most recent record, she holds five world records in the 55-59 age group. She set records in the 50km, 100km, 6hr hour track, 12hr road and 12hr track in 2010. ”I’ve got my eye on the 1000km record and maybe the 24hr record. That would happen at the world champs. I would like to finish my career with about 10-12 world records and having represented New Zealand 13 times.”

Source: odt.co.nz

The 2013 Ghost Train Rail Trail Ultramarathon

Race along the old railroad tracks that were used in the late 19th and early 20th century to ship granite from Milford and ice from Lake Potanipo to Massachusetts. The rails themselves were removed for scrap metal during World War II, but many of the railroad ties are still in the ground and can be seen on the trail. The race is 100 miles long!

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

 

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.

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.

Swiss Ultra-Runner Pushkar speaks about the 3100 Mile Race

This summer (2012) Pushkar Müllauer (40) from Switzerland finished for the fourth time the world’s largest foot race, the 3100 mile race in Queens, NY, organized by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team. In this interview Pushkar speaks about his preparation and motivation that brought him through this race in 48 days 8 hours and 22 minutes. Camera and Edit: Kedar Misani

New book on Sport and Meditation

The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team released a brand-new version of the book “Sport & Meditation – The inner Dimension of Sport” in English. It mainly quotes Sri Chinmoy in his numerous statements on the subject with photos and many poems. The book presents itself in a modern layout and gives you many insights that have never been published before. As a teaser please read this foreword by Olivier Bernhard from Switzerland, winner of 6 Ironman races, 3-time Duathlon Champion and a Triathlon Coach:

For me, sport is meditation. Athletes in many sports speak about experiencing a state of energy flow when being in perfect balance with their mind and body. It is a state where pain and fatigue do not exist. I can still remember, it was at the Duathlon World Championships, I was getting off the bike to put my running shoes on. The first time I realised that I was running, I had already passed the 10 k mark. It felt like my body was not touching the surface of the road at any time. I was sure that I was just dreaming it. I had tears in my eyes. I was not pushing myself nor was I aware of being in a very important race. I felt as if outside of my body and felt that somehow I myself was not performing. Those very special and rare inner moments still mean a lot to me. All of my life any sport activity has been connected with strong passion. As a child I had the urge to run around and be outside most of the day. Later, as a professional athlete, I realised that besides the physical there is another higher level. Some call it the mental, some call it the heart or soul, or even a dimension beyond that. By becoming conscious of this inner dimension and by training it, I overcame obstacles that I could not have overcome if I had trained the body only. I soon experienced that true sports is not just pushing your body to new limits. To become a complete athlete you have to train your inner capacities with the same intensity and at the same time as you train your body. As an athlete you can only achieve the impossible when being in balance with your body, mind and heart. Let’s take the Olympic Games. All athletes standing at the starting line are close to the same level of performance. The one who meditates and is in perfect balance with him/herself therefore has a better chance to overcome possible obstacles.

Throughout my entire career I came to the following conclusion: the longer the race, the more you have to draw energy from your inner athlete. The outer athlete will fade and is going to knock on your head after four to six hours – “Hey, I am hurting here, I am tired. Just stop and rest for a moment!” You need to be able to control and calm your mind. Always be aware of your abilities and believe in your strengths and never let go of your focus towards the true goal. During races I have often observed athletes’ faces being stressed. It has been one of my keys to success never to show how my legs felt. I did this by having a relaxed face all the time. Don’t tighten up and don’t force it too hard. Let it happen, it’s not just you! You have all the forces of the universe that will support you if you open up. People have often asked me before a race: “Will you break the existing record?” But that’s not the point! It’s not about any records, it’s about the best you can be! As long as I reached my full potential I would be happy at the finish. Not because of the time or place or record but because I was pleased with the performance I achieved. It’s not about winning, it’s not about money, it’s about making constant progress and becoming a better person on the lasting journey. – Olivier Bernhard

Sport & Meditation, Sri Chinmoy, The Golden Shore Verlag Nürnberg, 198 S., ISBN 978-3-89532-213-6, English (A German Edition is planned at a later state). Available in Switzerland from Vallabah Kaul: kaul@flashcable.ch

Pushkar – Swiss record holder of the 3100 mile Race 2012

Pushkar C. Müllauer, in a brilliant attempt this year finished the 3100 mile race in Queens, NY, in 48 days, 8 hours, 22 minutes, and 16 seconds.  Which is now the 17th rank all time.  A personal best by 14 hours.  The new Swiss record holder.  He was the old one and now he is the new one.  Pushkar averaged 64.121 miles per day and 103.192 km.  Finishing in 4th place.

As each runner approaches the finish line of the 3100 their faces radiate an almost transcendent glow of satisfaction and happiness.  They shine with a pure beauty that comes not from their physical but from the divine qualities that they have drawn closer to each day and with each step that they have taken.  With each new mile they moved further and further away from the  predictable clutch and grasp of our material world. It may not be heaven, this place to which they have arrived, but from my perspective, as I am now so clearly caught up in the world.  They, at least for a moment, have slipped beyond its reach to a realm that appears divine.  The price of this kind of sacrifice is not to be measured by mortal hands but only to be praised purely by heaven’s heart.  There is a prize as well, but it can only partly be seen by us.   We may perceive the glimmer of their transcendent victory while they themselves bask in its full radiant glow.

Of course Pushkar struggled mightily for the last few days with a catalog of injury and pain.  The heat and humidity yesterday, will torment and mock him and all the others in its own perverse way.  The daily cat and mouse game with obstacles big and small never disappears.   For once you have climbed a mountain here it will simply be replace by another and then still another.  The race offers it own unique inner joy but this is combined with an extensive legacy of suffering that can never be really avoided.There is no road map and no manual to figure out and plan routes that will safetly evade all the pitfalls of extreme weather and of course extreme life.  The only coach and guide is the little voice within.  That one that always speaks and offers guidance.   It is with our own indifference that we do not take sufficient time and listen well.

Some days ago Pushkar jettisoned the burden of expectation, and so he is unhindered by so much of what captures us and makes it difficult for most of us to even move from beyond our chairs.  Today his journey will be complete in so many ways.   What we see, and what all can congratulate him for, is that he has transcended himself by almost 14 hours setting a new Swiss record as well.

– Utpal Marshall

Read the whole report on Utpal’s Blog PERFECTION-JOURNEY

Paris: Successful 100 & 50 k Ultra Races

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The Sri Chinmoy Centre, under the guidance of Unnatishil Bravo, organizes a 100K Race (and accompanying 50K Race) in Paris. The 21st edition 2010 took place on June 13, 2010, in the Bois de Vincennes in the western suburbs of the French capital. I filmed the races for the first time and tried to capture the beauty of the course. Enjoy and get inspired to run ultra races!