A Spiritual Master on the Track

There was a period in Sri Chinmoy’s life where he practiced sprinting with a lot of passion and dedication. First he trained on the local streets of Queens, NY, where he lived. Later he had his own track behind the tennis court area which today is known as the “Aspiration-Ground”. Watch some of his sprint activities of 1991. A spiritual master on the track is a historically unique view. Filmed and edited by Kedar Misani; soundtrack by Parichayaka Hammerl.

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Diary of the World Harmony Run in Kenya 2011

BY NARMADA HEER

Why did we choose Kenya for our World Harmony Run trip to Africa? After our successful trip in 2006 Tegla Loroupe invited us back to Kenya. Tegla is a world-famous former Marathon-record holder, UNICEF and UN Sport ambassador for Peace and Development, who has worked together with UN secretary general Kofi Annan, Barack Obama and George Clooney. As the first African woman to win a major marathon – NYC Marathon 1994 – Tegla has become a role model for all the women. And she supported the WHR in Europe by coming to many opening ceremonies. She visited Portugal in 2005 and 2006, Rome in 2008, 2009 and 2010 she came to Switzerland and 2011 to Iceland. Also refer to the  interview on Youtube.

Zurich, 9th November: I was sitting next to my brother on the KLM connecting flight to Amsterdam, when a nice voice from the loudspeaker: “We have a flat tire.” Hutashan’s face turned pale. For weeks he had worked out a schedule of how people from eight different nations would arrive in Nairobi more or less at the same time, so that we all could get on the same rented bus through Eldoret to Kapenguria where Tegla’s Peace Race is organized for the 10th time.

Nairobi, 10th November: With the help of his friend Vallabha, Hutashan organized a late night flight to Nairobi so we could join our team. One week before we didn’t know who would be able to make it to Kenya. Our team consisted of Vajra, who came all the way from USA; Johannes from Ethiopia, organizer of our car with driver for a good deal; Vishvesha from Croatia, who became our technical director; Shatadhala from Austria, our filmer; Roos from Holland, our daily World Harmony Run reporter; Punita from Germany, an experienced WHR runner and Carole, Red Cross volunteer from France. In total we had 16 suitcases with medical supplies, notebooks, pencils, WHR T-shirts, running shoes, musical instruments, Jharna Kala paintings and poem cards of Sri Chinmoy about peace.

From Nairobi to Kapenguria, after three hours we had our first stop to meet Jimmy Sherlock, an American business men. He looked like coming directly from Hollywood: pink tie, business suit and a big smile. Jimmy received the WHR torchbearer award in 2010. He happily changed his flight back home to the States so that he could participate in the run in Nakuru. And how he was participating! He organized a press conference for the World Harmony Run and more. After that we continued on the bumpy road through the Rift Valley. During the day, we needed about 10 hours for 400 km; in 2006 it took us about 16 hours as there were just dirt roads. In Kapenguria, we were welcomed with a cup of Indian Chai by Tegla Leroupe and Eunice Hasango, the CEO of the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation. Kenya was colonized by the British and therefore also Indians came to Kenya. Our whole team could stay in a 7 room Villa with our own cook, Rebecca. The food was simple but very tasty and nutritious. The bread was Indian style.

11th November – At the Nasokol School: 850 girls and 50 teachers participated in the “Nasokol All Girls School” where we were welcomed by the Principal Mrs. Tomeyan Rosalyne, Head of Education and Games Teacher. This was the school Tegla had attended in the 80ies. The teacher told us: “We were praying to God that the World Harmony Run would come to visit our school.” Therefore all the 850 girls were waiting with expectation for our arrival. We were absolutely stunned by the amazing 2-hour program of all singing the World Harmony Run song with such pure and clear voices. There were dances and more singing dedicated to peace. One girl had tears, after she had recited a text with a message of UNESCO President Davidson Hepburn to the World Harmony Run and Sri Chinmoy, the founder of the run. On the schools sports ground all 850 girls formed a huge circle and while coordinator Hutashan and the teachers gave TV interviews we passed all around the World Harmony torch, followed by giving out notebooks and pencils as gifts. Finally 50 girls accompanied us to the Tegla Loroupe Peace Meeting in Kapenguria.

12th November: Tegla Loroupe Peace Race in Kapenguria: This year it was the 10th edition of the Peace Race that started in 2003 by Tegla to bring together warriors of the rival tribes Pokot, Turkana, Samburu, Markwet and Karamajong to reduce conflict in the region. Kapenguria is the place where Tegla was born. As a girl she had to fight very hard to make it to school and also to become an international runner. She belonged to the wrong tribe, so for a long time she wasn’t allowed to participate internationally. It was until NYC Marathon founder Fred Lebow invited her to the 1994 edition of the World’s most famous Marathon when the star Tegla Loroupe started shining. She had won her 1st Marathon ever in 1994 and then again in 1995. She won in London and set World records in Rotterdam and in Berlin. Even with all this success she didn’t forgot where she came from and she always wanted to give something back to her community. There were 10 km races for elite runners and local warriors, ands also a race for children as well as a VIP race for politicians and dignitaries. The annual Peace Race in Kapenguria has now a ten years old tradition of bringing together all the different tribes for discussions on how to find peaceful solutions instead of fighting. 20 warriors that put down their weapons between ages 16 and 20 are now living and doing their training together. Besides the World Harmony Run, other people and organizations were visiting the race: Peace and Sports from Monaco, the former Swedish Ambassador Bo Goranson, Ugandas Resident District Commissioner Moroto Nahaman Ojwe and a delegation from Germany. After the start of the cultural event, a girl’s school class was performing a poem about Tegla, a boy was singing a Tegla rap and the named five different tribes were performing their traditional singing and dancing. This went on until the next morning… and later we were invited to Tegla’s house for lunch. Together with the other VIP guests we appreciated the good food as well as the many trophies Tegla had won all over the world. At her altar there were pictures showing Tegla with President Barack Obama, Georg Clooney and Kenyan President Kibaki.

14th November: Third stop was Nakuru: With about 300.000 inhabitants, Nakuru is the 4th biggest city in Kenya and has a very important train station that connects the capital Nairobi with Eldoret – the Mekka of running – and goes on to Uganda. So it was an honor that this city invited 1000 students of the Nakuru University to run the last leg of the Kenyan World Harmony Run from there. The three kilometers route took us over Kenyatta Avenue, the very busy main road to the Afraha High School. As in the Nasokol School and at Tegla’s Peace Race again the national TV was present. And also like on November 11th, the “Standard News” announced our coming to Nakuru, thanks to Jimmy Sherlock, President of Reborn International Ministries. He said that he and his friend George, CEO of Reborn Kenya, wanted to unite the people of Nakuru through the World Harmony Run. The two million people of the Nakuru region have a society with much diversity in social and cultural structures. At the University we were finally welcomed by Amos N. Gathecha, M.B.S, Regional Commissioner of the Central Rift Valley. On behalf of the World Harmony Run and in presence of 1000 students, Hutashan gave out 3 Torch-Bearer-Awards to Boniface Muhia, Chairman of the Nakuru Business Association; Prof. J. K. Tuitoek, Vice Chancellor of Egerton University and Prof A.K. Kahi and Dean of Egerton University School of Agriculture for consistently demonstrating character traits of friendship, teamwork, respect and honesty.

World Harmony Run 2011 in Zambia

Welcome to “Adventure into Zambia” – Zambia where students invoke President Obama and UN Secretary General. The United Nations and the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are supporting the International Year of Youth and its theme of dialogue and mutual understanding, being celebrated through August of 2011.The slogan is “Our Year” “Our Voice”. In these clips you hear the voice of Africa, of Zambia, of Youth. Youth seen holding the torch say they are NOT looking to countries’ presidents, United Nations Secretary-General or other leaders to change the world. Their “hour has come” and they voice where peace begins. The World Harmony Run is a global torch relay, founded by Sri Chinmoy in 1987. It seeks to strengthen international friendship and understanding. As a symbol of harmony, runners carry a flaming torch, passing it from hand to hand traveling through over 100 nations around the globe. This video includes a short introduction from Davidson Hepburn, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO, followed by four schools visited in Zambia late last year. Dr. Hepburn, recently commented on the Run’s support for their Year of Youth. “By encouraging young people to express their aspirations for harmony today, the World Harmony Run is surely building the foundation for a culture of peace tomorrow.” Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007), Founder of the Harmony Run composed the theme song which ends “We are the Oneness and Fullness of Tomorrow’s Sun”. With powerful expression these youth made that promise of harmony, peace and oneness their own. With gratitude to four featured Schools: Lotus Basic, Nkhwazi Primary, Jacaranda Basic, New Northmead Basic and special thanks to Lusaka friends and supporters of Zambian World Harmony Run Team.

24 h LIVE Coverage of 24 h Self-Transcendence Race in Basel, Switzerland

The 22nd Basel Self-Transcendence Race will have for the first time a 24 h LIVE COVERAGE on http://www.livestream.com/srichinmoyraces. Together with the Deutschen Ultramarathon-Vereinigung there will also be news and interviews at the top of the hour. Start of Live Coverage is this Saturday May 8th at 11:30 h CET; the start of the race is scheduled for 12:00 h and at midnight there will be the start of the 12-hour race. On Sunday May 9th from 11:00 to 12:00 h you can witness the finish, which is always a powerful and moving event.

World Harmony Run in Columbia

World harmony and peace is still the most important goal of humanity. In January 2010  the International “World Harmony Run”, founded by spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy, made station in Paipa, Columbia. They ran We ran from Lake Sachogota to the main square of Paipa. They were  joined by world record holder and inspiration Lazaro Matinez Cruz who carried the torch into the main square. Lazaro set a world record by travelling by wheel chair from Buenos Aires to Paipa – a distance of over 6000 km which took him over the Andes mountain range. Then Carolina Conmargo, one of Colombia’s top athletes joined the team and presented the torch to Padre Victor Guerra (picture) who blessed the torch and offered a brief sermon in his beautiful church – Catedral de San Miguel Arcangel. The World Harmony Run is a global torch relay, seeking to strengthen international friendship and understanding. Read more here. Take also a look at the beautiful artwork children offered expressing their hopes and dreams for a more harmonious world on the online art gallery.

Runners from 30 nations bring World Harmony Torch to Guatemala

Harmony Run Guatemala 2010

In a spectacular launch of the 2010 World Harmony Run, runners in Guatemala carried the World Harmony Torch to the Pacaya Volcano for the 2010 torch lighting ceremony.  The torch was lit from the molten lava at the Volcano. The World Harmony Run is a global torch relay that promotes harmony between people of different cultures, nationalities and beliefs.  In 2010 over 100 nations on six continents will participate in the international relay, and will cover over 56,000 kilometres.  In Guatemala runners include representatives from Ukraine, Switzerland, China, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Iceland and Mongolia as well as Guatemala. The World Harmony Run, an initiative of life-long athlete and universal man of peace Sri Chinmoy, was first staged in 1987 and now involves more than 100 countries, uniting thousands of communities and millions of people. Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) was an athlete, philosopher and humanitarian who saw sport as a powerful instrument for promoting global harmony. In recognition of his lifelong efforts to foster friendship between peoples and nations, he received the highest national award from more than 10 countries. Sri Chinmoy envisioned: “May each and every individual each day have a new dream of world harmony.” Many world leaders have participated in past World Harmony Runs, including Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, South African President Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.  National Patron of the Australian World Harmony Run, running legend Ron Clarke, said, “The Run will bridge cultural and social barriers, and all the boundaries that separate nation from nation. It shows that athletics can be a powerful force for good.”  For more information go to www.worldharmonyrun.org.

PHOTOS BY ISRAEL CORDEIRO DA SILVA AND PRABHAKAR STREET (above)

Dorcas Cheserek – A rising marathon star from Kenya

DorcasIn her new edition the online magazine PACE features among many other items and marathon announcements an article on Dorcas Cheserek, a rising marathon star from Kenya:

Dorcas Cheserek is a young up and coming potential world champion. She comes from a village called Maraket in Kenya but now lives in Training Camp, also in Kenya. It seems she developed her talent for running from her father who was a gifted runner at school but stopped once he was married. Like her father, Dorcas developed a passion for running at an early age. She entered a competition at Primary School, came second and promptly fell in love with running. Once at High School, she proceeded to win lots of 10k races and has continued ever since. Dorcas is coached by Pieter Langerhorst, who is married to Lornah Kiplagat, the current holder of the world record for distances of 5000 meters on the road, 10 Miles, 20,000 meters on the road, and half marathons. Her top tips on training are to train regularly and listen to what your body is telling you. She is a believer in building up strength and stamina and hopes to move on to half marathons after next year and in 2014 to become a marathon runner. Before this, her aim is to become world champion in 10k races next year. Dorcas trains six days a week in fairly short bursts about three or four times a day. She always rests the day before a race. Diet is always important for a runner and Dorcas has a very specific diet when she’s training. Her breakfasts consist mainly of bread with banana on some days and an egg on other days. Lunches are made up of rice, beef and beans on differing days and dinners are always Ugali (a mace flour which is boiled and stirred until thick) and vegetables. Dorcas came 22nd place in the Sunfeast World 10k in Bangalore on 31 May, with a time of 36.21, which is fantastic for her first professional race.

Loritam and Kiprop win Baringo road race titles in the half-marathon

kenya

25-year-old Vincent Loritam from Tegla Lorupe’s stable in West Pokot district is the new Baringo Half-Marathon champion after emerging the strongest during the fourth edition held on Saturday. Loritam had to wait until the last five kilometres to make a strong attack that enabled him to wither a daring challenge from home boy William Chebon. Loritam, who hopes to make a return to the international scene since being away from 2006, clocked 1:02:06.4 to beat Chebon by 17 seconds. The race, that was flagged off at Kabarntanjo by one of the Baringo members of Parliament Mr Sammy Mwaita and who was flanked by the founder of the event Paul Tergat, saw a group of 10 athletes who ended up taking the top positions battle for 15 kilometres with Chebon controlling the pace. Chebon appeared to gain over the rest briefly soon after crossing the 15km mark but Loritam made a strong attack that scattered the group and by 20km it had been reduced to the a battle between the winner and the runner-up.

The women’s 15km event was won by international marathoner Agnes Kiprop in 50:55 ahead of Joan Ayabei (52:13) and Diana Chepkemoi (53:26). An upcoming athlete Ruth Matebo continued with her exploits by finishing sixth in 53:45. She was third in this year’s Tegla Loroupe Peace Race and eighth at last week’s Wareng Tuskys Cross Country held in Eldoret.