Awards Ceremony Speech by Sahishnu for the Six and Ten Day Race 2010:
Dear Friends, Special guests, Excellencies, Esteemed runners,
Good afternoon, and welcome to the awards presentation of the 15th Annual Ten Day and 13th Annual 6 Day Race.
For the past week and a half the runners present have circumnavigated a course of one mile numerous times, against all kinds of elements, difficulties, trials in just getting to this spot from faraway lands, and the difficulties of constant motion on the body and mind. They have an obvious love for running, why else would someone invest so much time, effort, and expense to run in a park that floods, has the worldʼs craziest traffic patterns, is the most difficult venue to find in all of runningdom, and has a constant blast of wind at night that will freeze the skin on your face if it doesnʼt blow it off your face first. On top of that, Meadow Lake is tied to the ebb and flow of tides, so it will overflow its banks if the moon is
just right. Plus, no one in New York knows about this race, other than a few thousand likeminded devotees around the world who are also capable of doing races beyond the marathon distance.
So what is this race about. Runners sleep in tents or in big dormitories on cots or on the floor like refugees. They eat food and keep moving at the same time. They go round and round and round for hours, days, a week even, on the same flooded, perilous coarse. They run morning, noon, night, after midnight, 4;00 am, just about anytime. There is no prize money. there is no financial incentive. There is no logic to this behavior.
That is the point. They do this because they love, and they care. They care about movement, they love being better. They care about support, and love to help their own competitors. So then, this race is not just a competition. It is an inspiration. It might be tough, but its symbolic goal is parallel with the deeper, farther Goal- a life of Real Satisfaction, of Real Understanding, A life of Self-transcendence not only in oneʼs life but always, in all Life. Athletics has a way of helping an individual to reach his potential not only in the physical realm, but with many of lifeʼs endeavors. But extreme athletics has done more to help the athlete in the inner world.
So it is with this race. Dear Runners, you have shown us that dredging rains and blasting winds cannot stop you, cannot postpone your date with a better tomorrow, due to your self-determination and oneness. We thank you for all your performances and wish you Joy, happiness and peace-Inner and outer peace from your efforts.
Building and Day staff
And the last person to thank, but not the least, is Guru Sri Chinmoy. He single-handedly pushed us to offer these races for the public when they were seedlings or saplings. He has given us the concern and oneness needed to help and inspire the runners to reach their goal, if not their potential, in the running world. Thank you, Guru, for allowing us to offer 105 multidfays here in New York the last 25 years!