Day Three: 3am - noon
Sometimes you win, sometimes you . . . don't.
Mostly they seemed not to be particularly aware of us - men and women, all with a race number pinned to our front and moving inexorably forward – some chatting as they ran along together, some alone and gently smiling to themselves, some grim and ashen-faced.
Occasionally a passer-by would enquire, or, knowing already, would offer us a word of encouragement. It made one feel good.
It was afternoon. I was limping along with Devabala from Szekesfehervar, the oldest town in Hungary. He was exhorting me to take some painkillers.
There were quite a number of passers-by on the path. Towards us came three black teenagers. They looked at us and one of them shouted as they passed, “You’re going to lose!”
Devabala and I stumped on a few paces and then turned to each other. “A philosopher,” I said.
A few more paces and we turned to each other again. “He’s right of course,” said Devabala.
A few more paces and then we both laughed heartily.
It cheered us no end.
It wasn’t clear if the young philosopher had specifically meant me, who looked decidedly like a loser, or both of us. Either way, it struck us as true. So often in the field of ultra-running one hears the view expressed that all who compete are winners. But if that is true – and it certainly is - might it not also be true, as our wise young teacher suggested, that we are also all losers?
Links:The Self-Transcendence Ten Day Race was founded by Sri Chinmoy
Details of the race - results, photo galleries and such like - can be found at the race webpage - 2006 Self-Transcendence 6 & 10 Day Races