Karteek Completes 10 Channel Crossings

Karteek Clarke, a member of the Edinburgh Sri Chinmoy Centre, completed his 10th successful crossing of the English Channel this August 13th. After facing difficult weather conditions, which left him feeling seasick and tired, Karteek completed the epic crossing in a time of 16 hours 59 minutes.

Karteek Looking across the Channel before his crossing

Karteek completed his first successful channel swim in 1997. Since that year, despite the many challenges of channel swimming, he has been repeatedly drawn back to try another channel crossing. He joins an elite group of people who have managed more than one crossing. In total, only around 1,000 people have successfully swum the English Channel – compared to around 4,000 people who have climbed Mount Everest.

Interviewed by the Scotsman, Karteek said his practice of yoga and meditation, under the tutelage of his teacher Sri Chinmoy, helped give the inner strength necessary for such a difficult endeavour.

“…I keep going back to hone my meditation skills as our Sri Chinmoy teacher encourages us to undertake these tasks to promote self-discipline. Like most brands of yoga, the aim is to silence the restless mind and purge it of negative thoughts. After about six hours in the water, you’re cold, wet and miserable, but it starts to become quite exhilarating…”


Impossibility Challenger

The Impossibility Challenger World Record games are an opportunity for participants to engage in a variety of record attempts and challenges. The event is organised by the Sri Chinmoy Centre in Munich, Germany. The Impossibility Challenger offers individuals the opportunity for self-transcendence in numerous ways.

Ripping Telephone Book
Ripping Telephone Book
Don't Try this at Home
 Milan Roskopf juggling with three chainsaws - Don't Try this at Home...
Skipping Stilts
Chasing record for Skipping on Stilts

If we believe
In our own
Then there can be
No unreachable goal.

– Sri Chinmoy

Good News for Runners


A study by Stanford University Medical Center found that elderly joggers were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than non-runners. They also found that runners were more likely to lead healthy lifestyles and suffer less disabilities.

According to lead author Professor James Fries:

If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise

Source: BBC

This will come as welcome news for the 11 runners who recently finished the ultimate ultra – 3100 Mile Race.

Sri Chinmoy often spoke of the physical and spiritual benefits of running – View: The inner and outer running at Sri Chinmoy Library

Running Inspiration

sri chinmoyArpan Deangelo shares some reminiscences of Sri Chinmoy’s running career at his new running blog

Sri Chinmoy took up long distance running in the 1970s when he was in his mid 40s. In his formative years, Sri Chinmoy had excelled in the 100 metre sprint, but, in America he took up long distance running and spent many hours training around his home in Jamaica Queens. These experiences formed the basis of a series of books called Run and Become. Sri Chinmoy describes one of many running experiences:

Today one of the disciples was telling me that he met a very good runner while running in Flushing Meadow Park. This man had told the disciple that he often sees me running and that he thought I was a sub-three-hour marathoner because I was so thin and I looked like I was in such good shape. The disciple was very polite and told the runner that I was hoping to break three and a half hours in the New York Marathon. He didn’t tell him my previous bullock-cart marathon times.

Sri Chinmoy’s Running – Part 1 of an article on Running by Arpan

Other Running Links


Asprihanal wins the world’s longest race for a record fourth time

Earlier this week, Asprihanal Aalto from Helsinki, Finland entered the record books as he crossed the finish line of the 3100 Mile Self Transcendence race in a time of 43 days and 4 hours, making him the only person to have won the race four times. The second and third place finishers, Ayojan Stojanovic from Nish, Serbia and Pranab Vladovic from Bratislava, Slovakia will both finish today after 46 days on the road. The race is still continuing for the other intrepid runners, and they will gradually be coming in over the next two weeks.

Asprihanal finished at around 10 a.m. in front of a cheering crowd of friends and wellwishers. During the ensuing celebration, an enthusiastic choir sang the song that race founder Sri Chinmoy composed in honour of Asprihanal after his completion of the race last year. His time is the third fastest in the history of the race and a personal best for him. Sri Chinmoy once said something to the effect that for Asprihanal, running was like drinking water; this certainly seems to have been borne out in his performances over the last year – he has finished first in both the San Franscisco 24 hour race and the Self Transcendence Six Day Race in April.

(Photo: Asprihanal (right) with his brother Antaraloy immediately after the race)

Related links:

There are regular updates on the race on multidays.com blog…

3100 Mile Self Transcendence Race Begins today

Today is the opening day of the Self Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, the longest certified road race in the world. For the best part of the next two months, 13 runners will be pacing around a half mile loop in Jamaica, New York for eighteen hours a day, aiming to push their capacities to the very limit in one of the toughest endurance tests imaginable. This is the eleventh holding of this epic race. Last year, Madhupran Schwerk from Germany shattered the race record, completing the distance in the astonishing time of 41 days and 8 hours. Madhupran is not competing this year, but three-time winner Ashprihanal Aalto from Finland will be looking to transcend last-year’s time of 43 days and 15 hours.

The race features three new competitors this year looking to try their hand at this most challenging of distances; Vlastimil Dvoracek and Petr Spacil (fresh – if that word can be applied – from his victory in the Self-Transcendence Ten-Day Race in April) from the Czech Republic, and Grahak Cunningham from Perth in Australia. Suprabha Beckjord, the sole female entrant in the race, is also the only person to complete all ten previous editions.

This race is organised by the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, who have been putting on events for the sporting community around the world for the past 30 years. Many of their events, such as the 3100 Mile and Six and Ten Day Races in New York, the Triple-Triathlon in Australia or the 24 hour lake swim in Zurich, really offer a challenge to those who participate and an oportunity to extend their true potential.

You can watch a video of the 2007 race start on Sri Chinmoy TV…

Related links:

notes from Sri Chinmoy Triathlon Festival

See also: previous entry: Sri Chinmoy Triathlon Festival

For the last few years it has been my task to set up swim courses. Measuring distance on the water is the key factor, and a few different methods have been employed over the years. A cumbersome, now obsolete method, used a string on a reel with a counter attached. The string
was tied to a swim buoy and, as you moved away, the counter told you how far away you were. Laser-sighting binoculars were much better. You aim them at an object, press a button, and instantly you have a digital readout of the distance. But they were expensive, and not
waterproof! One pair met their watery end in Lake Burley Griffin. So, for the last few years I have used a small GPS from a camping store. It’s accurate to within a few metres, it’s waterproof, and it floats.

I put all the swim buoy weights into the boat. They weigh about 20kg each, and are made from concrete. Then I inflated all the swim buoys. They are big yellow plastic cone shaped things. To inflate them, I use the high-tech method of employing a 20-year old vacuum cleaner with
the hose stuck in the other end, so it blows air instead of sucking. I motored out onto the lake with a big procession of buoys towing along behind.

I had been congratulating myself on having worked out all the swim courses in advance. I had to set a 500m course for the Sprint Triathlon, a 1.5km course for the “Classic” Tri, and a 3.2 km course for the Champions Challenge. The Sprint required only one swim buoy. The Classic required four. These courses I had set in previous years. The Champions Challenge was a new course. I had done some measurements on a map, and it seemed to be a simple extension of the Classic course. I had designed m maps for the race, and they had been on the
web for months.

After setting the Sprint and Classic, I discovered, to my surprise, that there wasn’t enough room for the course I had planned. If you got Champs Challenge course you can see the course I wanted to set. Instead, I had to go a long way eastwards to set the first Champions Challenge buoy. When I say first, I mean the first buoy that isn’t also part of the Classic course. Okay, it’s not so easy to explain. I always end up with a sheet of paper full of figures from the GPS readings as I try to figure out the trigonometry. By the time I finished it was after dark.
All the Sri Chinmoy Centre members, locals and visitors, were at the Centre for a meditation. I had toyed with the idea that I could motor up Sullivans Creek in the boat and get to the Centre that way. But I hadn’t brought my clothes for meditation, and anyway it was too late by the time that I had finished with the swim courses….

Wow! This is an exciting post! All about GPS readings and swim buoys!
Hopefully the next one will feature topics with a more general appeal!

post by Rathin