Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Kingston Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 6-Hour Race 2013

"There is only one perfect road,
and that road is ahead of you,
always ahead of you."
~Sri Chinmoy

A runner at the 2012 Sri Chinmoy 6hr. Race with a view across
Lake Ontario of Kingston's Historic City Hall.
(all pictures courtesy of the race's official gallery)
A quick preview of the Kingston Self-Transcendence 6-Hour Race, 2013, which I will be participating in on June 8th.


The Kingston Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 6-Hour Race is run on an 880-metre paved loop along Lake Ontario and around the walls of Fort Frederick and the Royal Military College in historic Kingston, Ontario. I am really not sure why I was drawn to this race as my next challenge following my hike of The Cataraqui Trail, or the "CT" as it known amongst us hikers:) The race has been around since 1996 although very few people I know are aware of it, including, most "running people" I know.

The official lap counters from the 2012 edition of the race.

Runners on part of the 880 metre winding path.

Scanning through the past 16 years of results I could count on both of my hands the number of people who have hailed from the Kingston area. Despite there being a huge running population here and with the race being run practically on the training grounds of the Kingston Road Runners Association, for some reason it has not attracted the road, trail, tri or ultra crowds from the area. A few recognizable names from the ultra-community who are regular attendees of the event are, Laurie McGrath, who dominates this race every year she shows up and Helen Malmberg who is the RD of Canada's premier ultra, The Haliburton Forest 100.

A runner with the "Leader Board" in the background.

Perhaps one reason I am drawn to this event and am not as dismissive of it as others appear to be, is that I don't feel that I am any certain "kind" of runner. I don't feel affiliated with, or a lack of affiliation to, any particular type of racing be it road or trail, short or long. I guess I haven't been at any of them long enough to have tired of one over the other. The one thing about running on a looped course and is perhaps why these events are run in this manner is that I assume it becomes less about the "place" you are running in the longer you are at it.

Participants of the 2012 edition of the
Sri Chinmoy Self-transcendence 6-hour Race
Seeing as the course is so short and repetitive it wouldn't take long for every straight away, curve and dip in the road to become programmed into one's legs leaving your mind free to "transcend" the body, kind of like when you zone out while driving and can't remember how you got home. Sure it's possible to reach this state of mind on a longer road or trail course but with ever changing terrain you need a higher level of mental awareness then you would on these short looped courses. Anyhow it will be interesting to see how the race plays out for me and I am really looking forward to finishing up my training and for race day to arrive. Will I find a place in my mind to transcend to while my body pounds out each and every monotonous loop? Or will I be fully aware and living every moment of the race, the good and the bad? I guess I am looking forward to it either way.


"What gives life its value,
If not its constant cry,
For self-transcendence?"
~Sri Chinmoy



Lakewood said...

nice to see I'm not the only that'll be running in circles :-)

Should be fun!

Eliza Ralph-Murphy said...

Well 6hrs of circles is a bit different then 72 hours. I see your race has already begun and you are 3 hours into it(I'd be half way done). I hope you aren't too dizzy yet from all of those circles:-)Can't wait to hear how you handled everything.

Sara Montgomery said...

Very cool you are doing this, EJ!