Global Open Water Conference – Honouring Sri Chinmoy

Global Open Water Conference – Honouring Sri Chinmoy

Sri-Chinmoy-To-Be-Inducted-In-The-Hall-Of-Fame

Honourees IMSHOF 2012

It was a nice adventure and a great honour to be invited to the Global Open Water Swimming Conference Sept. 21st/22nd 2012 on the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, California, to accept the IMSHOF award for Sri Chinmoy, who was beingSri Chinmoy honoured posthumously for his decades of inspiration and mentorship in the with Big River Man Martin Strel and AbhejaliOpen Water and Channel swimming world. I felt like a tiny fish among so many great fish (Diana Nyad, OW Greta Anderson, swimming legend, holding the World Harmony Run Torchlegend Greta Anderson, “Big River Man” Martin Strel (who was lifted by Sri Chinmoy in 2004), Penny Lee Dean, Marcos Diaz (U.N. Goodwill and Ocean Ambassador), Marcy MacDonald, Elisabeth Fry, Torch Bearer Award for Steven MunatonesDr. Jane Katz (who has trained some of our team`s Channel swimmers in N.Y.), Michael Read (King of the Channel 1997-2005), Ned Denison, Peace Swimmer Nejib Diana Nyad - Cuba to FloridaBelhedi and many others) – and it was extremely inspiring to meet with and listen to so many open water greats – and to speak to them about Sri Chinmoy and the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team – and introduce the new book “Sport and Meditation”.

Many guests and speakers enjoyed holding theNehjib Belhedi - Swim for Peace Across Tunesia World Harmony Torch and making a wish for peace, and the Torch was finally invited also into the group photo with all the IMSHOF honourees.

Steven Munatones, main organiser of the Conference (with co-organiser Lexie Kelly on the left and Shelley Taylor-Smith on the right), was awarded the Torch Bearer Award of the World Harmony Run for his tireless efforts in promoting the spirit of self-transcendence and international friendship, inspiring and joining so many people across the world in their various quests in the open water world.

The 3rd day of the conference was marked by the “Swim Across America” iSwim Across American the Marine Stadium of Long Beach with races of various distances – and around 350 participants. Training for Gibraltar, I chose the 10 k olympic distance and was quite happy to finish in 3 h 25 – more than a minute before Mike Read, King of the English Channel from 1997-2005 with 33 crossings. Abhejali did 1.5 k in 27 min 26.

We were three from our Sri Chinmoy our team at the conferenceMarathon Team: myself (EC 1985 and 2010, Zurich lakes etc.), Abhejali Bernadova from Czech Republic (English Channel 2011, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim 2012, Zurich lake etc.), Bigalita Egger, L.A. (ultrarunner, several 10 day races in New York at age 70+) and Ahelee (EC solo 2001), a good friend, and we had a great time during, before and after the conference! Thank you everyone for your support – and the IMSHOF for their amazing efforts!
Dr Jane Katz Ned DenisonMarcos Diaz

Individual Self-Transcendence

World Harmony Run Trier-Aachen, April 20 – 22nd

World Harmony Run Trier-Aachen, April 20 – 22nd

school children holding the World Harmony Run torch in Trier Quint primary schoolJust back from a few very inspiring days on the World Harmony Run Europe. I had the honour of organizing the part from Trier to Aachen, and we had beautiful meetings all along the way, including lots of children on Friday, which is always the best part: receptions by the cities feeling-harmony-in-your-heart(or towns) of Trier, Bitburg, Prüm, Monschau, and Roetgen, schools in Trier and Bitburg on Friday, and in Aachen on Saturday an “Interfaith/Intercultural Run” visiting the Synagogue and the Bilal Mosque, the oldest and most Synagogue in Aacheninternational one in Germany, where the Run even received a special birthday cake and banner! Sunday morning provost Msgr. Poqué welcomed us at the famous Cathedral (UNESCO World HBirthday Cake at the Bilal-Mosque in Aacheneritage). Explaining to us about the distinguished annual Charlemagne Prize of Aachen (“Karlspreis”), he said he feels that the World Harmony Run belongs into the same category of efforts towards peace, harmony and unity in Europe, Cathedral of Aachenwhich the prize aims to honour.

Europe SquareAlso, it felt quite special to be back at the Europe Square with the torch, where I had finished my Channel Triathlon Dover-Aachen in 2010.

Click here for reports and photos (part1), and part 2.

Quite a few newspapers carried stories in print and online.

Thank you everyone who contributed, supported and participated in this amazing project for the last 25 years!

25 year Anniversary of the World Harmony Run on April 27th

25 year Anniversary of the World Harmony Run on April 27th

On April 27, 1987, the first torches of the global relay called World Harmony Run now were lit in New York by UN ambassadors and Sri Chinmoy, the founder, at the U.N. Plaza. This retrospective video shows glimpses of those 25 years. I have been involved in this great project since its beginnings, and will be on the road again soon, meeting school children, city representatives, visiting mosques, synagogues and churches.

For the decade 2012 to 2022, Dr. Davidson Hepburn, President of the UNESCO General Conference, says about the World Harmony Run:

I believe that all global citizens are eagerly looking toward the next decade – 2022 and beyond – as a time of great progress and striking change.

It is imperative that we work together to build a true Oneness-World.
Among recent initiatives to strive toward this goal, the World Harmony Run is one of the most remarkable and far-reaching.

 

This is a link to the website with current events and to Dr. David Hepburn’s speech.

 

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Weinheim January 1, 2012

Brief New Year`s dip in the lake at Weinheim - warm outside, but water temp only around 7°C

Wishing everyone a happy New Year full of positive challenges, new adventures and progress, inner and outer, for ourselves and in our service to the world!

Booked to swim the Straits of Gibraltar October 2012 – my motto/mantra being “Swimming to Africa” – and started training after almost a year off from swimming.

The swim will be dedicated again to the ideals of the World Harmony Run, but also to the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation and The Last Giants – the whales in the Straits of Gibraltar and the efforts of https://www.firmm.org.

Sri Chinmoy inducted into the IMSHoF

Sri Chinmoy inducted into the IMSHoF

Sri Chinmoy holding the World Harmony Run TorchThe International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame has selected the honorees for the year 2012.  The award presentation will take place at the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, California.
Sri Chinmoy, founder of the international Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, is one of the honorees
“for his considerable achievements as an administrator and mentor among long distance swimmers.” (Kevin Murphy, King of the Channel and President of the Board of Directors, IMSHoF)
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is known worldwide for its many athletic events, especially in the field of ultra- or endurance events, including the International Zurich Lake Self-Transcendence Marathon-Swim. In the spirit of self‑transcendence, his students have completed extraordinary feats of endurance. Members of the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team, who have received many awards, honors and recognitions, have swum the English Channel over forty times solo, and 3 times in relays (see list).

Interestingly, all of the team members are or have been vegetarians for years at the time of their swim and used regular meditation not only as part of their training but also as an integral part of their lifestyle.

Victory for Abhejali!

Victory for Abhejali!

Abhejali's finish around 22:05 our time

Abhejali’s finish around 22:05 European Mean Time near Cap Blanc Nez

Abhejali made it – in 14h 37 (or 38) mins! Ironically maybe even thanks to being seasick in the beginning! Out of the 14 boats that went out with relays and solos, only 5 made it I heart – some were  swept parallel to the coast at the end for hours before giving up, others turned round even earlier! Short feeding stops (in the second half), consistent swim speed and a good pilot (here Chris Osmond on Seafarer 11) and crew always have to work together. In a way it may even have helped Abhejali that she was pushed a bit further northeast in the beginning, probably due to her sick stomach and more frequent or longer stops, plus they started earlier – so she stayed further East of Cap Griz Nez and did

Parallel

Sea Satin and Suva are being swept off parallel to the coast – Anastasia and Pathfinder are doing well, too

not get into the stronger currents off the Cap when the tide turned again, plus she was a little closer to shore in calmer waters near Cap Blanc Nez when the others started being pushed parallel – at least that is what appeared to happen on the trackers. More of the story tomorrow.

That happens when you cannot cut through the tidal currents and run out of steam

One of the swims that sadly did not make it today (with Suva)

Here some more snapshots from the net.

Left: That happens when you cannot cut through the tidal currents, and maybe are even pushed by some wind from Southwest,  and don’t have enough left mentally and/or physically to keep swimming till the tide changes again. (The record is 27 hours – so no need to give up here unless you are hypothermic, cramped, running out of maxim/water/gas or you have to catch your plane or be back at work the next day.)

Here one of today’s  dramas (see above) on twitter with interesting fotos – one of the many charity swims, and donations are always welcome.

Victory and defeat are interwoven.
Do not try to separate them,
But try to go beyond them
If your heart longs for abiding peace.
– Sri Chinmoy

Love the battlefield of life,
For joy is always breathing
Secretly and openly
In both your victory and your defeat.

– Sri Chinmoy

Happy - Abhejali and her helper team on the way back to Dover

Happy – Abhejali and her helper team on the way back to Dover

Abhejhali is more than halfway – after being seasick for hours!

Abhejhali is more than halfway – after being seasick for hours!

More than half way - geografically

Past the Separation Zone -more than half way - geografically at 15:47 MET

Only briefly: Almost from the beginning of her swim Abhejali became seasick and could not hold anything in her stomach (the swells can be hard on your stomach even if the sea is almost flat). “What shall we do?” the helpers texted desperately. Nothing seemed to work. I texted back that Karteek (10x EC) had been seasick many times, even feeding the fish for up to 6 hours into the swim, and still made it most of the times. Vijaya always got seasick and finally made it. Abhejali fought through it and after 5 hours or so into the swim it got better.

It`s really busy today - 13 boats with swimmers out in the ChannelIt`s really busy today – 13 boats with swimmers out in the Channel

They have left the Separation Zone, meaning they are more than halfway – geografically!

You never know how much longer the end will be… The sea is choppy now (text message) with constant SW winds.

13 piloting boats  are out today, trying to guide their swimmes safely between tankers, ferries, pleasure crafts etc. to French shores.

Abhejali is swimming!

Abhejali is swimming!

Seafarer 11 off with Abhejali from Shakespeare Beach

Seafarer 11 off with Abhejali from Shakespeare Beach

Exactly at 6:22 Dover time (7:22 MET) on Monday,  July 11th, Abhejali started her swim with Chris Osmond on Seafarer 11 – along with quite a number of other swimmers.

Tracker 4 for Seafarer 11 on ais-doverstraits.co.uk

Tracker 4 for Seafarer 11 on ais-doverstraits.co.uk

She has tracker no 4 on https://www.ais-doverstraits.co.uk/ (if it works…)

The boats in the Channel can also be followed via: https://www.shipais.com/showship.php?map=dover&mmsi=235018589

Conditions are looking very good – many boats with swimmers are out. Fingers crossed!

Photo by Nick Adams on Suva

Awesome swimming conditons - Photo by Nick Adams on Suva via twitter

Careful – the English Channel is infectious!

Careful – the English Channel is infectious!

Abhejali (center) with helper Jayalata and pilot Chris Osmond, Dover marina

Abhejali (center) with helper Jayalata and pilot Chris Osmond, Dover marina

Abhejali (Czech Republic) from our Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team is waiting in Dover for a solo swim on Sunday or Monday (10/11th of July) – here with her helper Jayalata and boat pilot Chris Osmond. Both girls were part of our EC relay on Sept. 30, 2009 – and I am almost sure Jayalata may one day also do a solo. Abhejali did the Zurich lake last year, fast, in cold weather, and has prepared very well. Fingers crossed! (I would have loved to have an excuse to go to Dover briefly – but she has enough helpers…)

On July 20th Jatnasheel from Heidelberg is going to Dover for his solo – with Harkara from Augsburg as his helper – another future solo aspirant? Both completed our first successful EC boys relay last year (Sept. 2010).  The Channel IS infectious!