"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own"   Sri Chinmoy

Mahiyan's Mystery Race - New York, August 2019

A Celebrations Race with a difference! Although it was billed as Mahiyan's race (maybe he dreamt this up years ago?) it was Angugata and Papaha who seemed to be co-ordinating it. It took a while to get us into teams of 4 and explain the rules - which then had to undergo a few transations for the benefit of the international crew taking part. I was in a 4 with Peteris (I think he's from Latvia or Lithuania), Eric (Kirgizstan) and Cliff (South Africa).

The rule was that only the 4th runner in the line up knew where the finish line was - somewhere within a mile radius of the start. The lead runner had to choose which way to turn at each junction then nip to the back of the line so the next runner made the next decision at the next turn etc etc. Once in sight of the "finish" the whole team could sprint and first across the line would count. Our plan was to head for somewhere with short distances between turns so we could cycle through the four runners and get some correct directions from the one-who-knew early on. This came from the obviously smart guys in the team, Peteris and Cliff, so we went with it - a logical strategy for sure.

We began running and at the first crossroads (by our traditional 2 mile race start) the lead runner of each team decided which way to turn then peeled off and joined the back of the line. I was leading so we took a right then I peeled off so that Eric could lead to the next junction and make the decision - he took us left into Goose Pond Park. Cliff led to the next turning and took us up towards Aspiration Ground then Peteris, the man who knew, took us towards Parsons Boulevard. And so it continued - running in the August morning sunshine not knowing quite where we were going to end up or how we were going to get there - or how long it would take! After numerous junctions with lefts, rights, straight-ons and a couple of u-turns, I took over as we ran down Parsons and made the call to turn right on the road towards Ashrita's house. That was genuine intuition or guesswork (not sure which) but it proved decisive - as soon as we'd made the turn we saw one of the girl's teams finishing up ahead - Ashrita's front yard was the goal! Behind us another team had spotted this so their "sprinter" Abhinaba accelarated towards us hoping to take second place but he couldn't quite chase down our fast man Eric who claimed second spot for us with Team Abhinaba in 3rd.

A good result thanks to some logical thinking from the team intellectuals and some good fortune or good intution from the rest of us...

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