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

Seminyak 3 Mile Race - Jan 2023 - Bali

It was said of this race that The Gods decided the distance. After announcing, a few days in advance, that the expected 1-mile race would in fact be a 2-miler, Pradhan had no shortage of opinions thrown his way about the change. There was a powerful 1-mile lobby and an equally vocal group telling him not to be swayed. In the end he found an ingenious solution by leaving it to chance, or fate, by having our winners of the previous race draw lots at the start. Susan drew 3 miles and Sanjay drew the card that said it should stay at that distance rather than be longer or shorter, so as the rain swirled around us and the wind blew in off the ocean we girded ourselves for the longer distance.

3 miles isn't much, but on soft sand in a tropical rainstorm it was going to be hard going. I also felt for the marshals, clutching at their hotel umbrellas and trying to stay dry as the weather got progressively wetter. At least with the air temperature at around 27 degrees, nobody was going to get cold. The wind did have a cooling effect of sorts but that was more than outweighed by the intense humidity which I still hadn't adjusted to and still found energy-sapping.

As we set off into the mists (visibility was pretty low) it was a repeat at first of the 2 miler, with Prachar setting off fast behind the lead pack of Sanjay, Sadanand and Apaguha. I noticed my feet were sinking more deeply into the sand than at the previous race, and although I hoped to get a reasonable time I knew it would be nothing like I could do on a hard road. I eased ahead of Prachar at we came to the 800m mark and ran around the marshal, Rajpal, then headed back into the mists once again trying not to let Apaguha disappear altogether over the horizon.

I ran the first mile at around 6.32 pace, the second at 6.39 and despite a rising heart rate and a determinded assault on the finish the third took 6.36. As in the 2 mile I at least crossed the line at a healthy sub-6 pace, so that means I do kind of have a slight kick left in me.

The reluctance over the distance turned to celebration for everyone at the end as they completed the race, overcoming the soft sand and the rain and the wind and the distance itself. Sodden but happy, we took prasad and jogged back for breakfast - we'd agreed to announce the results in the function at the hotel later in the day rather than hang around getting rained on!

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