Question: An ultramarathon is very much a kind of inner search, as opposed to competitive sports like football. Is that what you find attractive?

Sri Chinmoy: Outwardly you can say that. But, as I said before, I received inspiration from within. Running long distance is like being part of a family — thousands of people are going together. Sprinting is a matter of a single individual, all by himself in a lane. He cannot come out of his lane. Otherwise he will be disqualified or there will be a real accident.

In long distance, the runners are going slowly and steadily towards their goal, and there is constant joy. In the New York City Marathon, they say that every runner is a winner. This slogan I admire very much — every runner is a winner. Already the champions have finished, and we are cheerfully going on, ten miles behind them. Then, when we come to the finish, the organisers console us and inspire us by saying that every runner is a winner.

In the spiritual life also, everybody is a winner — provided you do not give up. If you give up, you are not a winner. Slow and steady wins the race. Everybody cannot have the same capacity, the same standard. You will go according to your speed, and I will go according to my speed. If you and I can maintain our cheerfulness and reach our destination, it does not matter whether you arrive first or I arrive first. We are both winners because we are competing with ourselves on the strength of our faith in ourselves and in God.