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Top: 12th Trungpa Tulku and his older brother standing in the ruins of Shelabum's castle. Photo by Marvin Ross.

Left: Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche with sneakers.

Sakyong Runs Personal Best In Prairie Marathon

August 22, 2004

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche set a personal best today at the Edmonton Festival marathon, completing the course in three hours and nine minutes. He cut more than ten minutes off his previous best time and now qualifies to enter the prestigious Boston Marathon, the "granddaddy of all marathons".

After the finish line, The Sakyong with fellow marathoner Misty Cech.

The Sakyong placed sixteenth in the entire field of runners and sixth in his age group.

Donations To Surmang To Be Presented To Twelfth Trungpa Tulku

The Sakyong hoped his marathon would be another opportunity for our community to back the rebuilding of Duedtsi-til Shedra at Surmang, Tibet. Unfortunately, because of severe problems with the Shambhala computer network, we were unable to broadcast advance messages about the Sakyong's marathon.

If 300 people could give $5 a mile ($130), we would more than reach the target of raising $35,000 to complete this year's building season at Surmang. Even $5 for just one mile will be welcome as an offering to our Surmang heritage.

If you can make a donation this week, it will be processed as quickly as possible. All gifts made now will be taken by the Sakyong's party to Tibet and presented to the the Twelfth Trungpa Tulku at Surmang. This will take place in late September/early October, after the Sakyong has met His Holiness Gyalwang Karmapa XVII in mid-September in Dharamsala, India.

(This message is from the Shambhala News Service)

Dispatch from the Finish Line

By Continuity Kusung Ben Medrano

Well, the results are in from the Sakyong’s third marathon, the 2004 Edmonton Centennial! Although it was a cold, rainy, windy morning and moderately hilly track the Sakyong met his goal for qualifying for the Boston Marathon, the “granddaddy of all marathons.” Not only that but he has now set a new personal best by running the course in 3 hours and 9 minutes, cutting more than 10 minutes off his previous marathon. He came in 16th overall and 6th in his age group. He was accompanied most of the way by Misty Cech, who (WOW!) won the womens marathon with a time of 3 hours and 12 minutes. Mrs. Cech, a new student from Boulder, has been a friend and running coach for most of Rinpoche’s 14-month running career. Also accompanying Rinpoche was Barry Greusner, a recent Vajrayana Seminary graduate from Vermont, who joined in at mile 13. Rinpoche’s actual run was also supported by the hard work of sangha members from Edmonton, Vancouver and Nelson.

Regardless of the elements Rinpoche’s gait was relaxed and strong throughout the entire marathon. He even started surging around mile 21, where he passed many lead runners. Just to give you a gauge, he covered an average mile in about 7 minutes and 12 seconds and his fastest pace was 5 minutes and 55 second miles.

During our 72-hour stay and prior to running 26.2 miles, Rinpoche addressed the Edmonton Shambhala community with cheerful and encouraging remarks on how to further benefit others and increase the effectiveness of our own personal practice. Following that address was an interview request from the Edmonton Journal, one of the leading newspapers in Edmonton. The Saturday edition article titled Spiritual leader aims to lead running pack, too! appeared on the front page of the city news section and predicted the following:

“While the Sakyong preaches compassion and claims not to pay attention to winners and losers in marathons, chances are marathon participants will get a good view of his back on Sunday.”

This quote turned out to be more than accurate. For the support team it was a challenge just to keep up with the runners even with the use of both cars and bikes. None-the-less Rinpoche’s good humor and meekness was held throughout this entire process as he is quoted in the Edmonton Journal saying “This weekend, I am just a runner.” And a fast one at that!!!



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