3100: Run and Become
Friday November 27, 7pm, Subiaco Community Centre, $7 entry
Subiaco Community Centre is hosting a screening of the 3100: Run and Become film along with a Q and A. The feature film length documentary that explores the relationship between running and spirituality.
It focuses on Finnish ultra-runner Ashprihanal Aalto, who runs Ultra races and meditates at the same time because he follows the path of the races founder Sri Chinmoy, who advocated running and fitness for spiritual development. “Without courage,” he once said in reference to transcending oneself, “Life is a path without progress.” Aalto follows this philosophy he has completed the 3100 mile race 14 times.
Ashprihanal appears slightly built, light and small but the slow motion cinematography that follows Aalto later in the film shows the power and competitiveness in the man. He can run for days without little or no rest. He makes the distance with a surprise twist at the end, but fellow competitor, Austrian ultra-runner (and concert cellist) Shamita Achenbach doesn’t. She is forced out and still finds positives in her journey that can help us all take something out of a perceived failure.
Running and Moving Meditation
Rawal moves focus in the movie to the native Americans who run in the vast plains and stunning scenery of their homeland in Arizona. We are introduced to Navajo runner Shaun Martin who goes on a solo hundred miler in honour of his forefathers who had to run miles in order to escape the Western Schools they were forcibly taken to. Martin’s words are inspirational. “We get up and run as the sun is rising to celebrate life, we run because it is a form of prayer. You are speaking to Mother Earth with your feet, you are breathing in Father Sky and you are telling them and asking them for blessings and showing them you are ready to work for that prayer, for those blessings.”
The Navajo’s aren’t the only indigenous culture that runs for spirituality and Sanjay visits Southern Africa’s Kalahari bushmen who have long used running for hunting, growth and to transition the youth into adulthood for eons but is under threat with government bans, development and relocation forcing the traditional running hunters to go underground. Rawal explores this dilemma and is taken on an illegal hunt with a local hunter, revered for his talent and skill, who runs and hunts his prey.
Perhaps rarer footage is of the legendary Marathon Monks of Japan’s Mt. Hie. Spectacularly dressed, looking more like Star Wars action figures than spiritual monks, the Buddhist aspirants pilgrimage around the mountain in their thousand day quest for enlightenment, covering immense distances every day. Not interested in publicity it took the film crew three visits to the head monk in Japan to be allowed to film. The access Rawal got was inspiring, visually uplifting and unprecedented.
Ultimately this film probably opens some doors to us all explaining why many of us run when we are asked by a non-runner ‘Why would you do that?’ “Running,” according to Sanjay Rawal, “unites us. At one point, every culture on Earth relied on running. It’s baked into our DNA.”
Director Sanjay Rawal is unable to make it given the current travel restrictions but 4x race finisher Grahak Cunningham will answer questions at the end. The screening and Q and A event is sponsored by the Sri Chinmoy Centre.
The Whole Evening Will Be Uplifting
Don’t feel you have to be an ultra runner or even a runner to attend. The evenings will be really inspiring you will learn about our potential, what connects us all and we can all go beyond our perceived limitations. There is a small cover charge to attend ($7 cash) at the door. Call on 61614156 if you need more information. If you are interested, the next day a free meditation workshop covering all aspects of meditation, including its connection with sports is being conducted at 1pm at the same venue.