About the author:

Nirbhasa is originally from Ireland but currently lives in Reykjavik, Iceland. He is an enthusiastic multi-day runner, having twice completed both the Ten Day Race and the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race - the longest race in the world.

In 2013, after many years of trying and some very near podium misses, Tejvan Pettinger from the Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team won the national cycling hill-climb title, one of the top races on the UK national cycling calendar. Tejvan began cycling in earnest in 2005, but despite being a promising rider the prospect of a national title seemed very much like a faraway dream. 

In the year before his passing in 2007, Tejvan's Guru (or spiritual teacher), Sri Chinmoy, made quite a few references to Tejvan being 'our cycling champion'. Sri Chinmoy preferred to teach his students through silent meditation, and was not one for frivolous comment; often these seemingly offhand remarks had a way of awakening his students to new possibilities. (For example, also in 2006-7, Sri Chinmoy repeatedly and seemingly offhandely asked another student, Grahak Cunningham, whether he had done our longest race, meaning the 3100 Mile race. Even though up until then he had very little ultrarunning experience, Grahak was inspired to start that race and see what happens - he went on to finish the race on his first attempt, and later won the race in 2012).

As the years went past, Tejvan realised that the goal of a national title was indeed possible and put more and more focus on it, both physically in terms of being in the best shape and having the right equipment and approach, but also inwardly in terms of being receptive to divine Grace - a journey which culminated in everything coming together in 2013 for the ultimate prize.