Monthly Archives: June 2017

Running with the alter ego


The rains had finally arrived and lashed the city with great fury. The waves crashing on the rocks was a mesmerising sight. It was a misty morning and I was out on my long run. The past few days had been stressful and I felt that a good run would be the best cure to all the troubles.

The roads appeared desolated as the dark grey clouds hovered above. I could barely sight a soul. Splash splash I went, my feet playing along with the puddles on the road as the rains came down in full force again.

I was soon lost in my thoughts which were rummaging like the howling wind when I suddenly noticed a faint running figure,clad in blue, catching up with me. Sporting a blue cap, the heavy showers dillusioned the face.

“Strange”, I thought to myself. ‘”Where had this person come from? I had barely spotted anyone earlier.”

“You seem flustered. Are you ok” the voice of the figure came sailing through. I glanced in surprise at the perceptive stance of this stranger. I nodded quietly.

I could sense this ‘figure’ looking at me sideways for a long time. Finally the eerie silence was broken.

“Sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone.” The voice continued. ” We are so used to a certain lifestyle that we are reluctant to step out and explore other possibilities even it’s for a short while. Often apprehension and insecurity take over preventing some golden opportunities to knock on our door. We bolt the door so tightly that we fail to understand the significance of embracing newer opportunities which make us better than what we are today ”

I was bewildered at this philosophical talk early in the morning especially since I wanted some solitude to sort my head. I was moving countries for a year and was having mixed feelings about the whole process.

“You do not know what’s in store for you.” “Give yourself a chance. Who knows, you may come back as a better person. ”

I was startled by this statement and stopped in my tracks for a moment.

The voice continued ” Don’t stop and lose your momentum or sense of direction. It’s now or never. Take the plunge and grow in experience. Not many people get this chance at your age or stage in life”.

I gasped in shock wondering how this ‘figure’ had read my mind. It strangely seemed to respond to all my inhibitions which I hadn’t disclosed vocally.

The heavy downpour
continued as I stared at this figure going ahead. I wondered who this was and the run had almost come to an end.

“Don’t look so surprised. You keep voicing out your troubles and I always end up giving you solutions. You know me Swetha.”

I stood transfixed, stunned as to how this figure knew my name. I suddenly shivered as a gale of wind blew from behind as I watched that figure slowly disappear down the road.

The rains had stopped and the weather began to clear up. I spotted some cleaners and asked if they had seen a person in a blue cap and shirt. They said there was not a single soul and I seemed to be the only runner on the roads that morning.

I reached home and was still pondering over this strange encounter. As I looked up in the mirror I saw a reflection of a blue shirt and cap glancing back at me.

I smiled! I had found the answer to my troubles

MRR- Bonhomie at its Best

I think I first connected with MRR (Mumbai Road Runners) on Facebook when I was planning to do my very first 10k in 2012. I had registered for the Pinkathon that year. Unfortunately, I ended up skipping it due to a Family Emergency. Anyways, along with some other Runner Groups, MRR soon became my Go to place for every little Running query. Initially I had the Fly on the Wall approach simply skimming through the posts, garnering knowledge and trying to inculcate whatever was feasible.

In 2015 post my first FM, by when I had moved on from being a Solo Runner to connecting with other Runner Friends thanks to my buddy Roshni Rai, I met Ultra Couple Sunil and Sangeeta Shetty. They were nice enough to take Anupma Diddi and me for our very first Run with the MRR Gang in June 2015. We went directly to NCPA and ran about 12k or so returning with the Bandra-NCPA Runners. Both of us didn’t really know anyone but Samuel Chettiar made sure we were very much a part of the Gang ?.

After the Mumbai Ultra on 15th August, 2015, I got to know a lot more other Runners. After all Misery loves Company Right ?? We were all a bunch of crazy people going back and forth in loops. Needless to say it was wonderful to actually meet and even run along with some of my MRR friends from Facebook ?.

Getting connected to more Runners helped me get the additional support in terms of Transportation. It was always an issue venturing out alone in the wee hours of the morning. Finally I had a whole Gang of people who were happy to have me tag along with them. Yup, my life was definitely more interesting and fun now thanks to MRR. From running in one event in the neighbourhood I graduated to running around all over the place having a gala time ?..

We did crazy things like play Dress up for the MRR Halloween Run. Runner Photographer Indy Jadhv actually managed to look like Cowboy Amalesh Karle and I were enacting Shootout at Wilson ? . Oh Boy, that was hilarious.

Finally I managed to do the monthly Bandra-NCPA 21k post SCMM 2016 along with Salaj Singh as we edged Amalesh Karle on to finish strong at NCPA amidst loud cheers and applause. Sure makes you feel like a Star every single time ?. .

Being associated with MRR we even got to be a part of the Yoga Session by Beverly Mathews channelling our inner Yogis. It was a really informative session by Beverly with Neelam Vaswani and Kanishk Pandey demonstrating the various poses as the rest of us did our best to follow them and avoid toppling over ? . Yup, sure isn’t as easy as it looks.

The Ultimate Frisbee Game organized by Swetha and Amit at Juhu Beach was a laugh riot. All of us were running around, giggling, shouting and falling around like Big Kids. And the mad moments rolled on with the Ultimate Blast at the MRR Awards Bash. Volunteering was just another way to get to know people and making like-minded friends ?.

Oh yes, how can I forget being part of the Famous MRR Runner Speak Video. Viv and Sam had a ball pretty much ragging us :P. Needless to say each of us was super thrilled as soon as we were done. All in all we had fun, though the less said about my over-animated video the better ? .

So happy to run and be a part of the very first MRR 10-Miler recently arranged at the Eastern Express Highway. Nice to have another MRR Run so close to Home. As always the Fun and Camaraderie is unmatched ? .

Feels unbelievable that two years have flown by.   I am very much part of this wonderful group. From simply reading up and gaining inputs and information, I am now actually giving advice, encouragement and freely sharing my views with others. Of course the biggest and best part has been the amazing people I have met and wonderful friends I have made thanks to MRR ?.

So Happy to see, learn and be a part of the Selfless work done by MRR including supporting deserving Runners from the low income bracket, giving away running gear to charitable organizations, organizing Charity Runs and many more such wonderful initiatives. Sure feels wonderful to be a part of such a Vibrant Community which believes in Sharing, Caring and giving back to others. MRR definitely Rocks.

Volunteer: Noun Altruistic activity where an individual provides services, In Hindi – Sevak: Not that Pradhan Sevak :)

My first volunteering stint with MRR was way back, on 7th June 2015.  Incidentally it was also a Farewell run for Andrea Stadler. Though I had joined MRR fb group in Sept 2013, my involvement was limited only to reading posts and questions posted by fellow runners & answers to these questions given by experts in group.

I used to always wonder how these guys run 21km for practice and that too every month, as till that time I used to participate in only 1 race (SCMM) in a year .So decided to join all like-minded people for a race.  Initially, I felt a bit scared as running 21km every month was not my cup of tea and was also not familiar with the route then ( The route maps were not posted then ) , hence decided to volunteer and get acquainted with members of the group & to know the entire route . 

Ram Venkatraman added me to the volunteer group which included other runners who had opted to volunteer during the run. All sorts of question were running in my mind as to how the hydration will be served, how we would know when the runners require hydration etc. Rupal Shah who was coordinating for that run had already shared few instructions for us in the group. This made me bit comfortable. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that is required to conduct a run, keeping to account the weather, no of participants, their finish timing, post run snacks, hydration (water) and coordinating with people coming from various parts of city etc.

However meticulous planning & execution by Rupal and admins made it look easy as the further instructions started flowing regarding spots/water stations assigned to volunteers and procurement of hydration( water ) for their respective stations based on the number of volunteers , baggage’s collection and other instructions for Andreas farewell like getting placards prepared , cakes etc. 

I was confused with so much instruction and was wondering how these guys arrived at hydration (water) figure just by taking into account the no of runners registered. (This doubt got cleared after I had few more volunteering stint with MRR and also thanks to calculation xls shared by Viv Menon). Subsequently a detailed instructions for runners & volunteers were shared for the race day runners thanking the volunteers on the volunteer post even before the start of day made me realize that this is gonna be an awesome experience. 

So as planned and instructed I landed up at Otters club at 05:00 am and was quite amazed to see so many runners in colorful clothes (few in MRR neo green ) turning up early morning for a practice run ( though the number was not quite huge as it is now ). As I personally didn’t know anyone there, I  started looking out for other volunteers by checking their FB profile pic and soon  met Subhash Putty and Rupal who introduced me to Sukhjeevan Singh Bhimber (Sukhi Paji )  , as I was stationed at mela with sukhi .Then there was a warm-up session followed by a briefing by Samuel Chettiar(Sam) for runners and  volunteers just before the run ( a practice which he still does before start and after finishing the run ), the briefing also included a Jumla of getting Hugs & Kisses ( The later one, I have never received during the run as said by Sam and hence a Jumla :) ) .Few runners had by then started painting their face with lipsticks and colors this reminded me of my school & college years were we had similar fun during trips etc. 

Show me some love –Before start of run

Post the start of the race the volunteers grouped according to their water station started leaving for their respective station, After reaching Mela (now China Bistro) Sukhi immediately placed the MRR standee and we started preparing the hydration (Mixing enerzal to water) by the time we had prepared few hydration (now water & enerzal) bottles, runners started coming to our water station. Was very thrilled to see happy faces of runners stopping for hydration(water) and fruits (banana & oranges) and almost every runner thanked us, this continued till 7:30 am.  The camaraderie  was unbelievable though didn’t knew many of them but the warmth in their smile and small talks and hugs made me feel homely and aren’t we a big family of runners ?

At Mela
At around 7:30 am we wrapped the water station after all the runners had passed our station and we proceeded towards NCPA, the point where the run ends. Many runners had already finished their run by then and Rupal and other volunteers there were helping them with hydration (water) and snacks. 

Post having snacks and after about 15-20 mins Giles Drego started with the cool down sessions, with runners participating in cool down session happily & then we had a small farewell function for andrea including a vote of thanks from her for the wonderful experience she had with MRR .All this and happy faces of runners greeting each other and discussing about run & clamour by runners was no less than a festival, it was an amazing culmination to what had been a splendid morning.

Post Run
I’d never volunteered in any run earlier and I have never been as amazed by it as I was that day. After this I knew I had gained more than what I had given back and made few good friends too.

My first experience volunteering for MRR monthly run was fantastic and I absolutely loved it and then I wondered why it took me so long to join this group and volunteer and if you haven’t yet had the chance to volunteer at MRR, I would encourage you to do so and here’s why

It’s fun to be on the other side of the race. Since I like to cheer people, it was fun for me to do that on just about every runner as they flew by. Cheering on runners is pretty much my favorite thing ever. 

It helps you to connect to other runners including podium finishers, ultra runners etc., listening to new stories of their achievements and get to gain so much knowledge about running, recovery, hydration etc. 

It helps you to better understand why and how certain decisions are made in races e.g. hydration (water) stations, refreshment, snacks etc.  Seeing a bit of the behind the scenes action, can provide the perspective that you just don’t have when you are running.  

Giving back is important. The community requires volunteers. At some point in your life as a runner, one of those volunteers should be you. Volunteering can be a thankless job, but it is an important one and races couldn’t exist without it and it’s a fact.


Bandra NCPA runs – memories so vivid that its hardly nostalgic!!

I started to run in May 2012. I had no intentions to run a race and this changed in two months when I ran my first Bandra-NCPA run with MRR. It was the July edition and July 2012 was the second anniversary.

A background first. Bandra NCPA run as it was previously called, was a 19k run from Otters club to NCPA. The route chalked out by the stalwarts of running like Milton Frank, Giles Drego and Ram Venkatraman did not have the half loop of Carter road and did not take the Worli sea face. As a result it was a 19k route. There were some runners who would take Worli sea face to make it a 20k but obviously I was not one of them. As a complete novice I always followed to the T what my coach Giles Drego told me. So when he invited me to run this one, he clearly said “You do a 12-13k. Run till haji ali and take a cab to NCPA. Or go back if you want but there will be cake at NCPA.” (Typical Giles)      

Anyway so the day arrives and I reach Otters Club all excited. I see about a hundred people charged up, dressed in vibrant running gear, stretching, warming up, meeting and greeting each other. The atmosphere was electrifying. I clearly remember seeing the legends of running there. These were the real stars. Giles, Mani, Ram, Bhasker, Ajit, Puru, Milton, Unmesh etc. I call them the legends of running because they are really passionate about the sport. We look at running now and it is full of limelight. Social Media, Brands chasing runners, race mania, sponsorship, challenges and what not. It has become the ‘in’ thing if I may say so. These runners are legends in my opinion because they used to run even when it was not the ‘in’ thing. So here I was like a little village child who was suddenly put on the streets of Manhattan somehow, looking everywhere in amazement, awe and excitement.

Pani Sir had graced the occasion. He had flown down from Bangalore to be a part of this. I had no idea who he was and it was much later I got to know the kind of respect the man commands in the running circuit across the country. I clearly remember him saying “We will go easy. We will maintain a pace of 6 consistently throughout the run” Again I had no idea what ‘easy’ meant and what ‘pace’ was. I did not own a Garmin back then. I only had to follow my Coach’s instructions and message him my total time taken later on.

The run began and I cannot describe the energy levels I saw on that day. There was a sea of runners and the waves were lashing. My initial thoughts to myself were “Dude… look at them.. they are all champions.. Thank goodness you only have to run till Haji Ali… else you would have reached NCPA by the time these people are eating lunch!”  I barely knew anyone there besides Giles and Kshitij Sharma but by the end of it I had made some acquaintances if not friends. And who would have known that some of these acquaintances would result in deep bonds of friendship.

The 2nd Anniversary edition

So I continued to run and people passed me. Cheering me on when they didn’t even know me. I was amazed again. This was not some group of elite, high and mighty people who had their noses in the air.

Vibrant and happy tribe

This was a group where a slow and new runner like me was welcomed with warm smiles and open arms. This was a pack I would want to be a part of. So happy as I was I continued to run. This was my first long run. I consider distances above 10K as ‘Long’. I had no idea about pacing myself and I continued at a decent speed. Obviously I got steamed out around Siddhivinayak Temple. I decided to walk when I met Aanchal Mundkur. She took out the earphone and asked “first time” I nodded. She said “Awesome.. cya at NCPA” and rushed off. The thing with Ms. Mundkur is you cannot forget or miss her. She is the girl in the orange cap. However, if my memory serves me right, that time the cap was white.

2014 edition

So I ended my run at Haji Ali and took a cab to NCPA as instructed. When I reached, many runners had already reached there and a few were coming in. After sometime Pani sir took the stretches. It was the most extensive stretching session I have ever been a part of. Just the stretching lasted half an hour. A big cake was cut and distributed among runners. And after some crazy group pictures I took a cab and went back home.

What changed in me that day was my reason to run. I saw this bunch of runners who I knew had a story behind their running but irrespective of their different reasons, they had in common real love and passion for running. That day I decided that I will never stop running. The only reason to stop will be losing the love or passion for the sport and I always pray that I stay in love with it. What started as a casual fling turned into a full fledged love affair. In the 5 years of being in love with running I have ran about 30 races with distances ranging from 10k to 42.2k. I may have not lost a lot of weight, I may have not got many PBs and I may have plateau-ed out but what I have gained here is some really good friendships. I have met some extremely motivating and inspiring people and forged a deep bond with some. And that makes it all worth it.

6th Anniversary Edition 2016

MRR is celebrating its 7th Anniversary on 2nd July 2017 and many congratulations to them…. Rather us. I have never missed the anniversary edition since 2012 and have been around for at least 8-9 editions each year. I have seen this community grow multiple folds. It gives me immense happiness to share that I was once a part of an edition with only 11 runners and absolutely no volunteers. Today the least attendance is in three digits. There are volunteers, hydration partners, contests, prizes sometimes even sponsored breakfast. The policy of ‘For the runners by the runners’ is strictly followed and a newbie will feel as welcomed as I felt in the July of 2012.

Last year I wrote something on the MRR run. Just ending with that rhyme.     

As the days get hot and nights get warm
I lay awake in my bed before my alarm
Excited as a child on his birthday
I get ready as its the first Sunday of May
The summers are here and its getting hotter
But I have to be in front of otter’s 
So off I rush as I dont wanna be late
With runner buddies I have a date
I park my car outside otters gate 
And find the lively MRR brigade
I meet and greet and hug and kiss
And make sure there’s no lady I miss
A pack of cheetahs all fit and lean 
And so many of them sporting the MRR green
So off they go at half past five

So much energy the dead could come alive
They reach the first water station at shivaji park 
And oh my god.. Its still dark
Water, enerzal, smiles and cheers
They take a sip and thank the volunteers
They continue on their journey south
So much fun there ain’t no doubt
And soon they take a breather at mela
Click some pics and eat a kela
By now its dawn and dark no more 
They are half way done and half way more 
They keep running alongside the sea
With a lovely view of haji Ali
And when the sea view comes to an end 
On pedder road they start to ascend 
Puffing, panting with all the might and will
When the hell are we gonna get a downhill

And so they hit the marine drive
At Wilson greeted with biscuits and high five
They tell you that you are almost there
NCPA ain’t that far from here
Continuing to run along the bend
They will run till the roads end 
And when they see the faster ones of the tribe
They will get a triumphant vibe 
And so they dash with hands in the air
Welcomed by applause and cheer
They stretch and plan breakfast and beer
And off they go to an Irani place near.

MRR welcoming runners with open arms and strengthens the camaraderie between them

It was a sultry April morning in 2015 when my husband and I landed up at Otters club for our first MRR (Mumbai Road runners) run. As we got out of the car, we looked around at the jovial faces feeling initially quite at sea. We then noticed a cheerful faced person walking up to us and introducing himself as Samuel Chettiar who instantly made us feel at home.

I remember the weather being excessively warm considering it was the month of April. However the reception that we received during and post the run was undoubtedly warmer as I recollect going back home with pleasant memories and some new friends. It was no looking back after that and we sincerely dedicated every first Sunday of the month to our new family of runners.

Month after month, as we clocked our long runs, our camaraderie with this community only grew. It was interesting to see people from varied age groups, several parts of the city and different professional backgrounds come together for this occasion. MRR has managed to connect individuals with a similar passion from different corners of the humongous city of Mumbai which wasn’t feasible otherwise given the erratic schedules and mind numbing travel times.

It is due thanks to their vibrant Facebook page that encourages runners to post their queries, car pool with fellow runners from similar or neighbouring localities to reach a particular destination for an event, talk about their experiences of running on different trails, read the story behind every runner and engage in a healthy discussion.

Fun is definitely the USP of every MRR run as sincere efforts are taken to ensure that no runner is discriminated or judged based on their pace, distance or timing. Volunteers are stationed in plenty offering a kind word or two along with the necessary hydration. Every runner is given their due appreciation and included in the group photographs- a reminder of their memories on the roads.

Breaking the monotony is believed to be crucial and hence the off season months of March, April and May are utilized to engage in different kinds of sports besides running which includes Football and Ultimate Frisbee. Yoga sessions are also conducted on a regular basis barring the monsoon months of June, July, August and September. While running forms the core of MRR, activities like these brings people of other varied interests together which in turn has led to the growth of the community every year.

The glittering MRR awards function held on an annual basis post the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon is an occasion for people to let their hair down, engage in a lot more effervescent activities like a skit or a dance and build a deeper bond with their fellow runners whom they would usually just wave out to during their long runs.

It has been 2 eventful years since I joined the Mumbai road runners and the camaraderie has only strengthened over the several months. Having been running since 2012, it was initially a lonely haul for both my husband and myself who would spend long hours on the road without a single person to acknowledge.  Today it’s a different scenario where we eventually bump into familiar faces thanks to MRR.

Having been residents of South Mumbai for over ten years, we haven’t been able to make that many friends in this part of town  as we have by the virtue of just being in a community like Mumbai road runners within a short span of 2 years. Today we have far more friends from other parts of the city than the uptight locality we are residing in.

Pondering at this irony, I often tend to dwell in remorse and regret that I didn’t join this vibrant community earlier. However the saying goes ‘When the student is ready, the master appears’. Perhaps there is a time for everything. Probably in April 2015, I was ready to learn, love, accept, empathize and not judge – the principles which MRR operates with.

It is sheer platform where everybody is a student and a teacher as this gigantic network offers something that everybody can learn from-be it a new comer, amateur or a veteran. The large-heartedness of the Mumbai road runners breaks barriers and distances by welcoming runners from all over the country and the world-a bond which is what makes runners feel at home and establish that connection. The rapport eventually  goes beyond running and I term this as a Karmic connection!!

Happy global runners day


A run a day
Keeps the blues at bay,
That rush of the adrenaline,
Gives the high of a tonic and Gin.

Sunshine or rainfall
Runners have a ball.
Wearing a smile on their lips
With their attire so hip.
Long runs or a short mile
Makes that ‘me-time’ really worthwhile.

What a wonderful way
To keep us happy and gay.
A workout so incomparable
Feels like a magical fable.

An experience that is life altering
Enriching yet so humbling.
From the start to the finish line,
We are fit and fine.
Yet we are no longer the same,
With our aspirations and ambitions being tamed.

Every run is a learning,
That’s what makes it so motivating.
Some may be fast, some slow,
Yet there is no reason to feel so low.

Every runner is a runner on the block,
Irrespective of the timing they clock.
The spirit is what ultimately counts,
Along with the energy that mounts.

Run run run,
As long as it’s fun.
With every stride making you go yay,
Wishing all a very happy global running day!


Running injuries -THE GLUTE CAVEAT .
Physiology first .

Be strong at the weakest place is known . Why not be strongest at a strong place ??
From a Palaeolithic hunter gatherer millions of years ago to a lifestyle with plenty of sitting hours has affected running in most of the recreational runners .
All know about this new smoking .

Why ?

Gluteus muscles are the most pennated muscle with greatest surface area and mass . The multiple regions and muscular attachments proves multiple and varied roles apart from running .
A close look at a gymnast butt will prove this .
Physiologically the muscle fibres are such that they can work at low speed with high force and low level of force at high speed .
Running is a predominant sagittal plane activity and running needs effective hip extension and Gluteus maximus is the key hip extensor in sagittal plane .


A weak / inhibited GLUTE leads to altered adaptation while running and otherwise .

1. A tilted pelvis – overloads hip joints , tronchanteric bursa , tendon insertions , overactive tensor fascia Lata and piriformis .
2. A knee drift inwards. Overloads tensor fascia , pes anserinus , patellofemoral joint and patellar tendon .
3. A knee drift outwards. Overloads inner and outer tibiofemoral compartments .
4. A sideway shift of the trunk overloads hip joints and vertebral disc space .
5 .A weak GLUTE lets the iliopsoas muscle take over leading to BACKACHES .
6 . It leads to a poor control over Femur bone . Your knee will do only that what your foot allows and the hips can control .( KNEE PAINS )
7 .Weak gluteus decreases proprioception and locks ankles which does not allow Hips to extend fully and you run this as a learned running form ( MUSCLE MOTOR ENGRAM ) leading to ( ANKLE PAIN AND PLANTAR FASCIITIS ) .
8 . A loaded HAMSTRINGS is given .
9 .Weak Glutes tires / pains the opposite shoulder and elbow (EPICONDYLITIS )as a compensatory mechanism .
10 . It loosens up the myo fascial grips around the hips leading to poor recoil and overuse of neck muscles causing post run HEADACHES .

Aren’t my Gluteus muscles ok with years of running ??
Unless tested in hyper extension where they perform the best .


Put up some hip flexors stretches / exercises first post warm up .
All standing exercises as squats , deadlifts , lunges cause extension in one plane of movement . They also add hams in the process and may not load Glutes fully . It doesn’t mean to skip them .

The key is to go supine , prone and quadruped so that hips works up a multiplaner mode . It doubles your Glutes load as confirmed by EMG study .


5 .SINGLE LEG EXERCISES (squats , deadlifts +/- arm row or a press , +/- weights .)

The reasons why the rehab guys put more emphasis on going prone , supine and quadruped .An attention to cross training . Add weights to cycling . A swim that is underwater or a pool exercise lying supine with extended body in water and kicking extended legs behind .
Put these sleeping Giants to do their best .

Runner speaks by Rodman D’ Souza

By Rodman D’Souza

Ajay M.Gupta

Running – a part of me…

Having started my career with one of the big four consulting firms, I was enjoying life but never had the time to go beyond my field of academics and technical knowledge. My world was constrained only to becoming a good professional until 2014. When I switched my job, I had some time to pursue other things as well beyond office. Being a person who gets bored easily and does not like seating at home like a gunny bag, I started pursuing things which I was once passionate about but had lost hold on. I started spending time doing some social activities, listening to music, travelling to new places etc. I also started gyming but almost a year down I developed some problem in one of my shoulder tissues and I stopped gyming since the beginning of 2016. Now I was left wondering as to how would I spend my time, what skill do I acquire now!!! I read somewhere about RK City Marathon to be held in BKC on July 24, 2016 and I thought let me give it a try… That is where my story begins.
I registered for this event and thought of practicing but did not move my body until it was a week before the event. I did all the research as to the running techniques, the breathing techniques, the form, cadence and all that I could and I set out for the first run of my life after school sports events having installed a fitness tracking app on my cell phone. I started with jogging but realized that it was difficult to continue doing that even for a couple of kms and I had to run for 10 kms in a weeks’ time. I was determined to go at it so I continued my run-walk, run-walk and was able to complete around 7 kms but had terrible pain in the front-part of my legs below the knees and I returned home unable to walk properly. Did some research on the reasons for the pain and came to know that it was shin-splits and the best remedy was to take rest which I could not afford to. I applied ice, kept my feet in warm water and did whatever I had read to reduce the pain. I avoided running for the next 2 days but was again up on Friday evening after office. I ran for 5 kms and again had some shin problems but lesser than the first time. With only a day before the event and having a determined mindset, I again ran on Saturday morning, this time covering 9 kms which was sufficient to boost my confidence. It was Sunday morning and I was excited to participate in first of such events. There were a couple of other friends too who had registered for the first time. I did the race in my run-walk-run mode and was able to clock 74 minutes for a 10k and I was satisfied but having learnt that people cover the same distance in 30 odd minutes, I know I had lots to cope up. I was happy with my first medal. Next, I decided to do the so-called toughest run held in Aarey colony by “XC Running and Living” which was to be held on November 27, 2016. I wanted to give myself some time to practice. I clocked 70 odd minutes for the Aarey uphill run of 11.55 kms and I was happy about it. Then I went on to participate in various 10k runs across Mumbai with a target of attending atleast 1 event every month. My aim was to qualify for the Mumbai half-marathon which I feel I have. Till date, I have completed nine 10k runs, the last one being Ironfit 10k Virar held on June 4, 2017 wherein I clocked a timing of exactly 60 minutes. Now, I am able to clock a more or less consistent timing of 58-60 mins for a 10k. And co-incidently I would be completing my 12th 10k on July 23, 2017 exactly a year from the start of my participation in such running events. Post which I would be doing my first half-marathon at IDBI Federal to be held on August 20, 2017. I have been pushing my friend Jigar Dharod as well who has been participating in all events with me and has also registered for his first HM. Meanwhile, a few months ago, I saw a known face in my FB suggestions which was Ram Venkatraman sir, I sent him a request and he obliged by accepting because we had worked together somewhere in 2009-10 and I thought he might not remember me. Once I was friends with him, I came to know about his passion for running which I was unaware about earlier. Through his posts, I came to know about MRR and became a member of the group. Although I have not been able to participate in any of the events held by MRR because of the date clashes with other events for which I have already registered earlier, but I have gained a lot from being a part of this group. I wish to participate soon in the MRR monthly runs and meet all of you’ll who have been inspiring and helping people like us take up fitness more seriously through running. I was underweight and skinny earlier as well but with running, I have started losing whatever fats I had stored although my weight has been stable. Seeing me getting even slimmer, when somebody concerningly asks me to as to why I am losing weight or getting skinnier, I humbly reply saying that I am not losing weight but am in a transformation stage wherein I am transforming my fats to muscles. In my earlier days, I had to make time for running and now it just comes so naturally. Hence, the title – Running : A part of me….
I would not call myself a marathoner since I am doing only 10k runs, I am just an ordinary runner who is deriving inspiration from fellow marathoners and wish to maintain at it and call myself a marathoner some day….
Adding some memories from my short-journey!

Neetul Mohanty


Circa early 1990s, the kid would time herself, practicing tying the school shoe laces post dinner each night, days before the school annual sports week commenced. She was scared of being left out without a medal on the annual sports day. Hence, she chose what she thought was the easiest event – “Obstacle Race”. This was her triathlon. Wear socks. Lace up the shoes. And run 50 metres to the finish line. She made sure that she never returned empty handed. I was the triathlon champion.

My story is not about losing weight, and it is not about a lazy bum graduating to a running champ. It is just a small victory of a mortal soul who has been asthmatic from early childhood. This is a story about a girl whose Personal Best was scored sprinting to the school bus to get the best seat.

I was an embarrassment to any kind of sport. And I would evade participating in any of them simply by shrugging my shoulders and stating that “I have asthma”. I would have been bad at everything that qualifies as a sport. But, I was the most terrible at running.

Fast forward to 2008, I owe a lot to Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) because it introduced me to running. The degree I got there comes a distant second. I still chuckle at the thought of how I used to tag along with a friend who wanted to become leaner.We used to walk at the campus track during evenings. Soon enough, she dropped out, but I kept going. The walks became short runs. It was just me there. Alone. Running was my arch nemesis and I was going to beat the hell out of it. I was extremely proud of those 2.2 kms.

I came to Mumbai in 2009 to start my professional life. And it was a sweet coincidence that my ex-boss Rahul Kadri was not just a very prominent Architect. He was a long distance runner himself and kept motivating the entire team to try their hands (rather legs) at distance running. I had to break free of my past. It wasn’t a great way to live your life hiding behind your physical limitations.

It astonishes me how I stuck through the pain and hopelessness of those early days when I had just started long distance running. I might have looked clumsy and unsure initially but none of that matters. I didn’t start where the average person starts. I had lot of catching up to do. I don’t know how I made that transition, but each passing year, the dependency on medicines kept going down.

You know what the best thing about pain is. It tells you that you are still alive. Every single day when I beat that inhaler of mine, it is a small, but ever so sweet victory. I am not that little girl anymore, but I still do a small dance inside my head.

I might not have been a natural at running, but after finishing six 10 kms, nine Half Marathons and a Full marathon in the 6 years, I realize how beautiful this journey has been. It motivates me even more to go against the grain.
Today I have set my own pace.

Renata Pavrey

Years ago, as a dancer with Shiamak Davar’s company, we would register in the dream run at SCMM for his Victory Arts Foundation. VAF is a non-profit initiative to provide opportunities to dance for the physically and mentally challenged and underprivileged. Dressed in coordinated dance attire, we would walk and dance our way to the finish line.

Mid 2011, on a whim I decided to register for the Half Marathon in SCMM 2012. By then I had switched to classical and contemporary dance. And was more excited about being allowed to walk on the sea link. The only preparation was registering, and setting reminders for the bib pick up and race day. In those days they had a women’s quota, so I got in without a timing certificate, or any proof that I had ever run in my life. About 2 kms into the race I realized it was too dark for nice pictures on the sea link, and the goal was set to do the full marathon the following year; for more light and nicer pictures on the sea link. I completed in about 3 hours, feeling fine enough and even went for dance class after. In fact, most 10k’s and half marathons have been followed by dance class. For full marathons I inform my teacher since I don’t finish in time for class.

Regarding my stint with MRR, I met Giles on a run at Marine Drive in 2012, and he mentioned a half marathon happening at BNP in August that year. That was my first time running in the rain, a half marathon in the national park. Over the years I’ve run all over the city and beyond. I try not to get too familiar with routes and terrains, and run wherever I can, catching up with friends and meeting new people.

So my first ever run was the half marathon at SCMM. Since 2013 I have been doing the full, along with the annual ritual of taking pictures on the sea link. The first pic is of the first run, the second one at this year’s full, both in Mumbai. The third one is the run I did in the Nilgiris at Ooty last weekend. (And now recovering from sunburn, but that’s another story.) I shall continue running and exploring. That’s my motivation to run – see more places and meet new people and learn along the way.

Vignesh Bhatt

My journey to marathon began in the year 2016, years of frustration, a little depression, less self worth and more of a desk job made me forget about what my real purpose in life is and I just drifted along with the millions of other people who while their time away without realizing the single most valuable thing that I/we are losing is TIME, which in a way will never come back like the waves!! This lost soul with a lost purpose and without any proper direction kept on gaining weight and when you lose your self worth, the most common thing or infact I should say CRIME is the apt word and the single most CRIME that people commit is in order to escape the boredom and keep away from the guilt, people start gorging on food, that’s the speciality of food, even though it has adverse affect on your health when consumed in excess but still it has the ability to make you forget the sorrows you are in. That gorging of delicious but unhealthy junk food did help me forget my sorrows for a little while but it also helped me gain my weight from 72 kgs to 98 kgs ( just 2 short of a maiden century)!!! So here I was, expanding like a balloon with no idea of how difficult it would make my journey ahead.

Working in Reliance has its own perks, so it was at that time when Reliance had organized Reliance Greens Marathon-2016 and it had 3 categories with 7km, 10km and 21km and I was really interested in taking part in my 1st half marathon and was all pumped up but as is with humans, whenever you want to do something different there are always people up there to pull you down but this time I was determined not to be affected by negatives and believed in myself that I can and I will do it, as Nothing is impossible! So I went ahead and registered for my 1st half marathon, and I had just 1 month to prepare and with 98 kgs of weight to carry, I thought i will pass out in the middle of the race leave alone finishing it, but that’s the beauty of marathons, it always brings the best out of you out of nowhere.With hardly any mileage under my belt, I went for the race and surprisingly I finished the race with a respectable timing of 2h 29 mins!! I was over the moon and was elated with my achievement.

But that was not where I was going to stop, that’s the beauty of being human, once you achieve something, you always want more and now I was determined to lose my weight and gain my lost confidence and also I wanted to compete in events and make more fitness enthusiastic friends which in turn help me keep motivated to keep my health in check. I took part in Reliance Triathlon 2016 which was a mini version of the actual triathlon and then I set my eyes on Ladakh Marathon 2016, which is world’s toughest marathon considering the fact that it has high altitude close to 13000 ft above sea level and also less O2 which makes it all the more difficult to walk leave alone running. But I was not the one to back away from the challenge, I knew I had to be on top of my health to actually have a decent finish in Ladakh Marathon, that’s when I devised a plan to lose my weight in a healthy way. I had a target of losing 1 kg every 1 week, losing that amount of weight requires extreme dedication but I was ready for it. I removed all the packaged food from my diet and started having only home cooked food comprising of only salads,oats, juices and dry fruits. Slowly and steadily my dedication and perseverance started showing results and yeah as per plan I was losing 1 kg every week, which was phenomenal and I started feeling more confident of my abilities. And by the time I left for Ladakh, I was now weighing close to 76 kgs which was still a little overweight but comparing to my earlier standards, this was more than I could ask for. So I left for Ladakh 10 days before the scheduled race, so that I could acclimatize well to the conditions and this was one race which I didn’t want to screw up. And after 10 days of practice and exploring ladakh, out came the race day and now I was more confident of finishing the race and voila I did finish the 21 km half marathon with a time of 2hrs 45 mins which is pretty ok for ladakh marathon due to high altitudes and less O2.

This particular achievement gave me renewed confidence on my abilities and now my hunger to take part in events and raking in medals with PB became my priority. I started running more and then came Saurashtra Navy Half Marathon 2016 but my experience of Ladakh marathon made me determined to compete in my 1st full marathon and by then I had registered for Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2017 which is a premiere competition with astounding athletes taking part from all over the world. So, when Saurashtra Navy Half Marathon, Jamnagar organised by INS Valsura came calling, I was all set and ready. And I ran my heart out in this half marathon and to my surprise and by the will of the god, I was among the podium finishers ranking 4th with a timing of 1 hr 48 mins.I was jubilant and ecstatic for my achievement for not once could I believe I could achieve this feat.

With momentum by my side, I was now confident of my abilities to have a good show in SCMM 2017 and I was aiming for a sub 3.45 ( so confident I was)! And i devised a strategy which could help me achieve this target and started training relentlessly and bullishly. I did not want to just finish it, but I wanted to finish it respectably and one which I will be proud of. Then came the D-day, January 15th,2017. 42.1 km… I was more than excited and honoured to be part of this event. And I started my run at 5.30 AM, filled with lot of positivity and hope. We crossed a lot of iconic views like Antilia, Worli Sea link bridge, siddhivinayak temple, marine drive and lot more. But all these scenic views didn’t affect my timings and my target for a sub 3.45. I was steady with my speed and I didn’t want to over-pace myself since the weather of Mumbai was humid and hot. I completed my first 21 kms in 1.55 hrs and was well on target to complete the next 21 kms in 2 hrs. But with increasing heat and humidity out comes the tiredness and this in-turn affected my timings a little bit , but as they say mind over matter always wins. And I ran and ran despite slowing down in the last 5 kms, I still finished with a timing of 4 hrs 18 mins. Not bad, considering the fact that this was my 1st full marathon and the conditions that day were against running but still this has made me more determined to achieve my initial target of completing a sub 3.45 hrs.

A year back, I never dreamt that I could do all this, but I have realized one thing that time is the best teacher and with dedicated efforts results are bound to follow. We just need to work hard towards our dream, no matter what the situation or circumstances may be, but one day or the other if we stay true to our efforts and respect our dreams, results will come our away. I am still working on to achieve full fitness and the year 2017 I have targeted quite a few races and also new plans both personally and professionally. This fuel which I have got now has instilled in me a lot of self belief and passion to achieve my dreams, from which I am not gonna back down. Not any more!! This is just the start to exciting and challenging times ahead.

Durgesh Kashyap Jha

Sanjana Shah

o having gujju genes in your blood , it’s an advantage and a disadvantage . Advantage is i m a real foodie , love exploring places n food and of course the bad part is I keep piling on weight .

My pregnancy was the best time to b extra kind to myself n have loads of food without guilt . Much later I realised I had almost touched 87 kgs 🙁 , straight 30 kgs above my weight . Actually more than hunger , later it had become a habit for me to over eat dealing with postpartum issues.

I had 2 major setbacks then in my family . These were such big shocks in life which were difficult to digest for me and ofcorse got me to my senses. Immediately after my delivery , I lost my mum to cancer in just a span of 6-7 months after diagnosis . This is when I realised how important fitness was specially for a woman as she’s like the backbone of the entire family since I lost her when I needed her the most . I hesitantly enrolled for a gym . Tried matching with ” The fitness league” . Made a few friends at the gym who turned out to be runners and thus my journey of running started!

When a runner friend suggested me to run a half , I found it amusing coz i found it impractical for a human body to run so much . Initially I considered them weird n crazy but here I am today , trying to give them a tuff competition in their level of craziness .

That’s how I ran my first half at thane Hiranandani in Feb 2016. I swear I promised myself I would never ever run as my whole body was aching and I just dint have the mental capacity to handle myself . I couldn’t walk the entire day .I wondered how could people b so happy after putting your damn body in so much pain . But back of the mind , I knew my level of satisfaction , pride and elation was at its peak.

After thane Hiranandani ,I was introduced to Mrr by Chitu Shetty ! I still remember the first time I ran with Mrr , by the time I reached NCPA ,I guess everyone had left , lol ! That’s when I realised the lack of physical strength in me. Slowly I started training well .

And since all of you guys know , the running ” Keeda ” doesn’t leave your body so soon , (in fact it worsens with years )my year passed by with the Keeda growing and me registering for different races . I hv done couple of half marathons till date and managed to fairly finish a full marathon this yr !

Running has got me the best things in life
– physical n mental strength
– weight loss ( back to my pre pregnancy weight )
– could fit back to my old clothes ….yayyyyyyyy… Isn’t that so Kool !
– got me a compliment ” r u really married ” ( which my husband still doesn’t believe that I got this compliment )

Over a period of time ,I have realised that time factor for a race is not my cup of tea . Yes I do wan to perform well , I do wan to improve timings but at the end of it i hv realised if I don Njoi it ,Kya Fayda!

So as of now I don c any reason for me not to run but ample reasons for me to run 🙂

Rahul Chauhan

nd I became a marathoner…..(My Story)

Sometimes I sit and contemplate whether I discovered running…or running discovered me.
Though this will remain a mystery for rest of my life , at-least I am able to establish that running to me is actually an extension of my love for outdoor sports. I grew up playing many games but cricket always remained my dearest. As a youngster , my biggest trepidation was to imagine a life without cricket. I had an indefinable connection with cricket as if it was my fuel to live. It was an all season sport for me and thankfully my mom was not like those typical mothers who tell their kids ‘Dhoop me khelega to kala ho jayega’. I was involved into serious cricket till early 2014 in Delhi before getting relocated to Mumbai for work and in the excitement of moving to Mumbai , it never triggered to me that what will happen to my cricket. This clicked to me few months after I came to Mumbai. My biggest fear of living a life without cricket was becoming a heart-breaking reality now. I tried many ways to stay engaged with cricket but non of them worked. I am skipping those details here as this write-up is about my running and not about my breakup with cricket. I stayed away from any outdoor sporting action for almost 15 months and it started showing its signs on my physical and mental health. I was not getting the fuel I needed.The occasional underarm (bowling) cricket on weekends with my society mates was proving to be a dose for mild cold & cough while I was severely unwell with pneumonia. But like all other phases of life , this phase too had to last and it all turned around after an email (A magical email). In the last week of September-15 , one day I received an email from my company’s HR desk saying that they are sponsoring staff to participate in Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon which was scheduled to be held on 17th Jan,2016. At that point of time , my definition of running was confined to ‘an activity done to say fit’ and with this restricted definition of running , I used to do 2-3 short distance jogs every week(just to stay fit). My knowledge on marathons was also limited to a self formed conception that it is a running event where elite runners from across the world participates. So this email from my HR team not only upgraded my knowledge on marathons but also mildly excited me to participate in a marathon. As limited number of people were to be sponsored , without thinking too much about it I immediately decided to register for a half marathon (21.1k) through my company. I was still very uncertain about the step that I had already taken. Running a distance of 21.1 km at a stretch was something beyond my imagination. I was getting soul-trimming thoughts like what if I would suffer a heart attack while running , how my body would react if I get sternly dehydrated during the marathon or what if I would seriously injure myself in the course of 21.1 km. All these unpleasant likelihoods were keeping me stressed. But despite these jitters, slowly the sportsman inside me had started to get into the action. I had roughly three months in hand for training and I had set a very ambitious target of sub-2 hour finish for the very first half marathon I was going to attempt. I must confess that I had badly underestimated distance running as a sport. In cricketing terminology , I was going to play a test match having a game plan for a T-20 match. But then that’s me!! A blended mixture of mindfulness and mindlessness. Here the later was dominating the former. I started doing 4-5 training sessions per week (only running) and being an early morning riser it wasn’t difficult for me to include marathon training in my pre-office morning schedule. I was completely on a self training mode and wasn’t very sure whether my training methods/plan will take me to my goal of sub-2. I started progressing as a runner and within 2-3 weeks of training my pace and endurance both started to improve. I was comfortably able to run 6-7 km at a stretch which was a big morale booster for me. By early December-15 , approximately after 2 months of self training, I was feeling further refined as a runner. Long distance running was becoming an integral part of my life. It was giving me required tranquillity , fuel and the space to get away from the mundane routine that most of the working people are accustomed to. I was excitedly waiting for the race day and after three months of training finally the big day arrived. At 5:30 am I was between thousands of runners at Worli sea face (starting point for HM) and as the race flaged-off , the large clusters of runners , according to their allocated sections , started moving towards the starting line with overflowing enthusiasm. Being a first time participant , I was allocated the last group/section. I am falling short of words to describe the rollercoaster of emotions I was going through as soon as I crossed the timing mat at the starting point. I started at a good pace putting long & strong strides forward… may be the momentum of running with so many runners was giving me that extra push. I covered first 10 Km in 1 hour and 2 minutes and I was trying to run as strong as possible , still aiming for a sub-2 finish. Around 15 km mark , I started running out of fuel and my pace had also dropped significantly. At this stage I had realized that sub-2 will be beyond the bounds of possibility. But I still wanted to finish the race in a respectable time (2:20-2:25). I somehow managed to drag myself till around 18 km and now my legs had started cramping dreadfully and moving a single step further was becoming a huge task. I was sweating profusely due to high level of humidity at marine drive (because of sea) which was causing bothersome feeling. I still had to cover a distance of 3 km and in no circumstances I wanted to quit. I kept shoving myself telling my mind not to surrender. All this might sound exaggerated to people who have not experienced marathons , but those who are indulged in long distance running will be able to relate to all this. The sight of 20km mark worked as a magic pill as I felt a sudden surge in my energy level. I was almost there and I wanted to finish the race on a high. I outstretched my-self and started taking longer strides at increased pace. I was constantly telling my mind that it’s a matter of few more minutes only. I could now see the finish point which was about 300 meter away. My pace was getting intense with each stride. 200 mtrs…100 mtrs …50mtrs.. and I had reached my ultimate goal- the finish line. I finally finished in 2 hour and 34 minutes but it was immaterial as I was still a marathoner regardless of my timing. I had conquered a half marathon.I had changed forever. Only thing I regret about my first marathon is that in the excitement of crossing the finish line , I forgot to slow down to pose at the cameras placed at finish line for finishing photographs.My heart beat got back to normal within few seconds , thirst of my throat and lungs was gone in few minutes , tiredness caused by race vanished in few hours , pain of my body went away in few days , but the glory of being a finisher will last forever with me..Since then I have completed many half marathons (including 6 sub-2) and one full marathon. Distance running has humbled me and definitely made me a better person. I will ensure that running remains part of whatever path I take in future to move forward. Whatever way that path leads me to , I will follow that path running.

Gaurav Bhardwaj

Padhai aur khel kud ka life khatam aur office ka life shuru…

Thanks to the laziness in office.. I reached 97kgs! A thought then came to my mind in 2013 that I need to burn the fats that I gained after quiting my Football Team during college days & also I had no control on my diet..
The motivation for running started because of my office’s quota in SCMM where I registered for 6kms dream run and started taking baby steps. On race day I saw the superhumans crossing the finish line after running 21kms / 42kms..
Dimaag mein tabhi khayaal aaya.. ek baar (sirf ek baar) life mein 21kms bhaagke dekhte hai 😛
So I started running regularly on the roads and lost about 15kgs!!
Became friends with Darshan on FaceBook through a mutual friend and he added me to newly formed LRC back in 2013.. Got to know more about running (though my 1st run with LRC happened after 2 and a half years! )
[Joined MRR after the Aarey Run in 2014 and formed KDR along with some friends in 2015]
The feeling was amazing & I was in good shape 😉
Ready for 21kms in SCMM 2014? Absolutely Yes! but saala SCMM waalo ne timing certificate maangna chaalu kar diya from 2014 onwards and I had no timing certificate to qualify.. I thought I have to wait for another year but thanks to facebook, I came to know about other events and signed up for Hiranandani Thane Half Marathon which was scheduled for 16th February 2014. My 1st timed run woh bhi HM ? and 1st 10k happened the very next week where I met Darshan for the 1st time.
With this, I got addicted to Running Half Marathons, 10ks n other distance events
10kms event k liye Bengaluru bhi gaya tha 😛

Made so many friends in this journey of running but more than friends, they are like a Big Family 🙂
A family who keeps inspiring and is always there for you.
A family who supports you when you are down and celebrates together when you achieve something great!

Also this family gave me a new name “GB” ?

Have spent so many great moments with all of you because of which my old passion of photography is still on and I am continuing in capturing many moments which we spent together while running and also off running 🙂
Some addictions are good. Thank god I chose Running 🙂

The dream was to run just 1 Half Marathon of 21.097kms but so far I have completed 2 timed Marathons, 13 timed Half Marathons and several timed and non timed 10ks.
The count will keep going up as I will keep enjoying my runs and as usual I will always aim to finish strong to stay fit and healthy till I am alive 🙂

Jyaada likh diya lagta hai but ya this is my long story like a long run 🙂
In words of Bijay, this is how I transformed from Fit to Fat to Fit

Thank you all for bearing me 😉

Prerna Parwani

Just seems like Yesterday that I did my first ever road running event & it is hard to believe now that its been 2 years.Running happened to me at the time when I was under severe depression as my son left for US for further studies.I was 48 then.
​Never did I think that a simple form of exercise which comes naturally to all of us would give me many things I could only dream of.Terms like “Runner’s High”, “Podium Finish”, “which were something I had never heard of have now become a part & parcel of my Running life. Gone are the days when Saturday Nights were meant for Partying & hanging out with friends & family. Now it’s the Sunday Early Morning Run which is on the back of my mind right from the time I finish it on a Sunday morning till the time I do it again the next.
​The fun, frolic & camaraderie seen at all running events especially at MRR,is a sight to behold & just gives me the motivation to keep going on till my aim is achieved no matter what happens. Running in a huge way has helped me gain a new perspective towards Life. It’s a lot about the ups & downs we encounter in our daily lives. Many a times the training & preparation is great but somehow the results not so. At few other occasions even if the body is there the mind is elsewhere. And then there are the occasions you yearn a lot but are never at all guaranteed when everything just fits like a Jigsaw puzzle & you get a PB or better still a Podium finish. And in all such times – Good or Bad, Highs & Lows all you can ever do is keep coming back at it again & again. Bettering your achievements & bouncing back from your disappointments is the Rule of the Game here & there’s no substitute for this. Just as with Life – Running gives you back what you give to it !It feels wonderful when someone known / unknown walks up to you & say things like “You have really inspired me”, “Keep Inspiring Us” and the best compliment I have received so far is “Are you undergoing age reversal?”.Increased level of fitness and weight loss is added advantage of running..
Right now I don’t know how long I will be running, what my future goals will be, what I am going to achieve etc but to sum it all up all I will always say is …..”

On 7th June I will motivate my best friend Mamta Thakkar to run along.

Kamalaksha Rao

I took up running when most of the people were planning to retire from active life. I was never a sports man in my life. One day, I saw people in the vicinity, getting trained for running, and so I casually asked them if I could do so., and was there any age bar.. At that time I was 67+ and the coach asked me to try, so I tried and ran 300 mts on first day. I went for a cardio check as I was heavily panting. After investigation he gave me a green signal for running.
Within a month I got qualified for Mumbai Marathon and registered for the same. Before the mumbai marathon I participated in the 10k events and a few 15k runs too.
My first HM marathon was 2015 SCMM and I was nearing the age of 68. After completing my first HM I gained confidence and I went for the Aarey HM and successfully completed the same. Next big event was the Satara hill marathon which was recognised by the Guinness Book of world records.
I continued with 10 k and HM. Next big one was BNP Endurathon 25,which was completed without much of a problem.
Till today I have completed 15 HM in the span of 27 months and now participating the 100 days running challenge and have already logged in 187 kms in 34 days.

My only rue is, that I am unable to improve my timings as my HR goes far above recommendation level. I still enjoy my run.I have a huge passion for attempting runs.
Youngsters should participate in such runs .

Anamika Kundu

My Journey of running Running came into my life as a challenge. My husband challenged me to run outdoors as I used to run on treadmills in the gym. The first DNA women’s marathon was around the corner and I signed up for a 5k. When he saw me practicing in earnest and struggling through 2 and 3 kilometres he started running with me on weekends till I could do a 5k. After that I built up my weekend runs to 10, 15 and by the next year I was determined to do a half marathon in the second Anniversary of the same event. I finished strong in 2:30. Due to change in my thyroid medicines and lots of weight gain along with other issues I slowed down over the years but never stopped running. By and by I joined LRC and then was introduced to MRR and the monthly Bandra -NCPA runs. Meeting elite runners across the city who are grounded and expert guides cum friends has motivated and inspired me continuously. So running has brought great perspective, lovely people and health in my life. I can not forget one run from Bandra which began in pouring ran, continued in the downpour and concluded at NCPA in a deluge! Only the runners made the most of the great weather!

Pranav Subramaniyan

#motaanna to #fitanna story

Got married in 2013 and thanks to the wedding and post wedding fun of eating and celebrating I gained a little more than 30 kgs in 2 years 2015 I was weighing 114 kgs.
Following things I couldn’t do:
1) not walk 100 mtrs , was too lazy for it
2) climbing staircase was never my way of going up
3) dinner without a sweet
Issues I had :
Acidity issues
Sugar started to spike in my body
Blah blah blah blah

2015 early Jan I saw tons of people running scmm through star sports
I thought crazy job less people ….
2016 my wife was pregnant and I decided to do something for my fitness as I was less partying and etc.. I needed that stamina and power to play with my kid . I was feeling so bad and tired always and I was scared what would happen when I have to run around with my kid next year ..
I registered for a 10 k and started running in gym thread mill… post the successful completion of the event I felt so energised and satisfying that I decided to run on roads from that day. My initial goal was to cut down my weight by 20 kgs.
Exactly 2017 Jan I lost the same and currently weighing 90kgs
The journey of 114 kgs to 90 was only possible due to running and good eating ..
now I no more run for weight loss but I run because I am in love with it .. I enjoy and live each km I spend running .running is become a part of my life
Goal : run till my last breath
Stay fit and motivate as much as possible . Would like to drag as much as people into fitness and fee happy about it …

Hari Iyer

Nescit Cedere

It is the motto of Oglethorpe University, in reference to the school’s namesake, James Oglethorpe, who allegedly persevered through seemingly unconquerable obstacles in order to found the colony of Georgia.

In the formative stages of my life, I was told by my father that it is the efforts that we put in daily that finally bear fruits, the efforts could be directed towards creating a product, taking baby steps towards one’s goal or towards bettering one own self.

We are Tamilian Brahmins, popularly called the Tam-Brahms courtesy Chetan’s 2 States; and excelling in education comes naturally to us; well it is presumed to be that way. However, it was my dad’s passion to start his food catering business, which brought him to Mumbai, several kilometres away from Pallakad, Kerala, in the early 80’s. He knows the art of perseverance and values relentless hard work.

Cut to a generation later, that is when I gained consciousness, I realised that my love for the Uniform was far more than my love for Food. To put it simply, I wanted to join the Armed Forces instead of joinining my father’s catering business. But may be God had different plans, I didn’t make it through the entrance tests and I just did not want to give up on my love for wearing the uniform. So, the first chance that I got, I enrolled for National Cadet Corps (NCC).

There always is a trade off, the hardships that one faces tests one’s commitments. Rushing for early morning practises in addition to regular college classes, foregoing evening outings with friends for drills, going for weekend treks on thrifty budget instead comprised my days, months, years through College. But, I made the best of friends in my course mates.

One more important thing was i was suffering from Asthma from my childhood, so NCC was not a piece of cake for me. I was always last in the cross country runs, everyday was a struggle, and I use to ask myself whether I would be able to complete this or not. There were moments when I decided to QUIT, but my heart use to say QUTTING is not the option, stand and face the situation. During school days also, i never participated in any sports events due to Asthma. So everything was new to me. Asthma has taught me to be strong. There were many moments when I was short of breath but still had d will to complete the course.

As it is rightly said, a leader is a one who know that the defeat is certain, but fights till the end. There were moments, why I used to ask myself, Why am I doing this – Some questions doesn’t have an answer. Amidst this struggle I walked the path and it did reap benefits, I got the Best Cadet award in my second year. I am thankful to my NCC colleagues and seniors for helping me complete this wonderful journey. I would quote, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”.

Amidst this, running long distances took to my attention. I started running marathons, there was no timing goal no distance goal. I just felt happy while running. It is just that I forget everything while running and it is d best me time. As on date, I have run over 37 runs (4 untimed Ultras, 7 FM’s, 32kms, 25kms, 8 HM’s and many 10kms). I am a Banker by profession, which in real terms is far from a 9 to 7 job, however, I know the essence of discipline and perseverance (from my dad). So somehow, just somehow, I make sure I get my daily running practises. Running is meditation for me, when i Run i forget everything and enjoy tapping my feet in the ground, hear the sound of my breath, cheer other runners, give hi-fi’s in the world of wi-fi and try to motivate new people in the world of running. KDR has played an important role in progress of my running. Its only after i joined KDR & MRR, i met these lovely selfless people who were ready to guide u in all phases of your life. Thanks to KDR for all the support. May our family grow bigger and bigger and inspire a lot of people towards fitness.
Just before you begin to feel that I am a boastful man, I want to clear my stand. I am an ordinary man, who is working hard to earn money and live a life that is not very different from what many people will be desirous of, but it’s just that I want to create a difference. I want to stand up and fight for the causes that I believe in. And through this article, I want to let the readers know that it is not an expensive or time consuming proposition to take baby steps daily/regularly towards doing what we really want ( Of course which is beside making routine money!! ).

Let’s start. It is a child’s play, trust me. I started off as a child, hence I know!!


Nilesh Sawant

Well it’s only running who change my life after my wife.. 😛 …120+ overweight guy don’t know about exercise till the age of 33. Life was addicted with all unhealthy habits… And suddenly one accident happened in June 2013 where my left knee ligament gets tear… And my doctor was like …”leave it…its not possible for you to recover from this … Doing regular Exercise is not your cup of tea… Next time when you come to me … You are going to come with help of walker...” And that statement hurt me lot deep inside.. … Till that time I never used to do any exercise and next day morning I took my first step towards it… I started walking… After 10 mins. Of walk I started feeling uneasy and suffering from heavy breathing…gradually I improved my walking stamina…then started walk and run ….
In the month of August 13 I have joined the gym near my place… Every day I only do walk- run on treadmill’s for 2-3 hours ..people laugh when I use to run on treadmill..So I started running on road…. In 3 months time span I have reduced around 21 kg… I think actually that’s the time where I started feeling that… Running is the only way by which I can achieve my goal… At same time weight loss competition held by my gym across India in whichI was the one who winner by loosing 14 kg in 1 1/2months time….. By that time I was not part of any running group not ran any run. … I still remembered….. My first run was 6 km run in Thane ….organised by Joints n’ Motion group at Viviana mall in August 14…. First time I saw so many people are running together….I get inspired by that…. From there I started participating in runs initially 10km then 21km… Became part of running groups…MRR and then KDR…

Well I never run for any timing… I am very slow runner and yes I enjoy my running always… For me Run Time is Fun Time.

Keep Running… Keep Inspiring…

Swetha Amit

t was a dark phase in December 2010 when I was discovered to be a patient of ulcerative colitis- an auto immune disorder that can trigger off anytime and lead to severe blood loss and immense pain in the intestines. Things took turn for the worse when I had to be hospitalised for 10 days. I was struggling to recover from this disease and could barely stand or walk. Having being regular with my workouts since 2008, it was depressing to lie down on the hospital bed and do nothing.

However the fighter in me resolved to combat this and that’s how my journey with running commenced. Being a late night person and a regular party goer, I had to alter my diet and lifestyle. I quit drinking, avoided spicy food and recollect living that one year on bland, non-spicy and salt less food. There would be social occasions where I would be surrounded by good food but the will power in me refused to touch a morsel of those mouth-watering dishes.

In 2011, I took baby steps by running on the treadmill and soon hit the roads with a vengeance. I ran my first half marathon in 2012 in 2:03. What started off as a means to build my shattered self-confidence and strength, turned out to be my new found purpose in life. I was bitten by the running bug and the feeling of crossing the finish line like a winner was euphoric.

From then on there was no looking back as I went on to run a few 10 k runs and another half marathon before I decided to take an adventurous plunge into doing a full marathon in 2013. I finished my first full in 4:59 and went on a pregnancy break. I resumed running in 2014 and ran a 10 k race at Aarey Milk Colony, 2 months after my delivery. My journey with those strides have continued ever since and it’s been a joyful one ever since the community of MRR (Mumbai road runners) came into my life.

From being a little reserved and stuck up, the running community has opened my mind to humbling experiences and a different world altogether. A good run also acts as a booster to those creative ideas that invariably find its way into my cognitive space.

The most important thing that I have learnt from running is that while you take back a lot with you be it words of appreciation or love, make sure you give back a lot as well! Races are numerous, personal records and podiums are incidental but most importantly it’s essential to have your feet on the ground!

The year 2010 seems like a distant nightmare now. It is said when one door of happiness closes, a new one opens invariably. I have also realized that tough times don’t last, tough people do!! Just like a marathon, fighting any disease is more a mental game than anything!

Pics from left to right-SCMM 2013 full marathon, TCS 10 k 2012, Salt pan run with GOS.

Nilofar Khan


“It has taken me 6 months & many runs to realize that its not the clothing that makes the girl, Its not speed @ which she runs, its neither the garmin / tomtom nor the running app she uses, Its not the shoes she wears. Its not how little or how much body fat she has.
What makes a GIRL a RUNNER are the THOUGHTS INSIDE HER.If she thinks she is a runner ? Well then she is a RUNNER, a SHE RUNNER “?
READ ON to know how my journey started 🙂

Of all the resolutions on my bucket list made beginning of 2016…there were two that I felt were going to be close to impossible:

1. Purse my dream of learning dance forms
2. Run a marathon (apparently not impossible)

The first one though looks easy but was difficult to fulfil due to varied reasons but thanks to my loving husband Suheal & my parents who stood by me @ all times and made it possible – It is then when I joined dance classes in March 2016 with my 3 year old son Zain. We shared back to back time slots and hence I could even spend quality time with him. Started dancing, attending workshops of different dance forms.. even got selected and was part of 8 day biggest dance camp of India UIDC (United India dance camp)

Losing hopes – But towards the year end in December when I looked back on 2016, I almost assumed my 2nd resolution will remain unfulfilled . It was this time when I saw pinkathon event promotions on FB and immediately decided to go for it as the run was meant for noble cause of treating cancer patients. My hubby as usual supported my decision & encouraged me right when I shared this thought of running first marathon, he just said “GO FOR IT”.
My FIRST RUN in DEC 2016 and the thoughts inside me – ?
It still took me long and finally decided only on last day of registration or 12th dec that I’d give it a shot. Since it was my first ever run, I decided to go for 5k which was a big deal for a new runner like me.. I even changed my bucket list last week from “Run a Marathon ” to “Finish a Marathon” – finishing was good enough for me, and was still something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do.. Finally the most awaited day arrived.So I woke up at 4am to head over to BKC venue with a stranger turned friend Sweta..and prepared for what was surely going to be the most spectacular failure of my life. I honestly had no idea what to expect. I figured I’d get to around couple of kms and my legs would totally give out. I’d never even walked that far before leave alone running.. At 6.30am as I was preparing to cross the starting line, something odd happened: my ego kicked in. For some reason I couldn’t allow myself to start walking when thousands of people around me were running. “Ok, I’ll just jog the first mile. I’ll back it off from there.” 2km in I was still jogging. I finally convinced myself to stop and walk for a bit, because I knew I’d never finish if I ran for more. My legs would get too sore, my back pain would come back, blah blah blah – excuses. As I ran the last KM and saw the finish line..gave me amazing sense of satisfaction.. Finally I did that freaking thing which I thought was completely impossible in 40mins..
People run full marathons all the time, and most do it much faster than I did. That said, this is easily one of the 5 biggest personal accomplishments of my life, and one thing that while I always wanted to be able to do, I truly never thought would happen…The biggest realization I had during the whole process, and the one that led me across the finish line, was that it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. It might have been my ego that got me started running in the first place, but the only thing that carried me from start to finish was doing my own thing. Running when I felt like it, and walking when I had to.

It’s kind of like LIFE ? Everyone is going to have their own goals and are going to be going down their own path. The only way to be successful is to figure out what works for you and pursue that vigorously…
There were a few thoughts that kept me going through the hardest parts:
-Getting to know what it would be like to cross the finish line.
-If I didn’t finish, I wouldn’t be able to cross it off the list, and I’d have to go through the whole thing again at some point.
-The constant realization that I was doing something that I truly thought was impossible.
Better late than never – A women/ mothers priorty list is endless. I know for me, my OLD list included but was not limited to household chores, studies with the kid, laundry, work projects, husband, dinner, shopping, etc… “I” was nowhere on my priority list. I wasn’t even on the bottom of my list. Being caught up playing different roles, I was neglecting myself. Holding a karate black belt, a national gold medallist and a classical dancer, I always thought I am not utilizing my talents. My parents had invested a lot of time and money in me but what am I doing to myself now? I recognized, I am wasting my life doing nothing but trying to please people and making them happy. But what about me, as in, Nilofar, as a person. Why should I not pursue my passions and my dreams. After all there’s only one life & you can live only once. These thoughts kept disturbing me all the while.
HAPPYFEET as a ray of hope – Then one fine day while surfing through FB in month of Feb 2017 I came across HAPPYFEET, led by coach AMIT KUMAR in NAVI MUMBAI. And since then it was no looking back. I started 4 days a week sessions. Somedays core, some days legs, some days circuit, some days cardio but all days running – kabhi small runs toh kabhi long runs, kabhi hills par toh kabhi sports ground toh kabhi concrete roads par.. All these sessions gradually made me become stronger & stronger. I even brought in a change in my eating pattern & made a conscious decision to live a healthy lifestyle.
My Improvement – I completely believe in the quote “Life’s battles don’t always go to the strongest or fastest person, But sooner or later the man who wins is the fellow who thinks he can” It was that day & it is today 6 months later. Now I call myself a marathon runner and have ran around 6 to 8 marathons and made wonderful RUN-BUDDIES along the way. I have improved my pace from 8mins per KM to 6.30 mins/Km in span of 3 months..Looking forward to keeping me best foot forward in upcoming events – HM @IDBI, 12hrs IDBI Stadium relay run, 25Km @ Matheran endurathon, HM @Satara hill run, Mumbai 12hrs Ultra run. Now I can proudly call myself a RUNNER, a SHE RUNNER !
Every story has a HERO, even mine has, that’s none other than my hubby 🙂 Along the way during this journey of mine, I am glad to have motivated him to run. One who has never seen start & the finish line, he even ran 10kms to give me company. Slowly my son has started joining us too.. Sweet isn’t it ? Other than my family if my journey story inspires even one runner, I would feel blessed 🙂

Ending with a piece of advice – Running has taught me many things but one biggest learning has been that nothing is impossible & you can fulfil all your dreams if you pursue them passionately. Your dreams are far too valuable to be wasted. If you’ve got one, start realizing it today You have no idea how it may change your life for the better…IF I CAN, YOU TOO CAN

Finally I would like to conclude by saying that KAHANI abhi Khatam nahi hui… PICTURE abhi baaki hai doston..

Deepak Soni

Now I can’t remember when but about 7 years back when i was in dombivli, I went to a neighborhood gymkhana ground and tried to jog one loop about 350 odd meters. .. Boyyyyy!! I couldn’t complete mere 350 meters. … but i persisted on Jogging to get some fitness, as i wanted to do himalayan trekking… slowly the loops increased. … The panting and breathless feeling after jogging though tiring, was a sheer Joy to experience. ….
I wasn’t even aware about marathons and running events..
Then I shifted to Andheri…
In 2014, one day my office colleague said lets run HTHM. .. i said Ok you run and i will Walk the 21K… and i did my first HM in just sub 3…. got qualified for scmm 21..
Then the running began seriously…. One can’t learn to run alone… A group is required…
so i joined MRR one year back… that was the best thing happened to my running hobby….
Got into sort of serious training and all…
During a run someone told me that Marathon means 42 only … all else is just Runs… bacchho ka khel….
So decided to run a 42k and did scmm FM 2017….

Now, distance etc doesn’t matter…. Distance is just another Bucket List….
What i love now is just get out of home, go for a run … do a 7 or 10k…feel the kick of endorphins or whatever it is. .. and feel energetic the whole day…

That simple and blissful sport it is….

Aparna Bhingarkar D’souza

My foray into running started off trying to get my daughter to run.. she still sleeps at home and I am out on the roads since December 2013 when I first ran the 10 k at Pinkathon. I huffed and puffed but touched the finish line in dont even remember how much time ?

3 and half years later I still can’t claim to be an excellent runner but can call myself a marathoner with pride. The Mumbai to Pune run covering almost 160 kms in November 2016, 3 Ultras, my debut 42 kms at the VVMM last year and cannot recollect the number of HM’s have taught me that you can achieve way beyond what your think your body is capable of..

Happiness is setting new goals for yourself and accomplishing them.. totally inspired by Poonam and Vidhya – Comrades next on my ‘to do’ list.

There is not much change in me physically but the happiness on my sweaty face is prominent far far away..

Amit Yadav

The Unconventional Runner ?

I was introduced to running as a small kid by my Father who is my inspiration. Have fond memories of tugging along 2 steps behind him while he jogged and shared interesting tales.Even now whenever I go on leave to my native place, as a mark of respect I always jog 2 steps behind him, though he is nearing 81 years he is still physically fit.

I grew up in an environment of armed forces background which instilled a sense of discipline and also gave an exposure to extracurricular activities which privilege most of the kids of Defence personnel enjoy.

I wasn’t serious as far as running was concerned & never participated in any competition, just enjoyed it as a hobby . However, I was Good in sports and was Athletics Champion at School / District / Regional level besides getting medals at State level also in Discus Throw & Triple Jump. My third event was Javelin Throw. My DiscusThrow record at Pantnagar Varsity stood for 30 Years.

Besides above I excelled in Team Games and Captained Pantnagar Varsity Team in Soccer/ Hockey/ Basketball and kept participating in Inter Varsity competitions. Played as a Centre Forward in Soccer/ Hockey and as a striker in Basketball. At that stage I was physically fit and at times participated in two tournaments simultaneously ( morning- Hockey, evening- Basketball).
I enjoyed running early in the morning and my day normally started with a 8-10km jog.
This habit continued later on also when I joined Tea Plantations and had a long stint of 17 Years. We had access to many Plantations Clubs and I was always the Sports Captain wherever I was posted. Life was very active and I picked up Cricket/ Tennis/ Squash / Volleyball out there. We used to do lot of swimming as most of the Clubs were equipped with Swimming pools.
In mid 2006 I joined Reliance Retail and after frequent postings was finally moved to Navi Mumbai in mid 2009. During this phase running was my only getaway from a stressful atmosphere of Corporate culture as there was no opportunity or time for games.
First time enrolled for a SCMM HM in Jan 2011. Couple of months later NMR Group was formed and soon we got introduced to MRR Group too. My socialising was restricted to MRR Runs on 1st Sunday and NMR Runs on 3rd Sunday of the month, always looked forward to meeting Marathoner Buddies who have now become extended part of my Family.
Most of us train round the year just for one event SCMM FM.
In June 1014 had a major health scare as was diagnosed with GBS ( Gullian Barre’ Syndrome) a neuromuscular disorder and within a week lost all muscles mass. When I was discharged from Fortis, Vashi my shoulder muscle thickness had reduced to the size of my wrist and I could barely walk a Km with lot of effort. Each day was a big struggle, thought something needs to be done otherwise I would land up in deep depression. I was nearing 50 Years so age was also not by my side. Lot of runners used to discuss that ultimate aim for an amateur marathoner is to run a sub 4 FM atleast once in life. A thought struck in mind and even with my frail health I managed a sub 4 in SCMM 2015. Again in 2016 I improved my FM timings & in SCMM 2017 managed a PB in 3:36hrs improving by 20 min over previous year.
During mid 2016 I started participating in HM’s too and managed few Podium Finishes in my Age Category.
I keep things simple and never get swayed by competition.
My health issues continue as after impact of GBS my immune system has gone very weak and my Platelets count hovers between 84K-110K. Post running I develop lot of cramps but I keep participating as it gives me a Runners High. I keep having my regular check ups done & follow a nutritious diet comprising mostly of home cooked meals.
I count each day as a blessing, don’t interact too much with people and rush back home to a Wonderful Family. My betterhalf, Monica is my pillar of strength and we both work hard to ensure r son gets the best education and upbringing which we can afford.
Whenever I am not competing & time permits I go for a jog with my Family, sometimes also play Tennis with her.
We don’t mix around much and enjoy r privacy, though we r always there for r close group of Friends.
My advise to youngsters is to enjoy running as a hobby, involve your Family members and don’t get too obsessed with timings. I have participated in so many events but have never used a watch.
We are amateur marathoners not professionals.

There is no major aim atpresent though hope to do a sub 3:30 FM next year which would be a BQ?

Shibani Gulati

My story was shared by Bijay Nair in November 2016 in ‘theyinspire”,a book that in times will becomes one stop motivation guide for any runner.Thank you Bijay for sharing my story.

In short,Running was an answer to all my fears that I was gripped post Kidney transplant.I ran my first 3kms @pinkathon with the faith that if I could walk for 2hours daily,I could run too…But what seemed easy,turned out into a daunting task.I completed my first run…
“I did it” I felt like a winner both at the start and the finish line.
I cried in jubilation, celebrating my second life.I proceeded with great caution and finished my first 21km in 2014 @SCMM. This was a new beginning! Putting an end to the hard grueling memories,at hospital ,pain, discomfort,and fear.
I became the first kidney transplant survivor to attempt and complete half marathon successfully.
I have been running various events, but SCMM hold special place in my heart.
The journey so far has been great ,celebrating each run but have experienced my lows too.At times, have been disappointed and cried for days for life to be so unfair to me..Running has changed me..I admit ,I have changed.
I feel alive while I run..And this keeps me going.

I want to thank my husband ,Gautam Gulati, for encouraging me to take this big leap in my life.My brother for giving me another life .And to the entire Running community for extending unconditional support and motivation.

Don’t give up because of one bad chapter in you life..Keep going …. Your story doesn’t end here.


What’s your running story?- by Rodman D’Souza

Article by Rodman D’Souza

What’s your story?

What’s your running story?

Why do you run?

How did you start running?

How can you wake up at such ungodly hours just to run a couple of miles?

How can you run so much?

How can you pay so much just to run a race for a silly medal and some snacks?

These are few but familiar questions that a runner constantly faces. Truth be told, we really don’t know the answers to most of them, and on this Global Running Day, we don’t think we would be able to answer them. How do you explain to a non-runner the passion behind this mad addiction? Very often we don’t remember why we started in the first place. It seems like eons ago that we started running, and now it has become part of our being, the life we live.

We run because we can, because we were born to run. We have been built for running. For our ancestors running was a way of living, a way of surviving, to avoid starvation or being the next meal. But over the years, thanks to progress, we have forgotten to run. Not anymore cause running is back with a bang. We are the running addicts, the runnaholics, who cannot do without running a few miles or kms.

Running knows no age. A true runner doesn’t bother about pace or distance, give them a road and they will be content to run for a lifetime. There’s no particular age to start running.

Kamalaksha Rao started his running journey when most people are content with retirement. He ran his first Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, or SCMM, doing a HM while he was nearing the golden age of 68. Till date he has completed numerous HMs and 10ks and even 25k. He is currently participating in the 100 days running challenge, already logging in a good 187 kms in 34 days.

Prerna Parwani took to running at the age of 48, to overcome the depression she felt when her son left for the states for further studies. From there on there has been no looking back for her. Numerous races and podium finishes, highs and lows later, running has given her a brand new perspective to not only running but her life too. From being inspired, she’s now a source of inspiration herself.

For Anamika Kundu, it was challenge thrown at her by her other half, to run outdoor and not on the treadmill as she did then. Though difficult at first, she persevered, even getting her husband to join her. After that it was no looking back. Though her medications may have slowed her down, it has not stopped her.

For runners like Swetha Amit, Neetul Mohanty, Shibani Gulati, Amit Yadav and Hari Iyer, running was a way at getting back at nature for the hand it dealt them. It meant overcoming obstacles and setbacks, be it ulcerative colitis, asthma, even life threatening that would require a kidney transplant. Nothing could stop them from getting right up, dusting themselves off, and carrying on. Running gave them a new lease in life, a new challenge. From being that non-athletic kid at school to a distance runner. This meant even running a 10k at Aarey, two months after giving birth. Running helped them to feel at peace with them self, to get over whatever that life threw at them.

For Sanjana Shah, Vignesh Bhatt, Nilesh Sawant, Pranav Subramaniyan, Bijay Nair, Ankit Khandelwal and Gaurav Bharadwaj, it was a way of going from fat to fit, a way of getting rid of the pesky fats, a way of improving their stamina. Overcoming the naysayers and those who mocked them, even overcoming a bit of self-doubts too. They were able to bring about a change in their lifestyle, for a better future, to run without losing breath. Now with their weight loss and their stories, they are a source of inspiration to those who need it to lose those pounds.

For runners like Renata Pavrey, Rahul Chauhan, Ajay Gupta, running meant reconnecting with themselves. Doing something they could be passionate and proud of, another aspect of life. And who knows while undertaking this challenge you may find someone who challenged you even more, like Durgesh Jha’s story, someone who you would spend the rest of your life with.

There are so many such inspirational stories just waiting to be told, to inspire, to be heard. All you need to just scroll down to read their stories in their own words. Meet runner and listen patiently.

There are so many groups to help you get started with your running journey. Primarily among them is the Mumbai Road Runners, or MRR as we like to call it. This is not just another running group or community, it’s a running family. It’s a running family created by runners for runners to help, guide and support them. Their monthly runs from Bandra to NCPA are something to look forward. It’s an experience whether you are running, or volunteering, supporting the runners. You have runners from all walks of life, all corners of Mumbai, sometimes all over India and the world too. A melting pot of runners, giving an opportunity to meet and greet and learn from each other. Along with their partners MRR also supports many underprivileged runners, helping them to reach new heights. Through their various outreach programs they help runners in need. MRR is not always about running, you also have yoga, beach football, and my favourite, ultimate frisbee. The annual MRR awards is the time for runners to let their hair down and celebrate the year of running. MRR also provides you with a platform to let your story to be heard. It needn’t be grand, cause every story and running journey in itself is inspirational.

Running is not just a form of exercise, it’s a way of life. It would not be an exaggeration to say that for a runner, it is as important as breathing. In running it as important to give back as you receive. To cheer and support as much as you receive, sometimes even more. For a non-runner, this would be difficult to understand and we don’t think they ever will. But we are runners and will always run.

The road of life goes on and on

Out from my doorstep

Into the great beyond

Where it will lead us

No one knows

But down that road

I shall go

With a spring in my step

And a smile on my face

The road of life goes on and on