A Logistics Businessman, originally from Indore, Rahul moved to Mumbai in 2001. What with the move, a bulk of his time went in setting up his new business and settling down in the Thane Suburb. The long hours of work, untimely meals leading to poor eating habits as well as total lack of exercise led to a major weight gain. Reality hit badly in 2006 when Rahul woke up to the fact that he had bloated up to 100kg with a 42” waist L. That was the much needed wake up call.
In 2006, when the Agrawals moved to their new home in Hiranandani Meadows at Thane, Rahul started going to the Gym regularly. Henceforth, he decided to exercise regularly in the Gym including running on the Treadmill and Weight training. With this regular regimen of Gym and mindful eating he reduced his weight to 73kg within the year 😎.
In November 2007, there was an advertisement by the local Talwalkar Gym. They were offering a 10 week Training program by which Beginners were assured entry for Registration at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) in January. Rahul enrolled for the same and that’s when he met his future Mentor K Haridasan Nair J. He went on to finish his first HM in 2:15 at the SCMM in 2008.
Rahul and other friends formed a small group named Masthane and continued the same training regime for the next 2-3 years. Rahul fondly remembers those days when Marathon was a very new sport and unlike today there were hardly any events. Running season use to start 3 to 4 months before SCMM and used to end with SCMM. In fact, it was only in 2011 that Rahul did his first outstation Marathon at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM).
Then onwards, Rahul started training for his first Full Marathon at the SCMM in 2012. He finished his first FM in 5:08 in 2012 and went on from strength to strength achieving a PB of 4:12 in FM later at SCMM in 2016. Meanwhile, he continued doing several HM’s in the interim achieving his HM PB of 1:53 in the process at Hiranandani Thane Half Marathon organised by HERWA in December 2015 😊.
In 2012, Rahul was introduced to the Mumbai Road Runners by Bijay Nair. He liked the idea of all the Mumbai Runners coming together once a month to run and have fun. Also, the yearly MRR Awards Night post the Mumbai Marathon was one big Dhamaal event that he looks forward to eagerly. Today MRR is one of the biggest Running community of India helping so many runners realize their dreams 🤗.
In 2013 besides running in several more events, Rahul did his first 50K Ultra Midnight Run from 12 am-6 am along with Hari Sir. Under his able guidance, Rahul did 73K in his first 12-hour event at the Shivaji Park Mumbai Ultra in 2014. He considers Hari Bhai as his Friend, Philosopher and Guide and was the first student when Haridasan Nair formed his own running group “Runtastics Dilse” in 2014.
Although Rahul shies away from calling himself as an Ultra runner, he has done some serious distances. He has done Shivaji Park 12 hour Ultra in 2014, 2015 and 2016 running distances of 73K, 77K and 80K respectively. This was followed 100K at the Bangalore Ultra in 2015 and 24 hours Bangalore Ultra in 2016. He has also done 12 Hour IDBI Fed Life 12 hours Stadium run in 2016 and 24 hours Stadium run in 2017 where he clocked 131K. He still considers the 54K Ultra marathon done in Silvassa in 2016 as his toughest run due to extreme heat and steep inclines 😱.
Rahul also enjoyed playing the role of pacer for the very first time at Pinkathon in 2015. One which Rahul relished and went on to pace at several more events like Satara, HTHM, Indore, IDBI Fed Life Half marathon etc.
The best part was when the entire family joined in the fun and started to run 🤗. Radha, his Nutritionist wife and biggest supporter joined him in running in 2011 SCMM. Though now she is more into cycling rather than running; she has run all the editions of Mumbai marathon since then. Their daughter Urvi did her first 10K at Pinkathon Thane followed by her first HM at Tarblazer in 2017 while their son Pranjal has done couple of 4K Runs at HTHM.
Rahul trains with the Runtastics under K Haridasan Nair Sir following 5-days a week schedule. It’s a mix of Strength training as well as Stretching on two days and speed intervals as well as hill training on two days followed by Sunday long run. Rahul says that more than the run it’s the group and meeting with friends he looks forward to every morning. What better way to start the day 😁?
It has been more than 10 years that Rahul has been running Marathons regularly. Even today, he feels that as Recreational Runners, we should not focus too much on timings. He advises Newbies to enjoy this beautiful sport. According to him apart from running equal importance should be given to Strengthening and Core exercises. One should increase the mileage gradually and choose events wisely whilst giving a good amount of time to recover.
He says Running for him is like Nirvana that gives him opportunity to be with himself. It’s the most wonderful gift he has got from life which he will cherish forever 😁.