Tag: passion

Inspiring Story of a Super Woman

Chitradurga city is famous for its 15th-century stone fortress. Located in the central part of the Indian state of Karnataka, this city also has a reference in the epic Mahabharata.

Sudha was born in an agrarian family living in a village near to this city. She was the middle daughter in the family of three sisters.

She liked to run fast and went on to represent her district Chitradurga as a sprinter. But there was no guidance available to further her interest. Her economic condition also didn’t support to explore any opportunities apart from continuing studies in a government school.

After completing her intermediate studies, she went for Electronics and Communication engineering.

During 2nd semester, everyone was supposed to wear a khaki apron in the mechanical workshop lab. But she couldn’t afford to buy an apron. She requested one of her seniors for help.

For the next 6 months she used the apron that was meant for a 6 feet tall guy. That was clearly a misfit, but she didn’t mind.
She solely focused on studies and took no further part in any of the sports during her entire education.

After passing out from college in 1997, she didn’t find any immediate job. One of her relatives was living in Bangalore. She came to stay with the family with the intention to find a job. She tried, but there weren’t many opportunities. After a few months, she started working as a data entry operator. Salary was a meager ₹ 2000, but she was happy.

She moved to a paying guest (PG) accommodation after getting the job. There were only three toilets for 40 occupants. Her office bus used to come by 6.30 am for which she had to get ready by 6 am. But she had to wake up by 2.30 am to find her turn to use the toilet so that she could get ready before 6.

Back in 1999, Bangalore weather used to be very different from today. It used to be cold throughout the year and from Nov-Feb it used to be a super chilled atmosphere. There was no hot water provision in the toilets in her PG and one had to use cold water for all purposes.

Whole of Sunday used to go waiting for one’s turn to wash clothes. Most of her salary went towards the accommodation. A better PG demanded more rent which stretched beyond her existing salary.

In 2001, she got a full time job at Sasken with a decent salary. She did pretty well at work and got recognized by her organization.

In 2006, she joined Qualcomm, one of the top telecom companies in the world. She started to believe that her fortune would change for the better soon. But life had something else in store for her.
She got married and 8 months later she got separated when she was pregnant. She also got to know about a huge debt of her father due to past borrowings. Her father had no means to pay back the loans.

She stayed focused at work even when her personal life was under huge distress.
For the next five years, she had nothing else to think apart from work, clearing the bank loan and taking care of her son.

She started sending her son to keyboard, swimming, karate and tennis classes. Her son managed to learn karate fairly well and earned the BLUE belt. He also went on to complete 4th grade from Trinity College of London in keyboard.

Those were testing times. Sudha took everything in her stride and moved forward.

Running came to her rescue to deal with those difficulties. She started with short distance runs and gradually moved to longer distances. But she couldn’t go to running events as she had to take care of her son. Her economic conditions also didn’t make the matters any better. But she persevered through those difficulties.

In 2013, she participated in the Bangalore Marathon for the first time. And over the last 10 years she has been a regular runner at this iconic event. In Oct 2023, NEB Sports, the organizer of Bangalore Marathon felicitated her for continuous 10 years of participation at this running event.

She also participated in the Hyderabad Marathon (known as one of the toughest marathons in India), Kaveri Trail Marathon and iconic Tata Mumbai Marathon.

This year she also ran in the Ladakh Marathon, the highest marathon in the world, held at a height of 11,500 to 17,618 feet.

During her running journey spanning 10 years, she has secured top 3 positions in various events.

She owes her success to her incredible mother who is still the backbone of her life and her son who is currently pursuing MBBS in one of the best Medical colleges in India. He dreams to become one of the best doctors of India and serve the people of our country.

Needless to say that Running teaches grit, determination, passion and perseverance, and Sudha is a perfect example who lives by the spirit of this beautiful sport.

My 7th Full Marathon

Back in 2013 – 14, I used to work at Wipro Electronic City Office, Bangalore.

One fine afternoon, I got a call from Ravi R Gupta that there was an inauguration ceremony for Spirit of Wipro Run. That time I had absolutely no clue about running. I tried to give all kinds of excuses, but he insisted that I should take part in the event and run 100 meters.

10 min later I was at the venue which was inside Wipro Electronic City campus. Up until that time, the Spirit of Wipro Run used to be conducted at Sarjapur Road and that year it was getting shifted to Electronic City. So a Torch (Mashal) was getting passed on to commemorate this moment.

A huge crowd had gathered for the occasion and the atmosphere looked vibrant. I took the position at the starting line for running. But I had zero confidence in my ability to run that distance. After a few minutes, the run started. Everyone started sprinting and I started gasping and panting. I was probably the last one to cross the finish line.

A month later, the Spirit of Wipro run was supposed to be conducted. There were two running categories, 5 KM and 10 KM. I hesitantly registered for 5 KM as 10 KM looked unimaginable.

On the day of the event, those 5 KM took me ages as I ran like a tortoise and stopped at every refreshment counter to eat available food and drink water. But at the end of the race I was happy to collect a finisher medal and enjoy a delicious breakfast. That was my very first run at any official event. I was on cloud nine.

Recently concluded Wipro Bangalore Marathon on 8th Oct 2023 gave me a very special experience unlike any other marathons.

While running this marathon, I met Gurcharan Singh who was one of the key people who initiated the Spirit of Wipro Run in the organization back in 2006. I saw his posters during my Spirit of Wipro runs back in 2013-14. I conveyed my sincere regards to him for bringing this run into existence which changed my life. This was the very first time I was meeting him in person.

Then towards the finish line, Ravi found me among thousands of runners while running. It was a really pleasant surprise.

It was an emotional moment to participate in the Spirit of Wipro run again after 9-10 years. To meet the people from whom I took inspiration and started running made it even more special.

Little did I know that a small beginning in 2013-14 would change my life forever. In the last 10 years, running has become a passion for life. Till date I have run 7 full marathons and 68 half marathons. I also wrote a book named “Anybody Can Run” on my running journey which is an Amazon Bestseller.

But it all started with that 5 KM Spirit of Wipro run back in 2013-14. I will forever be grateful to the amazing organization Wipro.

Dr Dhruti Bal

If you are interested in running or specifically ultra running (any distance beyond 42.2 KM), the story of Dr. Dhruti Bal would inspire you to take up the sport.

During her school days, Dhruti trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) as a sprinter.

She started the journey of long distance running 8 years back.

In Jan 2023, she ran 42.2 KM in #Tata Mumbai Marathon wearing a saree to give a message that attire isn’t a barrier to achieve fitness.

She ventured into ultra running in 2021 when she ran 106 KM and secured the top three position in the women’s category.

In March 2023, she ran 127 KM in 24 hours during Bangalore Stadium Run organised by NEB Sports.

A few months later she won the first prize in the women’s category by completing 132.6 KM in the 24 hour run organised by Bhasin Sports.

She is a PhD holder in Nutrition Science. She has worked across various life stages of nutrition in different product categories.

She has more than 16 years of corporate experience. She built the Nutrition Science department in her organization and went on to head the department.

She has executed nutrition intervention programs for children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women for Govt of Karnataka, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, AIIMS New Delhi, National Health Mission and Govt of Rajasthan.

She is also a member of National Millet Mission, Nutrition Society of India, and Protein Foods and Nutrition Development Association of India.

She has been a guest speaker at many scientific conferences of international and national repute.

She provides nutrition coaching to India’s elite long distance athletes. She also provides coaching to children/teenagers who have an interest in sports like cricket, football, and running.

She is a running coach at Garmin Running Club, Bangalore and brand ambassador for Brooks Running.

She wears different hats to perfection. A working professional, running coach, nutrition and lifestyle coach, ultra marathoner, saree runner and mother of two wonderful kids.

She aspires to inspire thousands of youngsters to take up running and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Pradeep Senapati, Founder Run 2 Rejuvenate

Pradeep started running in 2015 at the age of 42. Within the last 8 years, he has transformed himself from a complete non runner to ultra marathoner.

During COVID19 lockdown in 2020, he created a unique milestone of running 110 KM inside his 3 BHK home in Bangalore, India. He recreated this feat as he ran 111 KM inside his home during the second wave of COVID in India in 2021.

He has clocked more than 14,500 KM by running in the last 8 years. He has covered more distance on foot than the distance between India and USA. This goes to show that with passion and consistency, remarkable milestones can be achieved.

He has founded Run2Rejuvenate running club with the mission to inspire people to start running.

Many people run to achieve personal milestones (e.g. maximum distance, personal best timings, faster pace etc). But very few actually believe and take consistent action to empower others. Pradeep is one such fine example of humility and passion.

He works in a leadership position in one of the leading IT consulting firms. He manages many responsibilities that his job demands apart from his running regimen.

He is a great example of managing professional commitment as well as following your passion.

He has a new found passion for running barefoot while wearing Dhoti. He is fondly known as The BAROTI Runner. BAROTI: Barefoot + Dhoti

His fitness stories are widely covered by various media houses.

He dreams of running across Odisha to create awareness about health and fitness.

His journey has been remarkable. Let’s wish him phenomenal success in times to come.