Thursday, July 26, 2012


I heard of marathon running since the time Standard Chartered Bank initiated and sponsored the Mumbai Marathon run many years ago. My son-in-law H runs marathons regularly both in India and abroad. He is a passionate runner. Of course many run the full marathon and some the half-marathon as well and some fall by the wayside. There are many examples of how many individuals have started running at advanced ages. Centenarian Fauja Singh who lives in England is an outstanding person who started running at 86 to get over the depression he was suffering from when his wife passed away. He has been running marathons ever since. There are other examples where middle-aged men with back and leg problems decided to do the marathon and completed it successfully. Courage, determination, endurance grit and risk-taking ability are essential to run the marathon. Marathons apart, running has become a way of life for many who believe that their day is not complete if they have not run at least 5km on that day. Passion many times becomes an obsession.

Recently when I read in the Time magazine about Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek running 165.7 miles in 24 hours, I couldn't believe my eyes. Why would someone run such a long distance? According to Scott Jurek running Ultramarathon is more of a head game. One has to be adaptable; strength to run need not necessarily be genetic. It is very discomfortable but at the end of the day it makes one stronger. He grew up in Northern Minnesota and enjoyed fast food. Now his diet has taken a 360 degree turn. He eats beans, legumes, soy products, plenty of vegetables and fruits. And for proteins tempeh is the king. Ironically, he hated running when he was young and hated vegetables too. Today running ultramarathons in his first love and he is a vegan. Scott thinks running marathons is cool. His favourite place to run is in the Swiss Alps, near Chamonix, France. He has written a best seller Eat & Run. Scott Jurek is a superhuman man with extraordinary capabilities.

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