Kargil to Kanyakumari: Story of a run machine
By A Sharadhaa | Published: 24th November 2012 08:43 AM |
Meet Arun Bharadwaj, a 43-year-old ultra marathon runner who has taken up a solo running expedition across the length of country. Aptly titled ‘A Run for Sports’, Arun began his run from Kargil on October 1, 2012, and is scheduled to reach Kanyakumari on November 30, 2012. He will be covering more than 3,000 km in 60 days. Arun is already into his 54th day and made a pit stop at Bangalore on November 21. With his unique drive and boosted spirit, his journey so far has been fulfilling, he said. “I have covered 80 per cent of my journey without any injury, blisters or cuts. As of now, I am fit and fine and am planning for the remaining journey,” said Arun, who took a break near Yelahanka to cool his heels.“I sleep for five hours before I head out for another new day.” Currently an employee of the Planning Commission of India, he is been running for the past 13 years. “My aim to be a marathon runner was when my first daughter, Zola, was born. I wanted to be her role model. I wanted to show her that self confidence and discipline are important attributes of a person,” he explained.
Starting from Kargil, Arun has crossed Leh, Sir Bhum Chun, Kullu, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Agra, Jhansi, Sagar, and has now touched Bangalore. “From here, I am heading to Salem and then Madurai before reaching Kanyakumari,” he shared.
Though he is full of confidence, Arun faced some tough moments in the last 54 days. “The Ladakh stretch was draining. Though it did not affect me, my crew that is accompanying me had to fight strong winds and cold weather. The vehicle would break down often. We could not start before noon sometimes. We had to wait six hours before we could start for the next run,” explained Arun. “On November 19, which was my 50th day, I ran 111 kilometers at a stretch without taking a break. I am happy to have covered up,” he added.
He is scheduled to interact with school kids in various cities, talking to them about sports and sharing tips on staying healthy, building stamina, etc. “I met some enthusiastic people of Bhukmp, a body of athletes during my run. They ran with me for a long distance and that lifted my spirits,” he said.
His tip for aspiring runners is: Don’t be lazy, Run Run Run. He also revealed that the secret behind his healthy body and lifestyle is that he is a pure vegetarian and always eats home cooked food. “Spirituality also helps in keeping my body fit. My favourite book is the Bhagwad Gita,” he added.
Being a great runner, he hopes to inspire the present and potential sports enthusiasts. Though it did give him a great platform, he is also aware that it is not a sport that receives as much attention like cricket. Over the 60-day run, Arun is scheduled to cross 10 states and 17 cities. “Running for the country is by itself a motivation. It is a great platform to connect with people. This is a dream which I have achieved beyond imagination,” he affirmed.
Even before he completes this race, he is planning for his next marathon. “I will keep running till my mind and body run with me. My next agenda is to running from east to west - Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh,” he revealed.