Thousands in Pune opting for running as a passion

Neha Basudkar
Monday, 7 August 2017

This marathon started in 2013 and it has four levels, including 5 km, 10 km, 21 km, and 42 km, which starts from Balewadi Stadium. Nikhil Shah, Co- founder of Pune Running Beyond Myself, said, “In the first year, there were only 4,000 participants and now the count has increased to 12,000. We are expecting at least 15,000 participants to run in this year's marathon. Those who are above 18 can join the group and there is no age limit after that.”

Pune: People in the city are moving towards healthy reasons to stay fit and inspire others by running, cycling, swimming, trekking, etc. 'Pune Running Beyond Myself' is one such marathon, which will be held on November 5 at Balewadi Stadium, for which people have been training and exercising throughout the year.

This marathon started in 2013 and it has four levels, including 5 km, 10 km, 21 km, and 42 km, which starts from Balewadi Stadium. Nikhil Shah, Co- founder of Pune Running Beyond Myself, said, “In the first year, there were only 4,000 participants and now the count has increased to 12,000. We are expecting at least 15,000 participants to run in this year's marathon. Those who are above 18 can join the group and there is no age limit after that.”

The 42 km marathon is the longest, which starts from Shaniwarwada and ends at Balewadi Stadium. The other levels start from Balewadi Stadium and revolve around Baner Road and Aundh, finally ending at the stadium. The runners practice throughout the year and they have formed groups in their areas.

“There are 12 groups in the city including Kothrud, Pune University, Aundh, Balewadi, Koregaon Park, Magarpatta city, Moshi, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pashan, Pimple Saudagar and Wakad. The beginners join the groups near their areas and they are trained according to the schedule of the group,” Shah said.

Shah explained that there is a fixed schedule every day, which starts at 6 am and goes up to an hour, and the runners attend the practice dedicatedly.

He said, “Over the years, we have seen that people are getting more interested in activities, which will keep them healthy. The marathon is committed to running only, but the members of the group are also into other activities like cycling, trekking and swimming. Still, we feel the number of people coming for the marathon is less considering Pune's population.”

Suvarna Joglekar, a housewife, member of the Kothrud group, said, “I joined Pune Running Beyond Myself in 2015 and my weight was 90 kg. After joining the group, I ran up to 3 km and then it gradually increased to 10 km after exercising everyday. I lost 10 kg of weight in two years, as I met with an accident in between these years. But still I was on and off running independently. This year as well, I am going to participate in the marathon."

Payal Talmale, Human Resource Manager at an IT company in Pune and member of Kothrud group, said, “I was always passionate about running and exercising and I joined Pune Running Beyond Myself six months back. I got to know many fitness tips, many forms of running and exercising after joining the group. Everyday, we practice from 5.45 am, which keeps on going for over an hour. After joining the group, I have participated in many marathons, which I have completed successfully."

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