Recently,if you have been to Aarey you will see this inconspicuous figure just running around from the wee hours of the morning till sundown,then you know it’s the superhuman,Raj Vadagama.The man has made history by almost completing a feat of 10,000 kms in 5 and 1/2 months.A feat almost impossible to men and women like us.Here Raj would say,”Sab ho jaata hai,it’s all a myth”.Can you though imagine running a distance of 65-100 kms a day ,every day for almost 165 days ?
Who is Raj Vadagama and why has he taken on himself this herculean task?
Interestingly Raj,is an interior designer by profession and this 47 year old sports enthusiast took to full time training people only in 2013.He has been in the fitness industry for 27 years and took to running 12 years ago. He holds two Limca Records .
So why take this cause?
In his own words;”If by running 10,000 kms,I can inspire people to run 10 kms,then I would have achieved my goal.Running is one of the simplest sports and it has a lot of benefits. But we are yet to realize its potential. I aim to reach out to as many people as possible, especially youngsters, during the course of my run and educate them of the various aspects of running.”
With this thought,Raj decided to circumambulate India along its coast and though it roughly is around 11,000 plus kms and he just decided to do 10000 from that.
Whenever you try to do something big and different,everyone around you may not understand it and even for Raj,people were not all supportive,some even warned him, ‘people are watching you!’ .But for some he became a guru and won many-a-hearts.
He started the journey in Mumbai on August 15th. His team consisted only of a physiotherapist and a doctor,both sponsored by the Fortis hospital.Largely, he has self funded his dream and some parts he has been supported by donations from people. The Map attached above shows his journey across India.
Me:Raj Sir,How does he manage to run so many kms a day,when a regular athlete’s body needs rest after 42 kms?
Raj:There are three parts to a person mind,body and soul and I believe when you conquer all three,will you completely train.I want to break all myths people have about running.They say you should rest the previous day before a big race.I ran 85 kms on 17th Jan and on 18th Jan,I gave my Personal Best (PB) timing of 3.31 hours for the Full Marathon(FM).
Me:What does your daily training look like?
Raj:I start running at 4 am in the morning and run for about 12-14 hours,breaking for 5 minutes for lunch in between.
Me:Sir,then how does your body take the toll?
Raj:As I said these are all myths,you should give the right nutrition to your body and stretch well.I only sleep for 5 hours and have not felt any toll on my body till date.My doctor examines me every day and my knees are in perfect condition.
He is now on his last leg of the journey in Mumbai and this 26th of January ,he will be completing the 10,000 kms.His journey is a salute to the nation and let’s all be there for him to salute his journey.