It is a challenge like none other. The participant has to run a minimum of 2 km a day for 100 days. Starting on July 24, it is the world’s biggest running festival. HDOR or Hundred Days of Running is aimed at bringing in a culture of fitness into people’s lives. It was started in 2015 in the country but came to Goa last year. This year, continuing the trend of people showing an interest in improving their fitness, around 250 plus participants have already registered in the state. More are expected to take up the challenge of running every day. Some of the participants are passionate runners who run long distances every other day and others less so but the mantra of maintaining their fitness runs strong in their lives.
Narciva Nagvenkar runs a minimum of 2 or 3 kms everyday which shoots up to 21-25 kms on weekends. He said he was a passionate cyclist but due to the monsoons, he was unable to take out his road bike and ran to maintain his fitness. He said he was not a sportsman while at school. He laughed and said “I got into running passionately because of the bad company I kept. I started running a month and a half ago”. An employee of the survey department, he runs when he gets the time and that could be either in the morning or after work. He admitted to being a beginner but was determined to run for hundred days to prove to himself that he could do it and importantly have fun whilst doing it.
Pramod Divgi is on the end of the spectrum. The President of Fit Swaggers Goa, he participated last year in the 100 days challenge. He said “I started last year and did not stop. When I complete the 100 days challenge, I would have completed 500 days running. I run either in the morning or evening. It depends on the schedule of my job”. He completed 25 km yesterday and is expected to run similar numbers today. He has been appointed Ambassador of the race in the state. Well, he is not the only one who runs in his family. His wife Nehali Divgi, an IT professional also runs everyday. She said “I run around 3-5 kms everyday and on weekends I run 10 kms”. This urge to run kicked in when she participated in the Goa Marathon in 2014. She started with 5 kms and slowly picked up the pace. Someone who was not interested in sports in school is now completely taken up with running. She runs alone or sometimes with her husband or with her brother when she goes home to her mother in Curchorem.
Sunil Jadeja is another experienced runner who will be participating for the second time. He said the rains were playing havoc with his running. He said “On weekdays I manage 5-10 kms when not running and on weekends I run 21 km or a full marathon”. He said after such a heavy workout, he would either walk or run 5 kms the next day. Since he has to go to work, his days start early and he is done with his running by 8 o’clock. This 46 year old intends to be at it and is confident of completing the 100 days challenge comfortably.``
Suyog Gurav who started running four years ago said this was his first attempt at the 100 days attempt. He started cycling then jogging and then proper running. An experienced runner who has completed 47 marathons in Goa he has also run in 12 other runs. A footballer in his youth, injuries put paid to his career and he decided to switch attention to running to maintain his fitness. He runs 2 kms everyday and on weekends takes it up to 10 kms. Suyog said it was great that such events were being organized because it would gradually encourage more people to take up physical activities to maintain their fitness.
Vamsee Krishna, a businessman, started running in 2016 and noticed he could run longer. He said “At the end of the run I would feel absolutely exhausted but felt great psychologically. I downloaded an app to measure the distance. I moved from 5 km to 10 km to eventually 42 which is my longest. Earlier, I would run 3 to 4times a week but now it all depends on the weather. When it does not rain, I sneak out and go for a run.” Earlier he would run alone but now runs in a running group. He said they had set a 100 k challenge and around 250 people around Goa participated. Everyone’s times and distances were tracked and everyone knew at the end of the month where they stood. This he said was great motivation and he hoped many more people participated in this challenge.