For a group of Goans focused on maintaining their fitness the closure of gyms was an irritation which had to be handled. They took to running with a passion that could even make serious runners do a double take. Sunil Jadeja has been running an average of 15 kms a day which increases to anywhere between 20-42 kms on weekends. That is a full marathon. Then on Monday he is back to his schedule of running 15 kms. He is running to maintain fitness and to improve his capacity and as part of a challenge to run 100 days, he is focused on completing that and continuing on.
He said “I have run 86 continuous days and it has been challenging but great fun. I first started running in 2018 at the Rotary club run and I liked it. I learned a lot about myself and have improved as the days have gone by”. A resident of Porvorim he says he runs in different directions everyday to keep it fresh and usually runs alone except on Sundays when he runs in a group of approximately 45 runners. He is up at 5 an and is out of the house at 5.45 and returns home by 8 am. This hundred day challenge he said was created to motivate a large group on the importance of staying fit. An employee in the electricity department, he invests a decent sum in running shoes taking care to change every 500 kms.
Pramod Devgi is a project executive in a company that provides ATM machines to banks. He has run anywhere between 3 k to 10 kms everyday and this goes to 21 km on weekends. Very interested in maintaining his fitness he has been running for four years and runs individually everyday but on weekends it is usually with a group of runners. He runs in places where there is less traffic and enjoys running in the backstreets between Porvorim and Panjim. As a founder member of a group, he is motivated in ensuring that others follow his example and work towards physical fitness. He said “I had run 86 days so far and will continue way beyond the hundred day mark. I have participated in marathons in the last four years and will continue to do so for the rest of my life”.
Perhaps the most passionate runner is Suresh Shirodkar who has run around 1700 kms in the last 86 days as part of this challenge. He has been running since 2016, and he runs 10 kms in the morning and ten at night. He has participated in a night marathon in Satara as well as virtual marathons. For Suresh it is about maintaining a fine balance of mind and body which is important he says in these strange times. The hundred day challenge he said was just another number which would be easily surpassed but it was important for many runners who had just started, it would help them get focused on the track ahead.
As Devgione's said maintaining ones fitness was entirely up to the individual and it would help one function properly in these tough times and such challenges had to be taken in the right spirit and anyone and everyone could take part in them. One can only hope that becomes a reality.