The Annual IDBI Federal Life 24 Hour Stadium Run is all set to kick-off this 14th June. We at Fast&Up are pumped to see the unwavering athletes compete. Moreover, we are glad to announce that we are the proud energy drink partner of the 24-hour running fest! In commemoration of this prized event, let's take a look at some of the greatest marathon runners our nation has known!
#1 Budhia Singh (Prodigy)
Although he shares his last name with the ‘Flying Sikh’ he is in no way his contemporary. Budhia was born in the year 2002 and in 2006 was the worlds youngest marathon runner. Yes, you read that right; he is currently 17 and has already participated in several marathons. By the tender age of four, Budhia had already finished 48 marathons. He comes from a life of financial and social hardship but has overcome this to find glory in his phenomenal running.
His coach and mentor discover him when he punished him and commanded him to run. He had forgotten about Budhia running and later, upon remembering came back to find him still running after five and a half hours!
Budhia is the protagonist of the Emmy nominated documentary funded by HBO and BBC on him, titled Marathon Boy which was based on his life. He entered the Limca Book of World Records in 2006 for running 65 km from Puri to Bhubaneshwar.
#2 Major D P Singh (paraplegic)
Life seemed to have come to an agonizing halt for Major D P Singh when a shell exploded near him during the Kargil conflict, which caused him to lose his right leg. He, however, refused to let the trauma he faced tie him down, and he transcended his misfortune to become the blade marathon runner of India. Singh required 10 arduous years to recover from his crippling injury. But he refused to give up hope. After having his prosthetic leg fitted, he began tenaciously training for running marathons. Since then, there was no turning back for this remarkable man, who has participated in every Delhi Half marathon since and he even clocked a commendable 2 hours 40 minutes at the event. Major DP Singh also initiated the SwachhAbility Run which aims at the inclusion of divangs or specially-abled peoples as equals by recognizing their achievements and a zealous attitude towards life, proving to the world that they are in no way ‘disabled’. Fast&Up was the proud hydration partner of their 2016 run, and we continue to support this laudable cause!
Singh continues to be a source of phenomenal inspiration for the disabled community, and a testament to the human spirit as well! He truly is an Indian hero, in every sense of the word!
#3 Fauja Singh (Over 90)
Fauja Singh is extremely popular in the global running community as the centenarian marathon runner. He is a British-Indian and was born in the year 1911. At the age of 100, he managed to accomplish 8 records in the day for his age group. They were in the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, the mile, 3000 and 5000-meter events. In 2011, he also became the worlds first 100-year-old person to successfully finish a marathon, finishing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in a tad over 8 hours. In 2013, he competed at the Hong Kong marathon at the age of 101.
He was one of the torch bearers for the 2012 London Olympics and was recently granted the British Empire Medal (BEM) for service to sports and charity. Fauja Singh is a standing testament to the fact that age is no bar for fitness and sports.
#4 Arun Bhardwaj (Professional)
Although marathons are sporting events that demand loads of endurance, an Ultramarathon escalates the endurance required to another plane altogether. Arun Bhardwaj is, in fact, the first internationally acclaimed ultramarathon runner from India An ultramarathon is an event that involves running for a distance longer than the traditional full marathon 42.195 km length.
In 2009, Bhardwaj was placed on the global running map when he won the 567 km George Archer 6 day race in South Africa. Later in 2010, the 40 something athlete ran a stunning 186.4 km in just 24 hours, beating his earlier best of 177 km in the same time period. He has also successfully finished the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, California in the US, which has been regarded as the hardest race in the world by National Geographic. Bhardwaj clocked in a time of around 41 hours on his first attempt.
Bhardwaj's commendable K2K project set him running from Kargil to Kanyakumari to spread the admirable message of unity and One India. He completed this historic run in 2 months in the year 2012 and is looking forward to running from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh next.
#5 Sudha Singh (Professional)
Before Lalita Babar astonished us and broke the existing national record in the 3000 m steeplechase event, Sudha Singh was the reigning queen in India when it came to long distance running. Despite losing her national record, Singh continues to be one of the topmost women athletes of our time in the country. Among the numerous chink’s in her armor, the most astounding ones include a gold medal at the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China in the year 2010, a silver medal in the Asian Championships of 2009 and 2011 and representing India at the 2012 London Olympics in the 3000 m steeplechase event.
#6 Lalita Babar (Professional)
As of today, she is the national record holder in the 3000 m Steeplechase event, after clocking an impressive time of 9.35.37 at the 2014 Asia Games in Incheon, South Korea and shattering Sudha Singh's record, Lalita Babar is one of the topmost long-distance female runners in the country today.
Babar, who earlier focused on marathons and managed to complete a hat-trick of winning the Mumbai Marathon in 2014, decided to turn her interests to the 3000 m steeplechase event in order to bolster her chances of winning a medal. Her decision turned out to be a greatly rewarding one as she clinched the bronze medal in Incheon, apart from setting a remarkable national record. Babar, who hails from a modest family in Satara, Maharashtra was employed as a ticket checker in the Central Railways and is currently the next big thing in women's long-distance running in India, so we are all excited to see her excel!
In conclusion, we at Fast&Up are proud to be nutrition partners of the largest participative sport in India, and that too, with such a great legacy of Indians to name! to see what will fuel and nourish the athletes at the 24-Hour Marathon in Mumbai on 14th June 2019.