It’s a Glorious Finish for Sunil LullaJanuary 9th, 2017
“ I started long distance running only in September 2012, with Savio Dsouza, one of India’s legendary athletes and now 63 years of age. I joined his group of Savio Stars. The training program 2 times a week, created a great bond of friendships, some of who have become my closest buddies. After running 10 Half Marathon races (21.1 km), of which 8 were under 2 hours, each, the speed bug was losing its allure. I started spreading the virus amongst my running partners (our sub-group is called #Quikie) to think of the full. They took to it faster than I did and begun their training in earnest. GREY over-took me and frequent travel meant I missed of the training in 2016.
I bounced back on November 2016 and put my heart and mind into training long distances, running upto 36 km on Sunday. I gave my aspiration a purpose and decided to raise funds. For the first time in my life, I was asking my network of friends, colleagues and associates to open their heart and purse strings. I found the perfect cause, Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA ) which educates children of the environment and their own rights in over 300 schools through a volunteer program. My wife Vinodini is a trustee of the Board so I know in great detail on the authentic work they do.
42.20 km is a daunting task. Until 2 days before the race, Mumbai had actually turned cold and we all looked forward to the cool weather. But on the morning of the 15th Of January, 2017, humidity was 91% , the worst its ever been In January. There were 3 of us ruining with a game plan, Ashish Ghiya, Sivakumar and me. Ashish’s second full and Siva’s 5th. My first. We ditched the plan we made for a slow build up at the 10th km mark as we knew the humidity and the heat was against us. It was relentless. Mumbai residents turn out in their full glory and bring out the best in you. I went on to lead ahead of our trio.
Finishing my maiden full marathon in 4 hours and 34 minutes. In the top 27% of all full marathoners and top 23% in my age category. (Almost 50% of those who registered or started did not finish the full marathon on 15th January 2017)
But the biggest satisfaction came from raising Rs 500,000/ plus and still counting. It made me a Change Investor for the Mumbai Marathon, in 2017. The generosity of my friends and well wishers has added enormously to my personal delight in finishing this full marathon .
Being different and making a difference is what running the distance is all about.