Sunday, October 28, 2012

Training for 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, etc

The last time I started batches for SCMM & SCDM, I had trainees running the following races
  1. Kaveri Trail Marathon 2012
  2. Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2012
  3. Amsterdam Marathon 2012
  4. Wineglass Marathon 2012
  5. Newport Liberty Half Marathon 2012
  6. SAFRA Singapore Bay Run/Army Half Marathon 2012
  7. New Balance Real 21K (Singapore)
  8. Newton's Challenge 2012 (Singapore)
Most of my trainees in the above races set personal bests in the above races. As of now, I have trainees running the following races
  1. Istanbul Marathon 2012
  2. Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2012 (Dec 2nd)
  3. Bangalore Midnight Marathon 2013
  4. Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013
  5. Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2013
  6. Shanghai Marathon 2013
  7. Auroville Marathon 2013
  8. Tokyo Marathon 2013
  9. Paris Marathon 2013
  10. Berlin Marathon 2013
I am myself running in the California International Marathon 2012 (also on Dec 2nd). I am not taking any more trainees for Mumbai or Dubai. However if you have pre-registered for Berlin 2013 or any race beyond Feb 2013 (at least 12 weeks away) and would like to be coached, get in touch with me at

I am back in India on 5th Dec 2012 after my race and will take on trainees interested in running in the Auroville Marathon 2013 & other races.

Read this post and this to get a hang of how I go about things and then mail me at

Good Luck with your running.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

You are never too old to start running

Every time I hear someone say, "Oh but I'm too old to start running", I tell them abt Priscilla & Miki.
Of course some of you may know of Fauja Singh and his incredible story, but the reason I like the stories of the two women above is because they were world class, not just runners who started out late in life.

They had no background in sports and Priscilla didn't even have a healthy life.

You just need to have the will to change.


Friday, October 05, 2012

Raising Funds for Udayan and Parivaar through my runs in Dec 2012 and Jan 2012

Over the past seven years, I have raised funds for Parivaar, an organization for underprivileged kids, based out of Calcutta, each time I have participated in the Mumbai Marathon's events. This year, I am raising funds for another organization as well. The organization is Udayan (<-click on this link for info on Udayan)

Some of you who know about Parivaar or Udayan, can skip most of this post and write to me about your willingness to contribute. If you want to contribute to Udayan, just click the link to the blog post on Udayan that I have linked to, in the first paragraph of this email. Or if you are in an even greater hurry, click on this or this for contributing to Parivaar. For each of the last few years, we have managed to raise about enough funds to fund around half a dozen kids at Parivaar for a year. In fact last year due to timely contributions from some of you that I mail and others that support Parivaar, Parivaar managed about 50% more funds in Give India's challenge. That was really encouraging. Thanks to all those who were involved.

For the rest, please read on.

I am running in the California International Marathon on 2nd Dec 2012. I am also running in Mumbai on 20th Jan 2013 in the half marathon. Through my runs, I want to raise funds for Udayan and Parivaar. While Udayan works to support the children of leprosy patients, Parivaar works for total rehabilitation of highly vulnerable children.

Parivaar was started by Vinayak Lohani, a friend of mine from Infosys days. You could read about them at the url above and also at my blog

for my personal take on them.

I expect that each of you can contribute INR 1K or more. But if you want to contribute less than 1k or even nothing at all, it is still fine since this is a request for voluntary donations.

I need you to reply to me so that I can get an idea of how much I can raise.

If you would like
to contribute to Udayan, please check this link. In about a week's time or so, Udayan's Give India page should also be up.

If you would like to contribute to Parivaar, please let Vinayak ( know your postal addresses once you have contributed. The receipts will be sent directly to you by Parivaar. Some of you may have already received emails from Parivaar for the ongoing Give India challenge.

Just in case you are wondering, I intend to contribute to both Parivaar and Udayan this year.

Also, please feel free to forward this to friends of yours who would be interested in contributing to such a cause and cc me on your mails.

Thank you 

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Thursday, October 04, 2012


Sometime in Oct 2011, my friend Venkat got in touch with me about an organization called Udayan, which was based out of West Bengal, about 2-3 hours drive from Calcutta. Just like some of you reading this post, I had very little knowledge of Udayan except for the fact that a few years ago, Steve Waugh's support for the girls at Udayan had brought them into the news. Now I am better informed since Venkat spent a few days at Udayan, a few months ago.

The primary challenge for me in writing this post is in trying to keep a straight face without being emotionally overwhelmed. And that is just to write this post, using content already available. My only contribution to this post is my comments.

"Udayan was started over 40 years ago (yes! incredible, isn't it!?) by Father James Stevens. Udayan is a residential centre for the rehabilitation of leprosy patients children, The work of Udayan started with 11 children. Initially Udayan was established to care for the children of leprosy patients coming from some of the worst slums in the City of Kolkata and its environs. However with the passage of time the need to accommodate more and more children from the worst hit areas of leprosy colonies of Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, Jharkhand, Ranchi, Durgapur and other parts of eastern region was felt and gradually children came pouring at Udayan from those regions and very soon the number of residents swelled to 300 (with about 90 girls out of 300).

Most of the children’s parents keep their families in the basic necessities of life by begging, smuggling rice or making illicit liquor. The income derived from these sources is not great – not enough to keep the heart and soul of a family together. The children run wild in the slums where they live and have no chance to get education, or to know any other kind of life than their mothers or fathers are leading. There is also the danger that the children will become infected with leprosy and may go without proper medicine and end their days maimed and uncared for. Therefore, Udayan takes these children away from the seat of infection and endeavours to educate them and train them for a life very different from that of their parents.

All this is achieved in a residential centre for the children in Barrackpore, which is about 30Km.from Kolkata, very different from the slums, they are used to."

(The section above in quotes is edited from Udayan's info on itself)

Unbelievably, most Indians (myself included!), at least, know very little about leprosy and it is treated as something to stay away from. Udayan which has worked very closely with leprosy patients understands this situation and works hard to give the children of leprosy patients, a regular life without the social stigma leprosy carries. If you need any more info on Udayan, please check out their website or get in touch with me.

Udayan currently needs to raise about Rs. 20 lakhs to meet its financial needs. If you are in India, please use the following info to make a contribution, however small it may be, or at least spread the word, even if you don't make a financial contribution of your own.

Bank Name    Axis Bank Ltd
Branch name    Barrackpore ( West Bengal)
Account Number    436010100116688
Name of Account (Cheque to be made in the name of)    Udayan
9 digit MICR number    700211030
Current/ savings account    Savings Account
SWIFT Code/ Remittance Instructions AXISINBB005
IFSC CODE     UTIB0000436

If you live outside India and intend to make a contribution in foreign currency please see this link for instructions on how to go ahead.

Thank you for reading this and your support.

I am using my participation in this year's California International Marathon as well as the half marathon at Mumbai to raise awareness and funds for Udayan. Please spread this message.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Augie March madness & other new book goodness

I was listening to Martin Amis talk about Saul Bellow and his book "The Adventures of Augie March" on the KQED Forum podcast. Amis bestows high praise on the book, which is incidentally the blurb on the cover. Incidentally the book has been praised by both Hitchens and Rushdie. Hitchens has written the introduction to the edition I just bought.

And I was just checking out my Twitter TL, when the linker-dude (aka Prem Panicker who just kills you everyday with some awesome links) posted a link to an article by Rushdie from 1990, which ends with the same quote from Augie March that Hitchens uses in the preface!

What a series of coincidences!

I also bought

Into The Looking Glass Wood by Alberto Manguel
The File by Timothy Garton Ash

all from Blossoms, thanks to some coupons won during Persiflage, KQA's annual books quiz. Of course, some money which is yet to be earned was also spent as I was unable to control myself from buying books with money I didn't have :(