Local news

Mumbai runner eager to hit the Comrades road

It's not only the Comrades that this runner looks forward to but the camaraderie, sightseeing and delicious bunny chows, too.

COMRADES Marathon participants from other countries eagerly anticipate the Ultimate Human Race each year. One such participant is Satish Gujaran from Mumbai, India, who is about to attempt the marathon for the 13th consecutive time in June.

Also read: uMhlanga Comrades runner trains the pain away

His running journey goes back to 2004 – he was on holiday in South Africa when he made friends with a runner who introduced him to the sport.

“It’s been almost 20 years of running. After completing my 10th Comrades, I started my own running club called Run with Satish,” he said.

Training for Gujaran continues throughout the year with peak sessions for Comrades starting from February onwards. This year, he ran the 42km Tata Mumbai Marathon as a qualifier. He also assists other runners to qualify.

“My routine includes three major long runs of 56km, 65km and another 56km each month. Since I live in Mumbai, running long distances like 56km or 65km can be challenging due to the traffic and heat. Starting in February, the summer heat intensifies, peaking by April. To manage this, I often train on the outskirts of Mumbai or sometimes travel to the northeast of India to avoid the extreme heat,” he added.

Satish Gujaran during a marathon in India.

If the distance is shorter, Gujaran runs at either midnight or around 03:00 or 04:00.

“I’ve realised that the body is amazing at adapting to different environments; it’s the mind that needs training. With the right mindset, there’s nothing we can’t achieve,” he said.

Gujaran’s personal goal for Comrades is to help runners from India finish the race. He will be leading the 11h 30m India Finishers Bus to support and motivate them throughout the journey.

“Additionally, as the only runner from India who has completed 12 Comrades Marathons so far, I aim to continue running and inspire others from India to achieve the prestigious Green Number status,” he said.

Despite being 61 years old, he is also determined to push the limits and, if his health permits, challenge the record of the oldest person to complete the Comrades Marathon, who is currently 80 years old (Johannes Mosehla).

“Who knows, maybe I’ll set a new record!” he said.

This year, Gujaran will be staying in Durban which he says holds a special place in his heart as the tremendous support he receives from the Indian community here makes him feel right at home.

“The city boasts a large population of Indian people who are incredibly caring and loving. I deeply admire the self-made Indians in South Africa who have achieved success and respect while still preserving and contributing to Indian culture. Their resilience and dedication are truly commendable,” he said.

And of course, he won’t forget to mention the delicious mutton curry, biryani, and bunny chow –  culinary delights that he loves indulging in during his visits.

“My visits to South Africa have been an annual tradition since 2010, and each time, I discover new places and experiences that enrich my journey,” he said.

This year, he plans to travel to Cape Town via the Garden Route.

For more from Berea Mail, follow us on Facebook, X and Instagram. You can also check out our videos on our YouTube channel or follow us on TikTok.

Related Articles

Back to top button