Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Team Asha rocks Kaveri Trails!!

Hi Folks,

Though this mail comes in a bit late, it does not diminish the celebration and enthusiasm that was evident at the Kaveri trail races!! On Sep 13th, Sunday many folks from Team Asha participated in the Kaveri trail races! More than 20 runners were at Srirangapattinam fighting out the hot and humid conditions. This surely was not an ideal day for running. But, our team did great even against such odds! I have had the privilege of observing most of our runners train and reach many of their goals. So, I guess its my responsibility to give a brief account, which in my language is a long email :) - So, here goes!

More photos here -Kaveri marathon

We all set out in the Team Asha bus on Saturday, 12th afternoon. Manjula, Balaji and Vinodh ensured that we had a great time with a lot of laughs all along! We reached Mysore for dinner and after a run through about the plan, we went to sleep. The next day we all set out in two trips - Half marathoners and 10K runners! All our runners put on an inspirational performance and here is a personal account for each of them!

Photos from the trip are here.

Firstly, the thulir kids - Vinoo, Ezhumalai and Sakthivel put on a stupendous performance. Even with the minimal training this season, all three of them did a great job at the run! Vinoo did a super fast half at 1hr 54 mins and Ezhumalai followed at 2hr 2mins. I tried hard to hold them back on the run and in the end they just bolted out :) Sakthivel, coming to Bangalore for the very first time in his life did his first 10.5K in about an hour! Congrats to the thulir kids and for being an inspiration for all of us.

Ajay Gupta is a Team Asha veteran and has just moved to India from Chicago. He has done many long races and this 10K was part of his training for the Bangalore Ultra 25K. He had a smiling face in all the heat and humidity and that itself tells a lot about how he enjoyed the run :) - Welcome to Team asha Ajay!

Anjana Deepak leads many lives - managed at yahoo, super mom to avani, coach with Runner's High and Team Asha runner! She was her usual strong self in completeing a well run 21km at Kaveri. She prepares for her first Ultra marathon (50K) at Bangalore Ultra on Nov 15th!

Anita Bora is well known in the running circles of Bangalore though not many of the Team Asha folks know her. She is also an avid cyclist and I am sure she is going to go for the record of most funds raised by a Team Asha runner - just a hunch from her popularity levels :) - She had a strong half marathon at Kaveri Trails as well!

Dhanesh Padmanabhan joined us for the Sita School trip and is already very much into Team Asha! He did a half marathon at Kaveri and plans to run the Bangalore Ultra for Team Asha as well!!

Gautham Sadashiva is one of the Runner's High coaches with a lot of races on his colorful running resume! Like with his running, he has been organized in his fundraising as well and has already reached more than halfway in fund raising target! He will be targeting a really long run at the Bangalore Ultra as well!

Kanishka is a Team Asha veteran and long time long distance runner! He had a tough race at Kaveri due to the extreme heat. The training didn't go as well as he wanted as he was busy with many efforts he was involved with in the weekends. Nevertheless, he successfully finished his half marathon and he has already gone way past his fundraising target!!

Kavitha Kanaparthi did her first 10K only a few months back and now she is already done quite a few half marathons, super long treks and really long cycling trips! She is the new endurance athlete in town! Though she took a fall, she successfully completed the Kaveri half marathon and looks forward for the 25K at Bangalore Ultra.

Mathew is an avid runner with bubbling enthusiasm and amazing photography skills! This was his fourth race in just a few months and he has become an expert 10K distance runner already! He did amazingly well in the fundraising front as well and has already reached his target!

Pramod is a long time asha volunteer and veteran team asha runner. Last year, a half marathon went out of reach due to work. But, this time he did it in style! Pramod runs with the Ananaya kids regularly and also volunteers his time teaching there.

Preeti Ashok is the world famous physio in Bangalore :) - Everyone knows who is the physio who understands runners well! In addition to her sterling contribution as an educational resource person at various asha supported efforts, being an asha volunteer, heading the injury prevention and strengthening aspects of Runner's High - she has now finished her first 10K and is going for a 25K!!

Rajeev Muralidhar is another Team Asha veteran and long time long distance runner! He carried on training even through his trips to the US and had a strong finish at the Kaveri Trails! He has already surpassed his fundraising target and is not stopping anytime soon!

Ranjita Bhagwan was introduced to running recently and did her first 10K run only a few months back. She successfully finished her first half marathon at Kaveri Trails! It was an amazing effort and she has already started her fundraising as well!

Rohit Chaudhri is another Team Asha veteran who has returned from Seattle and joined Team Asha in Bangalore recently. He is targetting the Bangalore Ultra and did about 15km at Kaveri as part of his training. Welcome to Team Asha Rohit!

S Balaji is avid long distance runner, long distance cyclist (really long distance - like a tour of south india :) ), super coach, football coach, mentor and the list goes on! Balaji spent considerable amount of Thulir and has been instrumental in the training of the Thulir kids. He came along to Kaveri to support the team and ran with many of us to the finish! Thanks for being there for all of us Balaji!

Santosh M Hulkund is a Team Asha regular and he started running along with us last year. He is now doing comfortable long distances and did a strong half marathon at the Kaveri trails. He was bogged down by many aspects that stopped him from training well. Nevertheless, he put on a great show!

Savitha Muralidhar is a true inspiration to many of the beginners! Only a few months back she was worried if she will be able to complete a 10K, leave alone run all of it! But, on Sunday, 13th she did her first half marathon and is looking forwards to her first 25K at the Bangalore Ultra. She has already crossed her fundraising target by leaps and bounds!

Sindhu Srinivas is the super athlete of Team Asha :) - She came 12th in the women's category - this was a result of an organized effort and consistent training. She has been a super athlete with her fundraising as well! She has already crossed her fundraising target as well!

Srinivas Vooruvakili was quite an inspiration with his training. He followed what the coaches said to the word and put in a very disciplined and organized effort! The results are there to show! He did a time of 2hrs 3mins and was equally organized with his fundraising as well! He has already more than doubled his fundraising target. Great job and go for the 25K Srini!

Vikram Srinivasan missed a good part of training due to injuries and family commitments. But, that did not stop him from completing the half marathon at Kaveri in a strong way. He is continuing training for the Bangalore 25K and has already started his fundraising efforts as well! Great going Vikram!

Vinodh Kumar is a regular Team Asha runner and volunteer at Ananaya. He is also the web master for Asha and Team Asha. Amidst all the work tension he responds in lightning speed to set up all our runner pages and urges them to start! This time he missed a lot of training due to work and other reasons. But, this did not stop him from gritting out the half marathon successfully! He continues to train for the Bangalore Ultra 25K!

Last but not the least, the super lady - Entreprenuer, Endurance cyclist, Runner, Poor jokes coordinator, Karate Black belt, Volunteer at Ananya...Manjula did a marathon at Kaveri trails with an inpiring effort and staying out there for 7+ hours! It was an awesome display of determination and focus!

Thanks to Anu and Krishna of Thulir for supporting the kids on their endeavors and making this possible for all of us!

Thanks to Ananya and Sita School for hosting us for a couple of training runs!

Thanks to Runner's High and everyone who were part of the training and coaching efforts to help our runners cross the finish line at Kaveri trails.

Thanks to all Asha volunteers, friends and family for giving the support and encouragement that we all badly needed! This has been a wonderful experience!

While many of us crossed the finish line in terms of some of our running goals, there still is one more finish line to cross. All this effort, running and crossing the finish line would be worth a lot only when we achieve the goals we all set out for! Asha Bangalore relies heavily on the marathon program for supporting all the wonderful grass roots efforts. Lets gear ourselves up and make sure that this running makes a difference in many other lives as well!!

Go Team Asha!!

(For Team Asha.)

P.S: If I missed mentioning anyone's contribution, I surely didn't intend to and would want to blame it on permanent mental fatigue from running and typing long emails :)

1 comment:

Balu said...

way to go Team Asha.... BTW we had maximum number of posts ever for a month !