Naval officers Ram Ratan and Sanjay Kumar are bidding to break a record by protecting the gap between Kanyakumari and Kashmir on foot in 56 days
The solar was relentless, but extremely runners Ram Ratan and Sanjay Kumar made it on time to their pit cease on the Neelambur freeway, on the outskirts of Coimbatore, to a grand welcome. The two naval officers are on the second leg of their K2K (Kanyakumari to Kashmir) run; the duo bids to cowl the gap in a record time of 56 days.
From Kerala to Tamil Nadu
“We started the run at 4 am in Palakkad in order to reach Coimbatore by 2 pm,” says Sanjay Kumar, including, “The winds blowing in a backward direction through the Palakkad Gap slowed us down a bit, but we just kept running. Our training in high altitude running from Manali to Leh has prepared us to take on challenging weather conditions.” They each look visibly exhausted however are decided to full their mission. “We want to raise awareness on non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension that are caused because of an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle,” says Ram Ratan, including, “We decided to run in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The best way to create awareness is leading by example.”
Ram and Sanjay began their run on January 12, on National Youth Day, and plan to finish it on March 8, the International Women’s Day. The first leg of their run coated Kanyakumari to Thiruvananthapuram. In the upcoming phases, they may cowl Thiruvananthapuram to Bengaluru, then onto Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The last leg is from Delhi to Srinagar. An SUV with a three-member group that features a physiotherapist follows them. “We stick to a highway-to-highway route and try covering 80 kilometres a day, but we also ensure there is sufficient rest,” explains Sanjay.
The runners are thrilled with the reception they get on the pit stops. “Our seniors meet us and encourage us by running a few kilometres along with us. Several running groups like Fort Runners of Palakkad, Soles of Kochi and Soles of Kollam cheered us and ran along with us to keep us going,” says Sanjay. The duo hopes to set a Guinness world record with its run; the present record for a K2K run is held by Sufiya Khan who did it in 87 days. “It was Sanjay who inspired me to take up this challenge. Though I have done short distance ultra-marathons covering 100 to 200 kilometres, I have done nothing of this scale before,” says Ratan, who has beforehand achieved a 111-kilometre run from Leh to Ladakh.
Sanjay has earlier accomplished a 480-kilometre run from Manali to Leh, crossing all of the 5 Himalayan passes consecutively for 5 days and setting a new record. “We took part in cross-training like swimming and cycling to build endurance and stamina. We also did a 78-kilometre endurance run to equip ourselves,” Sanjay says.
The duo provides: “We underwent rigorous training for four months before we embarked on this mission of a lifetime.” The run is supported by Together We Can, a Kochi-based public charitable belief that works on points associated to baby rights, incapacity, schooling and psychological well being.
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