It was an uneventful lazy Sunday evening which took a turn for the better when I met up with Nischal Pai at a coffee shop in Indira Nagar. Nischal Pai is a Bangalore-based marathon runner who just completed the 42 km Bombay Marathon held on 20 Jan 08.
It was when Nischal was at Pune in 2000 pursuing her Masters degree that she started running. The motive: it was the most inexpensive way to lose weight! She was first introduced to the world of marathons by a colleague at work who told her about the Bangalore marathon way back in 2005. She started training to attempt the 21 km half marathon and to her surprise and elation not only completed the km run but ended up coming in 10th.
Source: Nischal Pai.
Her first hand experience with the Bangalore Marathon in 2005 strengthened her resolve to get herself in running shape to attempt more runs and longer distances. In her own words she was hooked by the feeling of freedom and the adrenaline rush associated with running which now transcended the prerequisite of basic fitness.
Having spent most of her life in Bangalore, Nischal is extremely attached to the place and people. She used to run around the Ulsoor Lake and at the Cubbon Park Trail. She is now a part of two running clubs here — the Runners for Life and the Bangalore Hash House Harriers and she proudly proclaims that Bangalore has one of the best running communities in India. RFL (Runners for Life) roughly has around 700 members and Bangalore Hash House Harriers has around 300 members shedding light on the fact that running is a popular sport amongst Bangaloreans.
These two running communities organise weekend runs in and around Bangalore keeping the spirit of the sport alive. In fact, RFL has a run and breakfast scheduled to take place at Eagleridge which is around 16 kms from Bangalore on 9 March and around 70 people are expected to show up. So if you have a passion for running and want to be part of a network of like minded individuals you can join any or both of the communities. The runs are organised on alternate weekends so that if you’re a member of both clubs you won’t be missing out on anything.
Working as a process trainer at TataSky by day, Nischal makes time for the rigorous training required for marathons by running early in the morning and on weekends. She also undergoes strength training at the Manipal Centre and has recently joined the Nisha Millet Swimming Camp. She is currently looking forward to the Tibetan Marathon which will be held in July and a 150 km run that she and a few others are planning for the near future. Nischal is ambitious and wants to push for more. ⊕