The ‘Champions’ of Thomas Cook Run for a Cause, Motivated by Super Champ Siddharth!

On the 15th of January 2017, a small group of runners participated in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) in the Half-Marathon Category. This meant running 21.097 kms, while some did the shorter Dream run. We specially took part to show our support for social causes and partnered with Save the Children – India, an NGO we regularly support.

The team included Dinesh Ahuja, Manish Patel, Avinash Janjire, Condran Fernandes, Aashish Saxena, Shishir Khambete, Sachin Jain, Srijit Nair, Jayesh Shetty, Sagar Karle and Dipankar Sarkar . The months of hard work and training paid off with  all the participants completing the required course! The event was coordinated by Siddharth, Prasad Jangam and Maharukh Dosabhai.

But our ‘Champ among Champs’  in Thomas Cook is Siddharth Nambiar, General Manager-Marketing.

“If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.” ~ Emil Zatopek, Czech runner; winner of four Olympic gold medals.siddharth

And that is exactly what Siddharth has been doing year after year. Running is his absolute passion and he is the major motivating force behind our running team .  
After a decade of running half marathons and more, he was determined to conquer the Full Marathon, and finally on 28th August 2016, Sid successfully completed the Full Marathon (42.175 kms) at the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon, considered one of the toughest road races in India. Besides the unrelenting slopes, there are also three flyovers thrown in to add to the fun! A huge achievement!
While he has trained with the objective of being half marathon ready on any given weekend, training for the Full Marathon of 42.175 kms was a different experience altogether. In terms of distance, it might be double the half marathon (21.1 kms), but when it comes to training for the event itself, it is exponentially more intensive – mentally and physically. It requires one to channelize all one’s efforts and discipline into the unforgiving schedule.

Sid’s training included several months of consistently clocking between 48 – 60 kilometers a week with a total of around 887 kilometers.  No small feat! This included shorter runs of 8-12 kilometers on weekdays, and the weekly long runs anywhere between 21 – 35 kilometers, depending on the week of training. This included two single long runs of 30 plus kilometer runs peaking at 35 kilometers (around 60 kilometers for that particular week) which is considered ideal for the full marathon. The rest of the distance on the day of the marathon is run with your heart, a prayer  and a lot of emotion!

The training was supplemented with some conditioning exercises at home and a balanced diet – nothing drastic but simple, regular Indian food, and an attempt to cut down on sugar (which was the toughest part of the training considering the champ has a massive sweet tooth!)

The  actual race day is a culmination of the months of discipline and effort and if one has trained correctly, it’s a matter of putting it to the test. Of course, it is an overwhelming environment and the Hyderabad Runners put up a fabulous and professional event – amongst the best in the country! Siddharth ran with his cousin who was also his training mate, and conquered the roads and hills in a respectable time of 5 hours, 2 minutes and 50 seconds. It was a triumph, indeed, and at the finish line was his wife Radhika waiting to welcome him and his cousins. She was the main inspiration behind his success and continuously egged him on to train even harder.  As the cheers of the spectators rang in his ears, Sid felt a surge of elation! It was a triumphant, yet humbling, moment which he will cherish for a lifetime!

Way to go, Sid! We wish you all the best, and hope you continue to ‘run the extra mile’ on the roads, and in your life!