Monday, February 19, 2007

Team Asha Rocks Sumart!

Hi All,

One more target race down for Team Asha this year and we rocked the race like always! As Ganesh and Gaurav mentioned, it was a true team effort that got us this success!

Ashwini,Arvind, Roopa, Murali, Arun, Ashwini, Sharanya, Arvind,Savita,Sandhya, Salil, Mahesh, Dwarak, Divya,Itisha,Venkatesh, Priyavadan, Anita and Bharath were the ultimate support team!

All this would not have been possible if not for such care and affection showered on us! It really felt like a Formula One pit stop, every time one of the runners reached the AID station. Many thanks to the pacers who ran with us (some of them distances that they have not done frequently and that too after their early morning scheduled runs!)

There are so many things that we could keep discussing about. But, I would like to focus on just the effort that each of the wonderful runners have put in - because, as always everything else revolves around it.

Sanjeev Ranganathan

Sometimes, I really think I shouldn't comment on something thats way beyond the league! But, being a witness to this extraordinary effort, I feel I need to let the team know. Sanjeev, never planned to run the 50 miler until just a few weeks back. The original plan was to train for the 50K. He had recurring groin problems, he fell down trails, had cold/fever bouts, back pain and got lost in the wilderness for more time than any of us have ever been off course! It was a tremendous effort on saturday, when he gave his all to reach the cut-off of 9 hours for the third loop. When he did come in a little over 11 hours at the end of his third loop - nothing was lost - He was an inspiration for the whole team in so many ways and thats not new to him. Here is an Asha veteran that we all would be proud to know.

Anita komanduri

Silent, humble and almost unnoticed - The mother of all efforts is sometimes lost in just its humbleness! Many a times she has taught us how not to make a fuss about any of these efforts. She finished her first ultra marathon strong and in style! I know I am going to get it from her for this - keeping all gender sensitiveness in mind, I just can't avoid proclaiming Team Asha's first woman ultra marathoner! She had serious ITB problems and that even stopped her from completing some of the training runs. Running mountains in Bandera really didn't help it a lot. But, we all knew that she was going to bounce right back! In about 8 hours she finished her first 50 km run and made us all proud of what we are doing.

This is probably Sanjeev and Anita's last race with Asha Austin's marathon program. They were one of the reasons why Asha Austin even has a marathon program. Wishing all the best for Sanjeev and Anita's life ahead in India. We shall as always look upto them for inspiration and direction.

Ganesh Krishnamoorthy

Shameless copy paste from what we wrote about him last year -

"Sport is not about being wrapped up in cotton wool. Sport is about adapting to the unexpected and being able to modify plans at the last minute. Sport, like all life, is about taking risks."
- Sir Roger Bannister

It somehow still holds true. He was determination personified, when even a 'stupid' disqulification rule that stripped him of his bib no. couldn't stop him from doing what he set out for. A bad fall in the trails even before the first half of the race ended meant a lot of blood loss, less energy and lots of pain. He spent aboout 12 hours and 30 minutes on the trails trudging along and never ever giving up! I don't think anyone could have convinced him about dropping out even as the race infrastructure was brought down. I have not seen anything like this before!

Vinod Viswanath

Asha Austin's one and only 'Coach ji'. The marathon veteran showed us the way all these years and it was no different on saturday as Team Asha moved into the realms of 'Ultra' running. Intermittent training and a lot of travel didn't really help him get a wholesome training program. But, it was never a complaint or an excuse! As always he kept the spirits up and gave us all the invaluable gems of advice that just comes with experience. Though he probably wasn't too happy about his time, I am sure he is going to set it right pretty soon - maybe within a year :) If you are happy that Asha Austin has this wondeful program, here is one person you might want to thank for sure! This is probably Vinod's last run with Team Asha when in Austin. Rather than feel worried about a future without coach ji, I think its upto all of us to make the dream live on and make the program a sucess year after year!

Gaurav Agarwal

A+ - for those who don't know, it means planning, perseverence, commitment and dedication. He held everything together for all us crazy ultras - he took care of almost every area - food, travel, race plans etc week after week! Meticulous in his planning and execution, he made it all very easy for us. He had some bad cramps towards the end of the third loop. He had some health problems even the next day. I was joking about the 'royal' treatment he got after the race - but, the truth is he made through this crazy ultra marathon in 10 hrs, given all that he had to go through! Team Asha is in safe hands as gaurav gives his 100% to a cause that all of us believe in. It takes a lot of effort to organize, sustain and pour one's efforts into a program of this magnitude - Gaurav has led by example on each one of these aspcts. He is an inspiration to all of us and Team Asha looks foward to more races with A+!!

Santhosh Padmanabhan

Yep! I get to talk about myself :) ..The truth is, I was just 'plain' lucky. I never had to go through anything that others had to go through. But, for the encouragement and support from wondeful Team Asha friends on the trails supporting us, it could have been a lot different. I had a memorable experience - not just because of 'my own race', but with people travelling long distances to just encourage us all!

Many thanks to all the runners of the team for being with all of us through the way!


1 comment:

Koddy said...

Team Asha is the best team ever!
I have seen lots of blogs which the main issue it related to remark the greatly well done teamwork made by the Asha's.
I feel so exited about this, I think I0m going to Buy Viagra to have a nice moment with my wife