Marathon time for Mumbai’s media mavens

17 Jan,2014


By Shobhana Nair


“I ran just once in my college when I saw a wild elephant,” says Ravi Rao, Leader, South Asia -Mindshare, “After that it’s going to be the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon that I will be running for!”


Members of the advertising, media and marketing community are regulars at marathons held in various cities across the country. Especially the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon which sees them enter in reasonably large numbers. Sunday, January 19 promises to see an encore. Mr Rao may be debuting this time, but there are several others who’ve been running for some years now. For Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom 18, running has been a passion and he re-discovered it some 10 years back. Last year, Mr Vats did the full run in three hours, 59 minutes. Breaking his own record is not on the agenda but having a good run tops the list! “I think it is a great addiction and I am addicted to it. I would invite others to get addicted to it as well,” beams Mr Vats.


It’s interesting to see many top captains for whom stress at work is never really a bother getting the heebie-jeebies. Well, almost. Says Times Television Network MD and CEO Sunil Lulla who is also a debutant: “I am completely stressed out right now and getting a lot of anxiety. I have no other expectations and want to have a good run, start well and finish well.”


For many, running the Marathon is not just about fitness, but there’s a good cause as well.  S Yesudas, Managing Director, Indian Subcontinent, Vizeum has been offering support and commitment to two causes that are close to his heart. “An old age home and orphanage at Malad, Swagat Ashram Charitable Trust in Mumbai and the other is a tribal school, Vidya Vanam at Coimbatore. The person who manages Swagat Ashram, Brother Stanley stays in the same shelter with his family.  His children grew up with the orphans, eating the same food. These are men of God and they need support from other God-believers.”


The training for the marathon begins way before the actual date and that really tests one’s power to achieve what is often the impossible. And there are some who believe it actually helps easing work stress. “The aim is to keep yourself fit, keep enjoying the run for a longer period of time. Once you do a long run during the weekend, it sets you right,” says Amin Lakhani, Leader – South Asia, Mindshare Fulcrum.


“The marathon is a lot about challenging your mind over your body. The fact is that you will be running a long distance but how you keep yourself mentally focussed on the objective? You become more focussed in your personal and professional lives. It gives you an adrenaline rush when you reach that finish line,”reasons Simran Hoon, National Sales Head, Colors.


There are many who participate not for the run, but the fun element. Paritosh Joshi, Principal, Provocateur Advisory admits that he is not a runner but loves to participate to soak in the atmosphere around him. “There are people who come on the streets to run and then there are those who are present just to encourage the runners. The spirit and the energy is what I like to soak in. In fact, I click pictures & tweet them. That’s how I enjoy it.” And not surprisingly, this is Paritosh Joshi’s ninthth consecutive “fun year” at the Marathon.


Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President – Head Marketing, Products & Direct Channels at HDFC Life has another motivational reason to get up and run, “It is a competition with yourself rather than with anyone else. I think it is only the Mumbai Marathon that gives you a chance to run on the Sea Link and that should motivate you. Run just to feel how beautiful Mumbai looks in the morning!”


If this hasn’t motivate you enough, then this should: veteran mediaperson Bharat Kapadia started running when he was 54 and still continues to do so in his 61st year. In fact, he accepts that if he can run, anybody can. So get hold of those sports shoes and run to experience the spirit of Mumbai this Sunday. Or simply do the run around your building, the road, the promenade or a jog track near you. And get set for 2015 edition of the Marathon.


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