Although for city-based scientist Anoop Mahajan, running has been a passion since a long while, this time he has decided to add a purpose to it.
Mahajan will be joining the Australian endurance athlete, Samantha Gash from Melbourne, in her endeavour titled RunIndia to run 3,800 km across India to raise money for children’s education for World Vision India. As part of the RunIndia initiative, Mahajan, who works at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology as an environmental scientist, will be covering 1,300 km over 35 days.
“I happened to connect with Samantha (Gash) about two months ago, when she mentioned about this initiative. Although we were casually talking about the event, it was only two weeks ago that we started discussing the same seriously. I had some pending leave from office and I felt I should utilise my time productively,” said 32-year-old Mahajan.
While Gash is set to begin her run from Jaisalmer from August 22, Mahajan will join her on October 4 in Allahabad. He will be covering 1,300 km from Allahabad to Shillong in 35 days. “Our target is to cover 50 km every day. It will be a combination of running and walking.
Samantha, of course, will be running because she is a seasoned ultra-marathoner,” he said. Gash is the co-founder of Freedom Runners and has been a part of various charitable initiatives and has run through several difficult terrains on the globe – from the deserts of Egypt and Chile to the mountains of Nepal, India, South Africa and more. The funds generated through RunIndia will be used to support six World Vision projects across India.
Mahajan has been putting hours into preparing for the big run. Every day, he spends one-and-a-half hours in the gym wherein he does strength building exercises. Besides, he runs for two hours at the Pune University.
“I have participated in various charitable runs in the past but this is the first time I am participating in a run that covers such a huge distance. I am quite confident that I will be able to do it,” said Mahajan, who was based abroad from the year 2003 to 2012.
His initial education has been in Pune wherein he did his schooling from city-based Vidya Bhavan High School, followed by Loyola Junior College and Fergusson College.