Diary of a Running Diva – Priya Vaidyanathan
After every race, we hear from our runners. Some, detailed, and some with a simple outline of the good and the bad. We love all of it. Good things at the race happen through dedication of many and the few bad things, some times, are caused by negligence of just one. Yet, we try and do our best, and some times it translates to great memories for our runners, and when we read their story, we surely love sharing it.
Here is Priya’s story. I, Kavitha, an RD at Globeracers, met Priya in 2012 when she was in Bangalore to run the Bangalore Ultra. I knew her through Facebook and common friends, and was great to meet her along with other runner girls. I told them I wanted all these girls to come run the Nilgiris in 2013, and if they promised to do so, that I would dedicate the ultra to women. It was a popular idea and the Nilgiris all-women ultra was born. There was still a full year till the race, and I didn’t forget my promise.
In December 2013, 6 of the 9 girls who signed up for the race ran their very own ultra. 4 ran the 100km distance, Aparna Choudhary, Lipsa Siyal, Priya Vaidyanathan, Shibani Garat. While 3 completed the entire distance, Lipsa called it at 62.5km. That was her first ultra and running anything beyond 20kms. That’s commendable and a good call to give it a pass when she knew she had reached her limit.
Kavitha Elamveluthi and Shwetha Deveraj breezed through 25kms in the day and showed that women aren’t far behind men by clocking better than some of the men who ran all-men ultra the previous day.
There were a lot of questions as to why we have the all-women ultra at Nilgiris and why men have to run on a separate day. Well, there wasn’t going to be a race for men at all at Nilgiris. With a bit of prompting by my male runner friends, I decided to bring them to these beautiful hills, but on a different day so that we retain the sanctity of the special day for our women runner friends. The idea – to bring out all our friends to support all the women who want to run and give them support to pursue their passion, to let them know that there is no stopping women and mitigate the issues that women generally face in India in the form of family, friends and strangers who discourage them from running. So, next year, in 2014, all you guys, do come out in large numbers and stay back after you finish your race the previous day, to cheer and support all the women who will running to celebrate their passion for running.
Here is Priya’s account of her experience at Nilgiris Ultra 2013. She ran 100kms in 19 hours 20 min: http://divaruns.blogspot.hk/2014/01/my-tryst-with-devotion-100-kms.html
Cheers, and see you all at a race in 2014 and beyond.