Can you run 10,000 km in 100 days? That’s basically 100 km per day. To put things in perspective, according to a report from 2017, an average Indian walks just 3.5 km per day. To run that distance is a whole different story.
But Samir Singh is no average guy. Coming from a family of farmers, he picked up running, especially long-distance running, marathon after he arrived in Mumbai in 2000. He had just come into the big city and was working with a small-time market research firm. At that time, he was tasked to do interviews with people who had completed marathons and it was only then that he got to know how running can be taken up professionally and one can earn money from the sport.
“I come from a humble background, my family’s main occupation is farming. So when I saw an opportunity to earn some money by running, I decided to take up the challenge. I was a good runner when I was a child, I always used to beat my friend in races and that gave me confidence,” quips Samir in an exclusive interaction with The Bridge.
However, it was not so easy as he had thought it would be. “I used to smoke often and I found out, the hard way, that it would be difficult to make a career if I did not quit,” he concedes. “So, I quit smoking and decided to give my 100%. I started by doing small runs and familiarising myself and my body to running.”
After that, he did not have to look back. Samir ran his first marathon in 2008 and soon started winning a quite a few races. At the age of 35, he decided to turn his focus on longer distances, on ultra running. He would go on to win many Ultra races in India including Vadodara and Mumbai Ultra (a 12-hour run).
In 2017, Samir tried to run 10,000 kilometres in just 100 days but fell agonisingly short. At the end of 100 days, the total distance covered by him was 9,964.19, just 36 km shy of his target. But that did not deter his undying spirit.
Starting tomorrow, Samir, who hails from Kanaheda village in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, will run again for the next 100 days for 100 km each day aiming to attain 10,000 Km in Mumbai’s Marine Drive.
“See, this can not an individual effort right… It requires a lot of logistical support. With Samir there is a crew who is following him, there are doctors…there are physiotherapists, there are people who are looking after his nutrition, people who are time-keeping. There is an entire team supporting Samir so that he can solely focus on running,” says Vishal Gondal, CEO and Founder of GOQii — a smart-tech enabled, integrated preventive healthcare platform which is lending all the logistic support to Samir.
“The first time I heard about Samir was from Akshay Kumar. We were discussing fitness and his name came up. Akshay was like, ‘Dude, I know a mad guy, who can do anything.’ That’s how our association with Samir started,” Gondal adds.
“The idea of this event is very unique. It’s happening at Marine Drive, the length of which is around 8-9 km. Samir will be doing roughly 11-12 rounds. The idea is such that any citizen of India can participate with him, can run with Samir. If he was running elsewhere, this would not have been possible. But at Marine Drive, you will see activities going 24×7. So there are always people,” he explains.
“Tomorrow when he starts the run, we will all be there with him at the start line. We are all going to run with him, at least for the first few kilometres. So we want anyone, who is willing to come, to be a part of the movement. If Samir Singh can do 10,000 km, you can at least do 10,000 steps.”
“I have belief in myself. I have dreamt of doing this for a long time and I believe that it is possible, I can do it,” Samir exudes confidence as he signs off.