A 100 km walk-and-run in 24 hours was undertaken by Chanda Jain 42, Devarshi Trivedi 43, Sanjeeta Singh Negi 55. They are studying Masters in Ashtang Yoga in Lakulah Yoga University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. They did this with their mentor Piyush Shah 60, who is an international level runner, cyclist and a yoga practitioner. Sanjeeta Singh Negi recollects the journey.

Why We Did it?

Today, when it is considered that education is increasingly becoming commercialised, we thought of doing something to re-establish the concept of Guru Dakshina to bring back respect for the teachers and the institute which taught us.  Another reason for undertaking this challenge was to test our physical, mental and emotional strength which we believe practising yoga has given us. Also, this is our last semester at the college so we wanted to show our gratitude to the teachers and the institute.

Who are we?

I am a runner, cyclist and mountaineer, we have the main ashram of our Lakulish Yoga University at Jakhan towards Surendernagar district of Ahmedabad. We decided to complete a 100km walk-and-run in 24 hours. I asked my fellow students, Dewarshri Trivedi and Chanda Jain to join me, they had never done anything like this before, so it was a tough decision for them, but they agreed to give it a try.

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We needed one hardcore runner with us so that someone will be there to push us to the finish line, so we contacted Piyush Shah and he gladly agreed.

The Planning

We made a daily practice schedule of walk-and-run along with stretching exercises and our daily yoga practice in the college. Everyone followed their schedules and shared their experiences, daily. We encouraged each other to run for longer every day. We started our training initially from 2km. We had 40 days for preparation and used it in a very disciplined way. We used to come to college early in the morning by either walking or running. Our residence is 15 km away from the college. Walking and running at odd times, and coming to the college walking made people around us interested in our challenge. In today’s times when people do not even want to walk for one kilometer, we were taking a challenge to run and walk a 100 km. Our respective ages were another interesting aspect of this challenge.

Everyone followed their schedules and shared their experiences, daily. We encouraged each other to run for longer every day. We started our training initially from 2km. We had 40 days for preparation and used it in a very disciplined way.

During this challenge, we applied our theoretical knowledge into practice.

  • Our route was not an attractive one. We had only each other for company and needed to stay focused to complete the task.
  •  A 100 km in 24 hours is a long time to be on the road. On this route we had to manage with minimum facilities.
  • We needed to push our limits for which we used asanas and prayanam. These helped us in releasing the tensions. We used Bhadrasana, Varj Asan and Padmasan to relax our legs and back.
  • The Bhagavad Gita and our Yog scriptures say that “Soul is peaceful by nature, through yoga one get detach with the outer world and find solace in oneself”. This journey helped us to realize what the body and mind can do when they are synchronised.

The Run

Our run was scheduled between 1st February 2020 to 2nd February 2020. We started at 5.30 am, from Lakulish Yoga University, Ahmedabad. It was a cold morning and we were very excited. Our family members came there to drop us. Everyone was worried about our safety but we assured them that we will take care of ourselves. We had a support car with us so that we can keep water, food items, medicine and other necessary things so that our run is not disturbed. In the event of anything happening to one of us, a vehicle was a surety we had help ready at hand.

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We started our walk-and-run, slowly. We completed our 40 km till 2.30 pm then we took a break for 2 hours as the weather was very hot and ate lunch on the way at a roadside restaurant. Devarshi Trivedi developed blisters but she did not want to stop. So after the lunch break, she continued her walk. Chanda, who has high blood pressure and depression showed strong will power to give her 100 per cent.

Our run was scheduled between 1st February 2020 to 2nd February 2020. We started at 5.30 am, from Lakulish Yoga University, Ahmedabad.

Slowly, we completed hour 50km. On the way, we got mixed reactions from people. Why are we on the road, in such traffic, why are we taking so much trouble when we have a vehicle with us?

Due to the traffic, we have stopped walking on our roads. As a result, our drivers have become careless and they do not care or respect people who walk on the road. Secondly, we are losing our walking capacity. When people would walk on the road only then will drivers will be careful about pedestrians.

Many times, drivers intentionally, brought the vehicles very close to us. In such a situation, we took a break and encouraged each other to be slow and watchful.

I and Piyush Shah were on the road for all the time, Dewarshi and Chanda took a break in between and sat in the vehicle when they felt tired, and later joined again.

I and Piyush Shah ran for the whole night with a rhythm. In between, we stopped for tea. We sat on the highways, lay down on the road too. By the next morning we had completed 95 km and by this time I had also developed blisters, but I was determined to finish my 100 km, therefore, kept continuing the run-and-walk and achieved our target at around 7.30 am.

The response

On the way, some people appreciated our efforts. They made fresh tea for us and didn’t even charge us. We too distributed chocolates among children and biscuits for dogs.

What We Learnt

We realized that our body has great potential, we are afraid to make use of it. The body has a system, which works when you use it. If you are not using your legs they will not work in the long run. If you are eating mindlessly, your digestion system will be overloaded. We do not want to sit in the sun because it tans us, but without sun rays we are becoming Vitamin D deficient.

There is a need that we redefine our relationship with our body, nature, food habits. With proper practice and planning, anyone can do anything.

WHEN WE CAN THAN ANYONE CAN DO IT.

*Out of the four Sanjeeta and Piyush Shah completed 100km, Chanda Jain completed 75km and Devarshi Trivedi undertook 60km of the walk-and-run challenge. The views expressed are the author’s own.

Picture Credit: Sanjeeta Singh Negi

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