(Written by Sadaf Inamdar)
For city-based businessman, Pravin Zele, running, which began as a hobby with the intent of staying fit, now forms a central part of his life.
Zele decided to take up running after his hockey career was sidelined due to an injury. Since then, he has never looked back. He even achieved the Guinness World Record for running barefoot 21 km a day for 121 days.
Having successfully completed the Khardung La marathon in Leh and Ladakh on September 6, Zele said, “At an altitude of 18,000 feet, the
atmosphere is rarefied, temperature can drop to sub-zero and below and the weather is very unpredictable. It is a very treacherous terrain with muddy roads and I completed this in 12 hours and 52 minutes. Prior to the Khardung
La marathon, I participated in the Comrades marathon in South Africa. It is 89 km long and I completed it in 10 hours and 53 minutes.”
The Khardung La Challenge, 72 kilometres long, is among the toughest and most extreme endurance challenging races in the world, with the participant number restricted to 150. Requiring gruelling training and a 14-day acclimatisation period, the challenge was organised to foster national spirit and encourage sports in Ladakh.
Carrying forward his enthusiasm for health and well being, he has also started his own fitness centre, ‘Zele Runners Academy’, which caters to people from all walks of life. “My aim is to motivate people to lead a more sustainable lifestyle and also to show that you can achieve almost anything once you set your mind to it,” he added.