Running the Nagar Rising Marathon as a couple

This is the amazing story of Sumitra & Ashish Joshi. They run with the University Gang and the Vimannagar Runway gang – a Part of Pune Running.

Our Start

It was the second week in Oct2015. PRBM (Pune Running Beyond Myself) had just finished and we had seen lot of updates & pics on FB and were very curious about it. Luckily, the following Sunday, we visited the Pune University campus with our friend Siva (who is a regular runner and motivated many more like us to join this wonderful world). Started with warm up with most energetic people Sudhi & Vikas and then joined our mentor Aparna who patiently completed 3K with us and gave many tips for amateur runners like us and the journey began…..

Then, there was no looking back……the schedule was fixed: Tuesday-Viman Nagar, Thursday -Tarkeshwar Hill with Aparna & Ashutosh (Maha-Gurus of Viman Nagar Running Group ). Weekend in University Campus. The running progress with very slow… We were always the last in group run. (We had never played any outdoor sports in life !!). Ashutosh suggested that we read the book ‘Dare To Run’ by Amit Sheth. This book was really motivating and washed off all negativity from our mind.

RUN Way VIMAN NAGAR (energetic gang with vibrant T shirts)

We started with 3k & gradually went on increasing the distance (followed the PRBM website schedule for beginners to complete first Half Marathon)

After joining running, our Life style completely changed …surprisingly we are getting more time (The day starts for runner around 4.30-5.00 am). Instead of discussions about movies or any news we end up discussion about running. Now our son Atharva is equally taking interest in our activities. His standard question on weekend is “what’s tomorrow’s long run plan? How many Km? Which route?”

He knew very well his crazy parents.

We completely lost our social life. (no movies…no dinners with friends on Weekends..) .Even missed to Celebrate Birthdays as they came on weekends.

Preparation for Nagar Rising Marathon

In November, Aparna announced that we had to register for Nagar Rising Marathon. The time certificate for this marathon will allow us to participate in the next SCMM 2017. (By then we went found out the timing criteria for our age group etc. and how important SCMM is for every Runner). We were very excited & immediately did the registration. Main aim of participating in this event was to get qualified for 2017 SCMM.

Tabata & core work out with Ashutosh Tarkeshwar Hill Run

Now the goal was fixed….we started our practice. In Nov & Dec, everyone was practicing hard for SCMM-2016 and we were also running with the group with our own pace and distance.

Then we completed the year end challenge of 50K in 8 days set by Chaitanya for the group!

New Year Long run, Our Marathon practice run, Nagar Promo Run ….by then we came to know that Nagar Marathon will be one of the toughest Marathon with 175m elevation for span of 2.5 km in middle of the race.

We goggled the distance & elevation to practice and finally concluded that we had to go for Sinhagad hill run up to 7k up hill & downhill. We went on weekday early morning and started the run at 6.15am . It was a chilly morning with mist & dark. After 5K, We were completely drained. It was very difficult to go further and we decided to return. The time taken to finish this distance was giving us all negative pictures for Nagar Marathon.

Sinhagad Hill Run – Practice Run for Nagar Marathon

Few fellow runners dropped out from Nagar Marathon for some personal reasons & few registered for 10K. Mind was telling to convert the registration to 10k but Ashish insisted we should give a try.

SCMM event was like the cricket world cup. We downloaded the SCMM app to track our friends. That was really exciting…..

‘No Elevator’ challenge for a month, set by Neeraj, was helping us to increase our endurance levels.

Then came the most exciting ‘Our Marathon’ event. Participated for 10K and finished with PB. This boosted the confidence to dream to finish at least in 2.45 hrs. (at least ye to Kar Lenge !)

Last Long Run before the Marathon

Before the race day

Last 2 days before the race were very hectic & was not sure about the participation, but finally started our journey to Nagar. We kept ourselves hydrated. We went to check the route. (This really helped for the final Marathon). The Chand Bibi Mahal uphill was still a monster for us. But, mentally, we compared with Sinhagad hill and were convinced this is still better. The route was challenging

Backdrop- Chand Bibi Mahal Historical Monument in Nagar (highest point of race)

Race Day

Anxiously got up at 3.30am… An hour before the start, reached the Nagar club -start point of Race. The ground was crowded with military persons who were also participating in Marathon.

Before the Race

The race started on time… after flag off, in fraction of second, elite runners disappeared.

We started with Mitul in slow pace. This was a completely unique experience. The race started from defence campus and passed through small villages. It was country side run. Far away we could see the profile of Chand Bibi Mahal on hill top.

By that time we passed few runners continuing our steady pace. We reached at 7K distance and saw few military men passing by on other sides of road. (Afterwards came to know they completed the race in 1.13 Hrs.!!!).

Here comes the most difficult part of race. The Hill. We started strongly going ahead with uphill. Volunteers were cheering us at every 500m. We were feeling proud to run the hill while many participants were walking and finally reached the turning point which was the highest point of the race. The time shown on the running app was 1.18min (Not Bad !!). Now started the return journey. We happily came down the hill and increased the pace by few seconds. Most critical part of the race was the last 3K where everyone increases their pace whereas we always struggled to finish. But today was our day… our running buddy Sanjay came to pace for last 2k and finally crossed the finish line in 2.32 Hrs.

Few things that came to my mind after crossing the finish line.>>>..

  1. Yes. We had finished strongly in the toughest Marathon
  2. Qualified for … SCMM 2017 !!

    When we look back our journey, We found many advantages as running couple –

    1. You are more regular in practice (you can’t give excuses of getting late Etc.)

    2. You don’t find time fighting each other (as your interest area is same and you end up discussing tomorrow’s running plan, route, pace, books, blogs etc.)

    3. You get more time to spend with each other.

    4. Food Habits will change for your family & you will start living in more disciplined way

    So yeah running as a couple is much more fun as couple then running alone and fighting with your spouse. So wake him up and get him to run if he is not.

    And if you are not running then wake up and run with him.

    Vikas: To end here is the joke on couple running which is making the WhatsApp Round. Dont know how Sudhi’s name got involved. Suspecting Prasad but no proof
    Last week, my wife went to Nirmalbaba satsang.
    Wife – Nirmalbabaki jai ho. Koti koti pranam
    Nirmalbaba- kahan se aye ho? Kya pareshani hai?
    W – Babaji, my husband.
    N – What is the matter? Does he drink? Beats you? Has a girlfriend?

    W – No babaji. He spends much money on running shorts, tees, energy gels, hydratiin belts, headband, wristband, calf sleeve, knee cap, dri-fit this, dri-fit that, supplements, pre-run drink, post-run drink, and many things i dont understand. I ask him to buy a saree, he has spent money on newest compression garment.

    N – Anything else?

    W – He registers for every running event every sunday. I am lucky, there are no marathons in evening, or he would have run one in morning, and another in evening. He never wins, but brings some metallic, heavy thing he calls a “medal”, and will spend time cleaning, polishing them. Once i used a medal as a coster. He almost killed me

    N – hmm

    W – There’s more. He never takes me out on saturdays, sundays or any other day. Interferes with his training, long run, intervals or some such s**t. He is so tired that he sleeps at 9.30 pm. You know! Cannot say more in public.

    N- hmmm. Problem is very serious. Go and do darshan of sidhivinayak.

    W – Babaji, he does that every month during the bandra-ncpa run

    N – then go to shirdi.

    W – Pshaw! I told him already, and he ran to shirdi with satish

    N – Then distribute some bananas, chocolates, idlis to poor people

    W – That he already does, whenever he volunteers.

    N – Amma, your husband is a gone case. He has too much shakti, and my shakti is powerless

    W – Babaji, give some upay

    N – there is one strong upay. I am not sure if you will be able to follow it

    W – Babaji, I will do anything

    N – Anything?

    W – Yes. Please tell

    N- You start running.




    Wife faints

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21 Responses

  1. Dr. Pooriya says:

    That’s great!! Very inspiring !!

  2. Somnath Biswas says:

    Lovely inspiring story by Sumitra and Ashish. All the best for SCMM 2017

  3. Vamsi says:

    Very Well Said Sumitra

  4. Sudhi says:

    Fabulous story, Sumitra and Ashish! Proud of u!

  5. Vijay says:

    Very nice rather I would Say it’s like busters to us !! ??

  6. yogini says:

    Awesome and very inspiring journey Sumitra and Ashish! Congratulations on your achievements so far and good luck for SCMM 2017! keep inspiring us!

  7. Great Sumitra.Hats off to your spirit & hard work. Best wishes to runner couple.

  8. Shrirang says:

    Simitra and Ashish ….just thrilled to read this. Proud of you both….great…i will be surely with you on this Dec 2016 Marathon. Preparing for it….

  9. Varsha Galgali says:

    Sumitra Aashish ! very well done and very well written as well! Truly proud of you both!

  10. Dhananjay Mahajan says:

    Marathon Mom Sumitra! Good write up Inspiring too !!

  11. Sachin says:

    Very motivating story of an amazing couple. You both really ROCK !!! thanks for inspiring a lazy guy lyk me . . . .

    All the very best for SCMM 2017. . . .

  12. Nivedita says:

    Sumitra Aashish. .its truly inspirational and full of motivational story.
    Luv u & All d best wishes for ur next SCMM 2017.

  13. Ram Bhatija says:

    The article gives a insight into the preparations that go into the participation of a Marathon. I am in agreement that both Ashish and Sumitra participating also helps them to come closer thereby regular friction between couples are avoided. Their sons encouragement is also commendable. The article is well written and I am sure of their success in 2017.

  14. Swati says:

    Fantastic Sumitra!!

  15. vaishali says:

    Sumitra wow……… great very well done

  16. Vrushali sandeep dahale says:

    Very inspiring message for the beginner runners like us. Well done!

  17. Siva says:

    Yoga, Music, Running, Cycling..what next..
    Next has to be Everest.. Lets make it happen.. Go Joshis..

  18. Shweta says:

    Awesome Sumitra! Happy running..proud of you guys!!

  19. Muthukrishnan says:

    Sumitra, Ashish,

    Well done! Just starting from 3km, then 5k, 10k and then finally 21km in 3-4 months as a couples and it is amazing!

    Keep it up!

  20. Prashant Padgaonkar says:

    Great going…. practice hard ….
    Mumbai marathon is eagerly waiting for people like you…