Around 200 enthusiastic amateurs set out to test their endurance in a duathlon event

Sunday mornings are lazy no more, at least for this bunch of techies and non-techies who hit the road for something they collectively believe in: ‘healthy living, healthy lifestyle’. When a duathlon was announced by Hyderabad Runners and the Bike Affair with Dr. Muralidhar Nannapaneni taking the initiative for the same, getting registrations for the event ‘happened in a snap’ says Gokul Krishna of Bike Affair. And what surprised the organisers was the fact that everyone seemed excited about the race which was planned to test their endurance. And Dr. Muralidhar says, “It was a test to their endurance and making the participants realise where they stand in regards to their stamina and fitness levels. Because not anyone can think of run-cycle-run in a day. The duathlon is designed for the runners to run initially for five kilometres, then cycle for 30 kilometres and finish the duathlon by finally running for three kilometres. Besides being an event about fitness, it is also a chance to show the bright side of the early morning sun.” By the way, no one was there sitting with health pamphlets and talks about fitness. The duathlon according to the organisers is an initiative to lead a healthy life. “All one needs is a start and then build the habit. The initiative is also an attempt to promote races and marathon runs in the city and also introduce cycling marathons like in the West. The trend should be set and the city has a lot of people who love such events,” adds Dr. Muralidhar. Armed with their gears as specified by the organisers, the participants were present on dot and though there was a spirit of competition there was a lot of cheer and fun. The organisers feel the city lacks these kind of sporting events but are at the same time enthused by the constant enquiries from the bikers and runners. “To run ‘alone’ is different from running in a group with a spirit of friendly competition. My business partner Gokul Krishsna tried and tested the duathlon before we announced it. We felt it could be done in a group where friends will cheers and encourage each other,” explains Krishnendu, one of the organisers. Planned without a specific age group in mind, the duathlon had a young participant as well. Thirteen-year-old Hitesh says, “I love these sporting events and I am a member of Hyderabad Runners.

The moment I saw the event listed I asked my mother to register me and I completed the duathlon.” Young he is, but his spirit of participation counts, after all it isn’t always about winning.