The trucker who runs marathons

Vinod Sehrawat   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

In his initial days of marathon training, Vinod Sehrawat lost 18 kg. His family got so worried they thought he had diabetes. “From a 38-inch waistline I dropped to 30 inches,” says Vinod. The 43-year-old drives trucks in and around Delhi, for a living.

Vinod started running three years ago because he was tired of his sedentary lifestyle. “I felt mentally stagnant,” he says. He was putting on weight alarmingly and gradually he developed fatigue which led him to “hate” his body. Eventually he started walking in Vasant Vatika Park after dropping his two children off at school. Gradually, he started running, and when a fellow runner stopped him and advised him to take the sport more seriously, he did.

“I am so passionate about running that it is now my life. No matter how tired I am after my day’s hard work, I make sure that I run the next morning,” he says, adding that it calms his body and mind (“Ek sukoon sa milta hai”).

On the rare occasion he misses a run because of work, he’ll practise in between loading and unloading goods. Since he can’t afford a gym membership, he does body-weight exercises (like push-ups) in the park. His ‘guru’ he says, is 35-year-old Abhishek Mishra, an Ironman and ultra runner (a run over 50 km).

Unfazed by the pollution and weather, Vinod is now training for his second full marathon (42 km), the Apollo Tyres Millennium City Marathon. The first time, he finished a full in 3 hours and 30 minutes (a well-above-average timing). His half marathon (21 km) timing is 1 hour and 30 minutes. “I earn my livelihood by driving in pollution so it does not deter me from practising. Only a Delhiite can tackle all kinds of weather because of our extremes in heat, cold, and humidity conditions,” he says.

His family though, still cannot understand what he gets from the sport, except for his elder brother (Shri Bhagwan), who backs him when everyone else tries to discourage him from running. “I have stopped eating white sugar and I eat only jaggery these days,” he says. Vinod sticks to a simple diet of “home cooked food, salad and fruits.”

Last year he completed the self-created 365 day running challenge. “I ran 10 km every day and 21 km on Sundays, along with my marathon training. I completed 5,555 km in the process. In the future, my aim is to run ultra marathons. I would like to compete in a triathlon someday, but I don’t have the required funds.”

Recognising his achievements, last year, Puma made a two-minute documentary on Vinod, highlighting his love of running.

The Apollo Tyres Millennium City Marathon, on December 1st, is open for registration on Townscript.com; 5 km, 10 km, 21 km, 42 km; ₹600 upward

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2021 10:56:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/the-trucker-who-runs-marathons/article29491303.ece

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