“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”Paulo Coelho
Want to know someone who personifies this? Meet Paul, popularly known as “Paulettan” in the running circuit of Cochin (`ettan’ is a swift version of the Malayalam word `chettan’ meaning elder brother).
He is quite easy to spot in all the marathons & ultras, thanks to that big smile on his face as he waves happily back at you!
Let’s talk about birthdays. Say you turned 62, how would you celebrate your birthday? No matter how exciting your plan, Paulettan will beat you at it. To celebrate his 62nd birthday he completed 62 miles (100 km)! How crazy is that!
After 36 years of working as a civil engineer with Cochin Port Trust Paulettan retired in December 2014. He had been an athlete in his college days and growing up he would run 2km to 3km on the road as part of the exercise.
In 2013, at the age of 59, he got his first opportunity to participate in a half marathon at the Cochin international Half Marathon. Without any training/ coaching, he managed to finish the event in 2 hrs 35 mins!
The very next year in November 2014, a month before he turned 60, he had finished a full marathon in 6 hours 11 mins! It was the first edition of Spice Coast Marathon conducted by a runner’s group called Soles of Cochin.
In July 2015, he became a part of Soles of Cochin. Running had become his passion. He would run regularly, 4 days a week. In August 2015, he had completed a full marathon at Airtel Hyderabad Marathon in 5 hrs 30 mins. This was a considerable reduction in timing from his previous event.
There was no stopping Paulettan after that. As of today, he has done 65 marathons. And if that isn’t impressive enough, he continued to push his limits and has gone to do Ultra Marathons, 19 of them in total!
He has run all the major marathons in the country like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata multiple times. He has done the Dubai marathon as well. His list of Ultra marathons includes Vagamon Ultrail (80km), Malnad Ultra (110km), Hennur Bamboo Ultra (100 miles), and Konkan Ultra (100 miles). His longest run has been 210km at Hennur Bamboo ultra in March 2019.
He hasn’t let the pandemic stall his running. He continues to run solo and participates in virtual running events. We are so happy that he returns to Ootyultra for his next challenge after his previous 30k in 2019. He will be running 60 km at the Ootyultra 2021 virtual running event.
We wish him all the best for his run! Feeling inspired?
Want to defy your limits, just like Paulettan?
It is indeed never too soon or too late to take up that challenge you have always wanted to overcome!