The oft-repeated adage of “Age is no limit” is indeed applicable to many of the runners participating in this year’s edition of the OOTYULTRA.
OOTYULTRA is happy to feature two such runners who have defied conventional wisdom regarding endurance activity and age and who inspire so many others by their running performance. As you read their stories, you’ll notice both these individuals have many things in common and also took up fitness seriously only in recent years. Undoubtedly they have been serving as an example to show that it is never too late to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle.
Our first inspiring runner R. Venkatesan, who is the senior-most runner at the OOTYULTRA this year. This Coimbatore based retired engineer (and now a consultant) is 72 years old. Venkatesan’s entry into the world of fitness was at the urging of his daughter who was running the Auroville event back in 2015 and convinced him to register for a 10K which he completed just by walking. After a repeat experience in 2016, he decided to take up running seriously. Based in Chennai at that time, Venkatesan joined the Porur Pacers chapter of the Chennai Runners group.
Since then Venkatesan has completed multiple half marathon events and recently ended his first full marathon run at Bangalore. After moving to Coimbatore last year, he started training with the Sai Baba colony chapter of the Coimbatore Runners, a group that has 130+ members!
An ardent runner, Venkatesan is looking to test his mettle with the 30K run at Ooty and to transition entirely to running Full Marathon events going forward. His fitness routine includes regular running, strength training and cycling. An asthmatic patient in his younger days, he attributes his current good health (he hasn’t had a fever or cold in over three years now!!) to his running lifestyle.
Our second inspiring runner Rajappan, another 72-year-old runner is a retired banker from Kochi who also began his running journey only four years ago at the age of 68. He was inspired to start running after learning about legendary runner Fauja Singh completing a marathon at 100. Beginning with a half marathon, he has since completed numerous ultramarathons, full marathons and half marathons at various events across the country.
His most recent FM timing was an incredible 4 hr 45 min. One week before the Ooty event, he is scheduled to run a 100K at the Hennur Bamboo ultra! His longest run is an astonishing 145km+ run at an unofficial event.
Rajappan’s focus is on enjoying the running experience and not so much on timing. The longer the distance, the more fun it is for him. A member of the “Soles of Cochin” running group, he also serves as a brand ambassador the Spice Coast Marathon. As one of a handful of runners in the 70+ age group, his is a recognisable face amongst the marathon community across the country. His running enthusiasm has carried over to his daughter who is now a full marathoner herself.
Rajappan also will be running the 30K event on 07-Apr which he hopes to finish comfortably notwithstanding the 100K run the weekend before!!
The entire Riverside OOTYULTRA is blessed and excited, and looking forward to hosting both Venkatesan Rangaswami and Rajappan Pallathuparambil who are ready to become the oldest #ultramalaivasis on the 7-Apr-2019.
We wish both Venkatesan and Rajappan good luck for their endurance journey and to have continued abilities to perform and inspire many more.
Aren’t their stories truly inspiring?
Don’t forget to leave your wishes to them in the comments section.