By Kartik Sarin
The Daily World Chandigarh Marathon, now in its second edition, is being organized by Daily World newspaper in association with the UT Administration and is scheduled to be held on 8th April 2018. The aim of the marathon is to drive home important messages of health and national integration.His Excellency Mr. VP Singh Badnore Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT, will be the Chief Guest on the occasion.
The preparations are in full swing and in the Daily World TV studio was invited a running legend, who’s running accomplishments at an age of 74 years leaves everyone inspired to put on their running shoes and choose running as a healthy lifestyle.
Mr. Amar Singh Chauhan, lovingly known as ‘Uncle Ji’ and ‘Amar Uncle’ in the Indian running community, started his journeywhen he retired as Special Secretary to Punjab Ministers, wayback in 2001. “I used to brisk walk in Mohali every day for nearly a decade before moving to Canada”. And it was in Canada when the running bug first bit him. “We have an athletic track near where I live in Abbotsford. One morning I saw young college kids running so I started practicing at the track.” Slowly, what used to be brisk walks transformed into full-fledgedruns.
Having gained confidence, Mr. Amar Chauhan signed up for his first half-marathon in Abbotsford and clocked 1 hour 57 minutes and 45 seconds. Overall, he stood sixth in his age category of 60+ years. What followed after the Abbotsford Half-Marathon was a streak of some of the most impressive timings that even the runners in 18-30 years age group struggle to achieve. Out of the 38 Marathon events he has run, Mr Amar Chauhan has bagged 34 1st positions and gold medal podium finishes in the age group of 70+ years including some of the biggest running events in the country such as Mumbai Marathon. And he shows no sign of slowing down.
“As I age, my timings are getting better. I plan to continue to run as many marathons as I can and improve myself further”. But he has a bigger target. “For my 80th birthday, I want to climb Mount Everest”. Ask him how he manages to impress everyone with his feats and he attributes it all to discipline and daily practice.
What does he do apart from running and breaking records? “I love writing poems in Punjabi, English and Urdu. People today many not read poems but that doesn’t stop me from writing them”, he laughs. In his own words:
What if I am in life’s eighth decade
Flowers in Lord’s hand not so soon fade.
Graves are right place for shirkers to rest
Persons with earnest zeal at every age go for the best.
Still I have to clear many an arduous test
In my chest waits a wish to conquer Mount Everest.
As a flag-bearer for Daily World Marathon 2018, Mr. Chauhan is delighted. “I want my personal best to be at the Daily World Marathon. Being the only full marathon in my home town, it’ll be an honour and a challenge to put my best foot forward and set an example for the younger generation”. The veteran also has a message for the youth. “They are under a lot of stress. The youth needs to quit alcohol and drugs. And the best way is to begin a daily physical regimen. There is potential in them and it’ll do wonders for the society. Just put on your shoes and head out of the door”.
Mr. Amar Chauhan will be participating in the second edition of the Daily World Marathon on 8th April 2018. The marathon will start from the Capitol Complex and the route will take runners through New Chandigarh on the outskirts and back. The registrations are open on www.dailyworldmarathon.com.