Age no bar for passion run
A 96-year-old Alipore resident and a Class X student of La Martiniere for Boys will be at the starting line of the sixth edition of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, partnered by The Telegraph, on Sunday.
Parthasarathi Varadachari, an electrical engineer who retired as additional general manager of Eastern Railway, has been running road races for the past three years.
“I came across an advertisement in the paper and my daughter and other family members encouraged me to take part,” said Varadachari, who will join the Senior Citizens’ Run.
Running came naturally to Varadachari as he grew up in a village in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district where everyone either walked or ran to their destinations depending on how late or early they were in their schedule.
Varadachari’s daughter Chandrika said he played tennis regularly till last year and now walked for at least 7km every day.
This year’s race will have six categories, including the 25K Elite run where such top athletes as Tariku Bekele, the 10,000m bronze winner at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will vie with Abel Kirui and Leonard Barsoton from Kenya and Stanley Kebenei, better known on the steeplechase circuit. The other categories are 25K Amateur + Vijay Diwas Trophy, 10K Open + Police Cup, Champions with Disability, Senior Citizens’ Run and the Ananda Run.
Former Argentinian footballer Hernan Crespo, the international event ambassador of the TSK, is looking forward to running in a city where football is a religion and Argentina a crowd favourite.
“The blue and white of Argentina are favourites here. I have heard this is the city of football and will love to try out the sweets it’s famous for,” he said.
Raghav Singhal, 15, one of the youngest runners will join the 10K Open. “I play tennis almost every other day and running is a part of my fitness regime,” said the Howrah boy.
This sixth edition will have more people running in both the open 10K and the amateur 25K categories than last time, an official of Procam International, the organisers of the race said.