Sunday, September 25, 2011


Training, bonding with great people, having great laughs, tiring workout, pep talks for the last six months all culminated and came together on 24th September 2011, when 10 individuals were ready to run the Akron Marathon. We took a pledge for children who are as deserving as you and me for an education who simply did not have the money for it. We ran for ASHA FOR EDUCATION.

Five thirty in the morning, we were pumped, excited, nervous and rearing to go. The support was phenomenal, team spirit was literally tangible and hearts racing. At seven we were off and for me it was a journey of a life time-The run that has changed me forever.
With all the training I actually almost cruised until mile 10 keeping a constant pace and I felt fit and healthy. Mile 11,12,13 my muscles started to complain and tire.
Mile 15 came and it was getting tough. My body was saying STOPPPPPPPPP, AND WALK, but my mind just did not allow for it. All that I was thinking was “Don’t be a baby, this is only six hours that you have been training for, for the last six months and this is only six hour of your life. Just keep going”.
I was fighting with myself and I had to dig deep into myself to come out of this slump. My mind was taking me back home, to family, to my dogs and I was becoming emotional at times. Any slow or classical music that played on my iPod made it worse and tears rolled down.
I stopped at mile 18 for two minutes and walked because I realized I could walk faster than my jog!. My muscle went on strike and I hit the “wall” (I think). I ate some energy gel and started again at a better pace. I was struggling till mile 21 and would walk every now and then for a minute or so.  

At this point I think your body shuts down its pain receptors and even though I was tired I felt like my legs were moving on their own, almost automatically! I think I ran continuously until mile 24 and then had to walk because there were two steep hills at the very end (what vicarious pleasure Akron gets in this, I don’t know). I look in front and all I thought was “really, you gotta be kidding me”. I walked the hills and  “sprinted” (fast jog) the rest.
I could see the light at the end of the dark dark tunnel; I could see the finish line. Emotions were at its peak, people were cheering, loud music, jubilation and I looked at the time and I had finished in 4hrs 50 min!!!! I could not believe it. That was my first out of body experience; I just could not believe it.

And then,,,,,,,,,,,,,, reality really really bites! I stopped at the finish line, shook hands with someone and collected my medal and then I just could not move. My muscles cramped up, my legs felt like lead that weighed a ton. I felt pain. I had to stretch it out and it did get better in a couple of hours.

We pledged to ASHA FOR EDUCATION, in return I have “learned” allot from this experience and the last six months has “taught” me more about discipline, hard work and the will I thought I never had than ever before.
After a day, it did sink in and I did feel the “runners high”. Will I do this again, HELL YA!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Pep Talk before the race

Hi Team,

The entire team has come a long way starting with the preparations, the grueling training sessions and all the runs you guys have undertaken over the past few weeks.

I hope you realize that you have trained yourselves hard, pushing your mental and physical abilities to the limit, all for a cause so big and required that it REALLY does make a huge difference in the World that we all live in today.

You don’t have to prove your mettle to any one rather it is you who has to be convinced in order to inspire and show people around that you are ready for this.

I would like to be the first to tell you all-I BELIEVE YOU ARE READY!

Remember that you have already run well over a dozen marathons by now already, so don’t even have any doubts that this is going to be any different from all the rest.

Wish you all the very best for the run. I hope you all cross the finish line tomorrow, Triumphant, Joyful and with a sense of Accomplishment.

I will be rooting for you guys all the way from India- GO TEAM ASHA!!!!!


Himanshu Rapur

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Challenge to Team Asha by a Doctor

Cleveland Asha marathon team has been issued an open challenge by Dr Ranjit Tamaskar(Willoughby, OH) to raise $1000 from today till race day  @ Akron Marathon 2011 (, and he will match (make a donation of equal amount) EVERY penny we raise to the D-day. So if you know and are proud to have any one of the following Forrest Gumps as friends: Anshuman Chandrachud, Aparna Chitharanjan, Amith Chordia, Partha Pratim Deb, Lavanya Venkataraman,Ram Palakodety, NOW is the time to loosen those purse strings, rather than waiting for the run to be over. It is an open donation-doubling machine. Every donation is Tax deductible. Personal webpages of runners and donation links are here:  . You can support us from any part of the globe.

Our painful knees and sore ankles need u :)