Embrace the Journey: From Software Entrepreneur to Passionate Runner

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I am Krishna Kumar, a 54-year-old software entrepreneur who loves coding and also running. I have completed over 50 runs of over 21 Km over the last 16 years. I started running quite late in life. As a child, I was never a serious sportsman, apart from the usual gully cricket, football, hockey, kabaddi and other games played with neighbourhood kids.

I first became aware of long-distance running when IBM APAC (where I worked) got a new chief in 1995, who used to run a marathon annually. This seemed to me almost unreal – an ordinary, flesh and blood person, working in the same organization, running a marathon!

The dream seemed to have stuck with me, and at age 37, I finally registered for the 2007 Standard Chartered Mumbai Half Marathon. I trained alone for it, and completely unscientifically – I just ran a fixed distance each day, starting at 4:30 am, and increased the distance by 1 Km every week! And thus, the journey began.

Fire of Passion


That first half marathon was very exciting. The Mumbai Marathon is a fantastic experience. Runners are treated like VIPs, with the police keeping the streets clear for them. Listening to the Navy Band play “Saare Jahaan Se Achcha” on Marine Drive is a unique experience. Hundreds of strangers line the streets, offering encouragement, water, food, and even free hugs! 

After experiencing the adrenalin rush at SCMM,  I repeated the run in 2008. My wife ran the  2010 and 2012 SCMM half marathons with me – it was a great experience since it gave us a common goal to pursue. I subsequently decided to run a full marathon in 2017.

This decision was, in large part, inspired by a college friend who had run 74 full marathons all over the world by then, and was planning SCMM as his 75th (he has since completed more than 120). However, this run was tougher not only because of the distance but also because I had not been able to train for it – I  was hospitalized due to allergies hardly a month before the marathon.

It was quite tough, to say the least. I walked the last 17 Km, and since the police allow traffic on the roads after about 5 hours, I spent the last 30 minutes walking on the footpath. However, I did finish, with a time of 06:37. I ran another full marathon in 2019, again without very scientific training, and finished around the same time. This time around, as I was finishing the last 2 Km, I got a call from my hotel asking why I hadn’t checked out yet (it was close to 11:00 am by that time)!

After this experience, I decided to stick to half marathons, and set a target of 55 by 55, i.e., 55 half marathon races by age 55 (I was 50 at the time). I calculated that if I ran a one-half marathon a month, I would achieve my target. So, from August 2019 to March 2020, I ran a one-half marathon every month, competing in Hyderabad, Durshet, Vashi and Pune. And then, of course, Covid struck, and I had to abandon my attempts because racing completely stopped. 

New Beginnings

runway, marathon, running

During this time, my wife joined a running group (“Runway”, in Viman Nagar, Pune), quite close to our house. She used to wake up every day at the unearthly hour of 5:00 am to go and run with the group, and she told me horror stories of interval training, hill running and “Ragda” (strength training) sessions.

She urged me to join as well but hearing these stories, I decided that I was better off running on my own – the people in the group seemed too serious about running, especially after I heard that 5-6 of them ran a half marathon every day in July 2021! 

I finally joined Runway in September 2021, after a family event, where I met some of the members. 

The group meets 5 times a week, with each day being devoted to a different activity (long run, interval training, strength training, hill running and slow recovery run). I wake up at 5:00 am (that unearthly hour!), wondering what I am doing, but turn up at least 3-4 times a week to train with the others.

The group has many amazing members, each an inspiration – some run ultra-marathons/ extreme long distances (some of them ran from Pune to Kolhapur), some are fast (our 2 oldest members, male and female, finish on the podium regularly in races), some have run triathlons and ironmans, and some others are very knowledgeable about technique; All are passionate about running and wonderful run companions.

Journey continues


Joining and training with Runway has not only transformed my running but has transformed my life as well, in myriad ways. The physical transformation has been obvious. I have lost weight, along with a couple of unwanted inches on my waist. I am stronger, have better running technique, and have more stamina. The mental transformation has been enormous as well. I am now aware of the importance of weight training, diet, nutrition, warm-ups and cool-downs (I never ever warmed up or stretched after a run prior to joining Runway). I am at least aware of proper running techniques.

Most importantly, I can envision running long distances. Earlier, a full marathon (42 Km) was the upper limit that my mind could fathom. Now, I dream of running the Border Race (100 Km). This is a very tough race, starting from Jaisalmer in the harsh noonday sun. I tried running this race in 2022 but had to give up after 60 Km due to cramps and exhaustion.

It is part of the mental transformation that I have undergone (some may call it just “mental”!) that I plan to try again in 2023. The social transformation has been the most amazing. My wife and I both feel blessed that we have made such amazing new friends in our fifties, all of whom are fun-loving, passionate about running and a bit crazy (the last 2 features may be synonyms). We have gone for multiple races with this group, both in and outside Pune, and each experience has resulted in wonderful memories – while the races only last 2-3 hours, the party goes on forever!

I think running is like life – you get ups and downs, and it is important to keep breathing and keep going steadily under all circumstances. Training and continuous learning are critical in both, and having a good mentor and buddies helps a lot. I like to finish each of my races with an exhilarating sprint to the finish line, and I hope I will be able to say this about life as well!

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