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From boardrooms to the running track: India Inc to take part in Airtel Delhi Half Marathon

Top bosses will turn up as pacers for the half marathon to be held on October 21.

ET Bureau|
Oct 16, 2018, 02.22 PM IST
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BCCL
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
Airtel Delhi Half Marathon
What is a leader? By definition, it is a person who influences a group of people to achieve larger goals. Some of the most revered leaders are inspirational, lead from the front and bring the best out of their team. The same qualities will be exhibited in abundance at the 2018 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon as corporate leaders of some of the biggest business houses in India, will turn up as pacers for the world’s most prestigious half marathon to be held on October 21.

In keeping with their tradition of creating firsts in their events year-on-year, Procam International, promoters of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, this year has announced 33 pacers for amateur runners across the 21 km and 10 km distances.

“From their boardrooms to the track, these pacers are bringing their leadership skills to selflessly encourage, motivate and push together other runners and help them achieve their personal bests,” says Vivek Singh, joint MD, Procam International.

Singh adds, "For these top-level executives, being a pacer is very similar to what they do in their professional lives. In corporate life, you need to work as per the norms set and at times slow down to carry the team together.”

Vivek Singh, joint MD, Procam International
Vivek Singh, joint MD, Procam International

Pacers speak
Karandeep Singh, vice-president, IT Services, PepsiCo, who will be one of the pacers this year, says this is a great opportunity for him to learn a lot from other runners. “Being a pacer means leading a team of runners to achieve their targets, supporting them in their goals. It’s a great sense of achievement to support, motivate and facilitate others to achieve their goals,” Singh says.

An avid runner for a decade now, Nikhil Arora, managing director, GoDaddy, is taking up the role of pacer this time around to give something back to the running community. His preparation for being a pacer is very different from what he usually does as a runner.

“For pacing, you have to be consistent throughout, as you can’t be too fast nor too slow, as you are committed to a time and to your team members,” says Arora, who is inspired by centenarian marathoner Fauja Singh. “I think you have to take your own hat off and remind yourself that this is for others,” Arora adds.

From L to R: ManuRishi Puri, vice-president, Accenture , Vikram Deshpande, vicepresident, Bharti Airtel, Suneel Kumar, general manager - finance, Cars24, Mansi Tripathy, MD, Shell Lubricants, Karandeep Singh, vice-president, IT Services, PepsiCo and Nikhil Arora, MD, GoDaddy
From L to R: ManuRishi Puri, vice-president, Accenture , Vikram Deshpande, vicepresident, Bharti Airtel, Suneel Kumar, general manager - finance, Cars24, Mansi Tripathy, MD, Shell Lubricants, Karandeep Singh, vice-president, IT Services, PepsiCo and Nikhil Arora, MD, GoDaddy

For ManuRishi Puri, vice-president, Accenture, being a pacer is the challenge of restricting yourself to run with a discipline, in order to carry the bus along. This ensures that all finish together, and everyone is a winner.”

Vikram Deshpande, vice-president, Bharti Airtel, feels being a pacer will help him in creating more leaders. But his passion to coach and train has led him to take up this exciting opportunity of being a pacer. “It gets my adrenaline flow when I am with a team. This attribute led me to relook at pacing, instead of bettering my PB,” says Deshpande, who will be making his debut as a pacer at the event.

Another debutante is Mansi Tripathy, managing director, Shell Lubricants, who is feeling a healthy nervousness about her new role. “This is my first opportunity as a pacer, despite having 50 plus major runs. There are too many things which need to go right — your sleep, your diet, weather conditions on the day, mental composure, and hence I am nervous on how everything will go on the event day,” says Tripathy.

Suneel Kumar, general manager - finance, Cars24, has done many solo runs, thanks to various pacers he ran with in the past who helped him achieve his personal bests. “I prefer running with a pacer because it is good to have someone run along strongly, who is constantly motivating and pushing people to go as per the time plan,” Kumar says.

A Run For Their Money: Unique Races Around The World

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Beating The Odds

9 May, 2018
Marathons are a dime a dozen these days. But if adventure and wanting to beat the odds is more your thing, give these unique races around the world a shot. Last man standing This world run has a moving finish line in the form of a car. The vehicle starts moving 30 minutes into the race, and gradually increases its speed to out-run participants. The last person left running is declared the winner with all proceeds from the race going to fund spinal cord research. Participants from 58 countries across the world set off at exactly at the same time for this race. Last year, Polish runner Bartosz Olszewski ran 88.24km. (Text: Shannon Tellis)
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