A 15-member contingent from the city will be participating in a unique endurance run in Ladakh on July 21.
Ashish Shah, who is orgainsing the run with his business partner Deepak Patel, says, “It is the ultimate test of mind and body, which is why we named it ZENdurance or the Zen challenge.” The two are fitness and adventure enthusiasts who set up Dynamic Sports to promote sports and adventure activities among Mumbaiites and ZENdurance is their first event.
Raj Vadgama, 44, who will be attempting the 100-km ultramarathon, has been running a half marathon every day for the past few months to prepare for his first high altitude ultramarathon. “I have done ultramarathons before, but this is going to be very different and challenging because of the altitude. I don’t think anyone has attempted this run through the Khardung La Pass,” said Vadgama. The ultramarathon route includes Khardung La pass, the world’s highest motorable road at 18,000 feet, and has a time limit of 15 hours.
“We are a bunch of crazy, passionate people and want to attempt newer and different challenges,” says Ariez Kharas, 59, who plans to take his wife along for the “vacation” to Ladakh. “It is good to have family with you when you attempt a challenge like this,” adds participant Dishant Oza.
Among the runners is Niessha Bubna, 50, a homemaker who never skips her daily two-hour run. “Self discipline is the key to building stamina. I do not feel like I am sacrificing anything just because I do not party or socialise. Instead I feel good about achieving these goals ,” says Bubna.
Organiser Deepak Patel says, “Ultimately we want to promote healthy living through these events. We want people to rediscover their childhood where all of us were active and full of energy.” Apart from investing time and energy, the participants are also funding their marathon. The event currently has no sponsors and each individual will be spending about Rs60,000 for travel, accommodation and logistics during the run.
Enthusiasts who train regularly can still sign up for the run at www.zendurance.co.in.