6,000 km in 110 days—Sufiya Khan sets Ultra run record - Hindustan Times

6,000 km in 110 days—Sufiya Khan sets Ultra run record

By, New Delhi
Mar 28, 2022 11:33 PM IST

6,000 km in 110 days—Sufiya Khan sets Ultra run record

India's Ultra runner Sufiya Khan has set a Guinness record for the fastest time by a woman to cover the golden quadrilateral, a network of highways connecting Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai. Sufiya ran 6,002 km in 110 days, 23 hours, and 24 minutes. She began her run from the national capital on December 16, 2020, completing the circuit on April 6, 2021. She received her certificate on Saturday.

India's Ultra runner Sufiya Khan has set a Guinness record(Twitter)
India's Ultra runner Sufiya Khan has set a Guinness record(Twitter)

“I am super happy. This is a vindication of all my efforts,” Sufiya said. Her first distance run was the Delhi Half Marathon in 2017. The 35-year-old, who began Ultra running in 2019, also holds the Guinness record for being the fastest woman to run from Kashmir to Kanyakumari (87 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes; April 25-July 21, 2019). she also traversed the 480 km Manali-Leh highway (6 days, 12 hours, 6 minutes; September 25-October 1, 2021).

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Born and raised in Ajmer, Rajasthan, Sufiya quit her decade-long job as a ground staff at the Delhi airport in 2017 to pursue Ultra running. Her first distance run was the golden triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur-Delhi) where she logged 16 days, 1 hour and 27 minutes, creating an India record. Spurred on by the early success, she trained hard and worked on her endurance for bigger challenges.

“The job at the airport was very taxing, so I took up running to let off some frustration. Gradually, I began to like it. The distances kept increasing and I kept pushing myself. Getting into Ultra running was a natural progression,” she said.

“Once my interest piqued, I decided to quit my job and dive into Ultra running full-time. The fact that not many women do it in India doesn’t bother me. I’ll be happy if a lot more girls start running. I like to push the boundaries and test my limit,” Sufiya added.

A self-taught athlete, Sufiya is being supported by sportswear giants Under Armour. She still doesn’t have a trainer, although the sponsors provided her with a mental conditioning coach ahead of her most recent run (Manali-Leh).

“When I started, I didn’t know anything about injury management, training, diet, nutrition and so on. Since I didn’t know much about these things, I never thought I may get injured. I just ran. Now, I have enough knowledge to become a coach. At one point, every sport becomes a mental game. Distance runs are as much about mental strength as they are about endurance,” said Sufiya, whose larger goal is to circumnavigate the globe on foot.

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    Shantanu Srivastava is an experienced sports journalist who has worked across print and digital media. He covers cricket and Olympic sports.

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