Samir Singh – Ultra Marathoner, 37, hails from Kanaheda village in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh. Coming from a family of farmers, Singh discovered his love for running at the age of 35. Soon he started running long-distance. Singh has won many Ultra races in India including Vadodara, Mumbai Ultra (a 12-hour run). Singh logged 121 km in 2016 and 107 km in 2015 and finished at the top. Singh tried to run 10,000 kilometres in just 100 days but fell agonisingly short. In August 2017 after the end of his 100 days run, Singh fell short by just less than 36 kilometres. At the end of 100 days, Singh’s GPS reading showed that he ran 9,964.19 km. His undying spirit has pushed him to run again from 19th October for the next 100 days for 100 kms each day aiming to attain 10,000 Km in this attempt.
Coming from a farmer background, what made you identify your interest in Running. Why at 35?
Yes, I do come from a farmers’ family and I am not very educated. I got familiar with running and especially long-distance running/marathon after I arrived in Mumbai in 2000. I was working with a small-time market research firm and I had to do interviews with people who had completed their marathon. The research was on Marathons and people running marathons. It is during this time that I got to know a lot about running and how running can be taken up professionally and one can earn money in this sport. I was a good runner as a child and these interviews set me thinking why not take up running for a living? I took to running initially but found it difficult due to my smoking habit. I quit smoking and decided to give my 100% to running by doing small runs and familiarising myself and my body to running. I ran my first marathon in 2008 and thereafter ran many more till 2012 and also won a few. Then, I took up coaching and started training individuals. I coached for a few years but, then realised that I could not give my 100% to doing bigger runs so I stopped coaching and was only concentrating on running. I did my first ultra-run of 12 hrs in Mumbai. During this whole life transition of mine from leading a sedentary life to taking up running, I also got into spirituality. Running is like meditation for me. It’s been 5 years now that I have been doing ultra-runs.
How do you prepare to counter harsh weather conditions during your Ultra Marathon?
Running an ultra-marathon or for that matter attempting any extreme sports requires a strong mind, will power and self-motivation. So far whatever long distance runs I have taken up, be it long distance or be it runs in different cities I have gone ahead done it and accomplished it.
I would also like to mention the name of IGP Krishna Prakash sir, a runner and has done Ironman. He is very inspiring and has always told me never to fear and to believe in me. He told me, “No matter what, if you are determined to do it go ahead and do it.”
What are the challenges you face as an Ultra Marathoner?
Challenges are always there and they only make you stronger. I have trained my body to an extent that for me one night’s good sleep of whether 5-6 hours is good to recover back and go running the next morning. Moreover, I eat clean without any spices or too oily etc and eat a very balanced meal. For me, my faith and hope keeps me motivated and helps me keep moving forward. Running, weather conditions, body fatigue etc are least of the challenges for me, my biggest challenge is always raising sponsorships and running around for permissions etc. On the 19th of October, I am undertaking the 'Fit India Mission 10000 for which I will be running 100 km per day for the next 100 days, and have been lucky as GOQii, a smart preventive healthcare company, that has been helping millions of consumers around the country to lead a healthy and fit life, is supporting me in this big mission. The company has pledged its support for the Fit India Movement and is working towards making the country healthy. Also, Akshay Kumar sir (Bollywood actor who supported him during Bharat Ke Veer run) has been very supportive for all my ultra-running events including this Fit India Mission 10000 Km run.
Do you follow any strict diet? Yes, no and details on the same.
No. I follow a simple diet with less oil. I eat clean and Satvik food.
What does Samir Singh - the marathoner - do in his free time?
I coach other runners to make them better runners. I like to watch Akshay Kumar’s Movies and watch multiple times as they are inspirational movies.
Do you follow athletics? If so, who is your favourite athlete(s)
Well, there are many athletes/runners who are amazing. The man who ran the first marathon Pheidippides who inspired today’s marathon races is still remembered and talked about. But, above all this, my greatest inspiration comes from Lord Krishna. According to me he was a great athlete and ran from Mathura to Dwarka in his era. One day I plan to do the same run from Mathura to Dwarka.
Are you being sponsored/supported by any corporate or individuals for the 'Fit India Mission 10000? If yes who is sponsoring you?
Yes. Thankfully, this time around, I did not have to run around too much for sponsorship as GOQii, a smart preventive healthcare company that has been helping millions of consumers around the country to lead a healthy and fit life, is supporting me in this big mission. Also, Akshay Kumar sir (Bollywood actor who supported him during Bharat Ke Veer run) has been very supportive for all my ultra-running events including this Fit India Mission 10000 Km run.
Why did you choose your run to be called Fit India Mission 10000?
Since the Fit India Movement has been launched, it has inspired a lot of people to take fitness as a way of life. I strongly believe in it and want to support this mission. Moreover, GOQii has also pledged its support for the Fit India Movement and is working towards making the country healthy. Given that all of us are working towards the same goal of a fit and healthy country, I am devoting my run to Fit India Movement, hence we named this project Fit India Mission 10000.