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By Amit Mehta

Unived Athlete beats Spartathlon

Nagpur: City boy Kieren D’Souza has made a record by qualifying for the Spartathlon, a 246km race to be held in Greece on Sep 30 this year. Termed as the most gruelling of all ultra-races, just to qualify for the lottery held to select participants a runner must complete 100km in 10:30 hours or 100 miles in 22:30 hours. Kieren earned his spot after having run 100 miles in 18:32 hours at the Salomon Bhatii Lakes Ultra in Oct 2015.

Nagpur: City boy Kieren D’Souza has made a record by qualifying for the Spartathlon, a 246km race to be held in Greece on Sep 30 this year. Termed as the most gruelling of all ultra-races, just to qualify for the lottery held to select participants a runner must complete 100km in 10:30 hours or 100 miles in 22:30 hours. Kieren earned his spot after having run 100 miles in 18:32 hours at the Salomon Bhatii Lakes Ultra in Oct 2015.

Currently training in Bangalore where he pursued his higher studies too, he will be the first Indian to participate in this 35-year-old ultra-race. “This is the first time I will be running for such a distance,” says the 23-year-old. “The average age of the top finishers each year is around 43 years. Only 28 athletes below the age of 25 years have completed the race so far,” he says underlining the odds stacked against him. “Even if I am able to finish it in 36 hours, which is the cut-off time, I will be the fastest Indian,” says D’Souza. “Being a non-stop race, winners will complete it in less than 24 hours,” he says.

D’Souza began running five years back when he took part in a 12km run at an inter-college university event in Bangalore. “I was miserable at the end, I vomited and could not stand on my feet,” he says. “But after that I signed up for the 10km Nagpur Marathon and finished it with remarkable ease. I realized I was made for such events and tried half marathon at Delhi, then 100km at Mt Blanc and the Salomon Bhatii Lakes 160 kms race, where I got second position in my age group and was 200thoverall among 1500 participants and broke the record by 4 hours.”

D’Souza says he is now working to build stamina. “I need to focus on time on feet and am trying to be on the road for at least 20 hrs per week. I am also having a protein and fat rich diet. Unived Sports is supporting me with my race nutrition.” Ultra-running is a mental sport. After 40km you are running on your mental ability says D’Souza who feels having a counsellor will help him. “In fact I need to build my team as this cannot be done alone,” he says.

So far his father, a group captain in Indian Air Force, is helping him. “I now require a professional team that will help me with stuff like changing socks and shoes, giving me food while running,” he says and adds that a sponsorship of Rs5 lakh will help him tide over expenses.

 For article read here.

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