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Running is the one and only anytime-anywhere thing for me: Gauri Jayaram, Regional Director - South Asia & Middle East, Globus

TimTim Sharma
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 22 May 2013, 18:59 IST
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Sportskeeda is proud to present a brand new series – ‘CXOs on the run’. In this series, we converse with industry leaders, entrepreneurs and other high-profile personalities for whom running is a way of life, and how they manage to find time to pursue doing what they love the most.

Today, we are in conversation with Gauri Jayaram, Regional Director – South Asia & Middle East for the Globus family of brands, which has been the world’s largest coach touring company. She has been with Globus for the past eight years. Gauri is also the founder and Chief Activity Officer of The Active Holiday Company, which offers marathon tours worldwide among other activities. The company, very significantly, happens to be the representatives of the London Marathon 2014 in India. Excerpts from the interview:

How and when did you first start running?

I started running in 2009. I used to play squash regularly, but started getting annoyed about not being able to find an equal opponent to play against. At that point, I evaluated the 3 ‘loner’ sports that needed no partners (and that a person on the wrong side of 30s could take up). That is how I started running along with swimming and cycling.

Which was the first marathon you participated in?

Actually, I have not yet run a full marathon. My virgin marathon will be in 2014 – I call it the 42@42 run. I have enjoyed several half marathons the past few years though – maybe a dozen or so. My first race was in fact the 25 km Bangalore Ultra. It felt like a fabulous achievement even though I walked through most of it. The joy of completing your first long distance race is matched by few experiences in life.

How do you go about preparing for a marathon?

Honestly, I don’t ‘prepare’ for a marathon. I am not a competitive runner. I want to run injury free, enjoy my races and challenge myself a little bit and that is enough. Having said that, for the past few months, I have been training with pacemakers to stay injury free and though I took up running to be able to do it on my own, I have to say that the energy and fun of running in a group is something to be experienced.

Do you follow a diet in preparation of a marathon?

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I should but I don’t. I make all sorts of plans but I justify eating all the wrong things with my running. Not sure if that is good or bad, but I believe that I am running for the joy of it; the minute I start watching everything I put in my mouth, how hard I am training etc., it will just rule everything in my life – ruining the fun. And thus, I run so I can eat – mostly all the wrong things! Having said that I do drink a lot of water (3 to 4 litres a day), and ensure salad and fruit intake every day.

What kind of kit do you use for running?

I tried supplements but the discipline of following them was excruciatingly painful. Sports gels make me sick, so my energy drink is Nimbupani with glucose. I run in VFFs, though, I do train in Nike Free runs also. I use a Garmin and run with an iPod. My favourite T-shirt (the only one I wear when I run outside India) has our flag colours on it and it reads INDIA – We kick ASSphalt! My children want to know how I can wear that tee but not allow them to use that phrase without the ‘phalt’!

How often have you participated in the TCS 10k run? Any highlights?

This will be my 4th TCS. I love this race – where else in this country can you run 10 km in the month of May? I also think 10 km is a great distance for those who want to achieve personal goals and those who want to be finishers. And, I love the energy of this race – to see so many people come together for something other than cricket is just wonderful.

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What are the other runs you participate in?

ADHM, SCMM, Dead Sea Marathon (Jordan), Amsterdam Marathon, Auroville, etc. In June, I am headed to Norway to run the Midnight Sun Marathon – the northern most AIMS certified race in the world.

What other sport do you play or follow?

Squash, Swimming, Cycling, but I have to say running is still the one and only anytime-anywhere thing for me.

Who is your favourite sportsman?

Roger Federer.

Do you have any message to our readers who wish to start running?

If you feel you want to kill people at work, or if you are suffering from permanent PMS, take up running. It is not just the greatest stress buster, but also one that helps burn calories and clear those cobwebs in the mind.

Read the rest of our series here: CXOs on the run

Published 21 May 2013, 18:40 IST
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