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"Running with friends can be addictive" - Pankaj Rai, Analytics Director, Dell International Services

TimTim Sharma
Modified 13 Jun 2013, 19:47 IST


In the latest instalment of our series β€˜CXOs on the run’, we are in conversation with Mr. Pankaj Rai, Analytics Director at Dell International Services. Mr. Rai has worked at the top-most level in the banking and consulting sectors and is now focusing his attention towards analytics. He has worked with the likes of GE, ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered and more. He spent 25 years in Delhi before moving to Bangalore 8 years ago. He is also trying to convert his daughters into runners! Excerpts from the interview:

When and how did you first start running?

I started long distance running (15+ kms) while I was in Singapore, about a decade back, along with some friends who encouraged me to try my hand at it, and the rest is history.

Can you recall your first marathon?

My first marathon was the 2005 Lipton Marathon 2005 in Bangalore, which was also the year in which I arrived here. I, along with a few friends – Arun Pai, Harinarayanan, Jayaram Krishnan, Sanjay Agarwal – decided to run without any practice while dressing up as Sadhus. We ran for a bit but completed the marathon crawling and hogged a lot of media attention thanks to our costumes.

How do you go about preparing for a marathon?

Our running group, acronymed BHUKMP (stands for Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ultra, Kaveri, Mumbai, Pondicherry) has a running schedule of 30 km on Saturday and another 10 km on Sunday, which prepares us for the marathon as we just need to combine the training of both days on the day of the Marathon.

Do you follow a diet in preparation of a marathon? If yes, can you describe it?

I do try and have an early dinner and get as much sleep I can – for about 8 hours. On the morning of the Marathon, I tend to eat sandwiches or bananas.


Do take us through your running kit? Eg: shoes, outfit, drinks, supplements, etc.

I wear Asics shoes, dri-fit T-shirts and shorts but don’t use any kind of electronic device or drinks/snacks during my regular runs. The regular practice runs end in breakfast at places like Adigas, Konark, Egg factory, Airlines hotel or MTR.

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

4-5 times. It is a great event to promote running. Given the stampede, I usually don’t focus on my own timings as I pay more attention to encouraging new runners at the Marathon.

What are the other runs you participate in?

Mumbai, Ultra, Midnight, Pondicherry and Kaveri.

Any message to our readers who wish to start running?

Find a group that you like and I can tell you running with friends can be addictive.

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

Published 13 Jun 2013, 17:44 IST
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