I picked up running as a hobby in 2014 and have never looked back since. Short distances of 5 to 6kms, which kept me active enough to always be my fittest best. I increased my pace with time and started clocking more mileage.  In these few years, I have done multiple 10 kilometers in different cities, couple of half marathons (21.1kms) and currently plan to start preparing for a full marathon (42.2kms).

I was always bent more towards endurance running than speed running. The sheer rush of endorphins in the body while running long, gives me so much to think about and helps declutter my mind.  A string of happy thoughts flows into the body,  from every pore and leaves me with a gratification that I have never known before. To keep the spirit up, I draw my inspiration from great track athletes and ultrarunners like Steve Prefontaine, Scott Jurek, and my favourite Jesse Owens.

At Lowe’s India, we have a running group named ‘Marathoners’, who are ever too eager to motivate and push one another to achieve extraordinary feats of distances and pace. It includes Aravind, Karthik, Shwetha, Mukund, Pradeep and myself. We try to run together as frequently as possible and the various events we participate in and around Bangalore have united all of us like no sport can. Apart from our Lowe’s purpose to help people love where they live, this combined passion is also what brings us together, and we stand by each other, meeting as often as we can and dishing out bits and pieces of learning and wisdom on running we have garnered over the years.

Last year, five of us from Lowe’s participated in Relay 12 Hour Stadium Run in Bengaluru, which garnered a crowd of energetic ultra-runners from different cities of India. It was overwhelming to see ‘Superhumans’ in action, running and covering insane distances over 100-150 kilo meters. This event proved to be a turning point for all five of us and we have decided to come out stronger next year.

Sometimes, when we haven’t run for several days, the balance is shifted and running gains the upper hand, and the impulse to go out for a run becomes almost unrelenting and resolute. Often, people can’t understand how running can have such power. But as a passionate runner only say that life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense, and the heart beats a little stronger when one runs and I like that. I know now that I am not going to put a full stop ever to my runs thanks to the group that I have built at Lowe’s to keep me motivated, and the passion that I have within, which makes it more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Sakshi Katuria