Fifteen years ago  Devyani Haldar was pursuing PhD in biochemistry from Indian Institute of Science  Bengaluru when she took up running.

“ Studying was proving to be very stressful and I took up running ti distress and  stay focused.  It proved fruitful because running has helped me cope up well with problems “ says the 44 year old scientist who is currently working at Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics  Nampally.

Despite her hectic work schedule she wakes up at 5 am on most days to go for a run. So far Devyani has completed 10 full marathons and many half marathons. But the most challenging was the Comrades Marathon which takes place in South Africa every year.

Comrades Marathon started in May  24, 1991 in memory of South African soldiers who were killed during World War I  and is the largest marathon where runners have to finish approximately 90 kilometres in 12 hours—- equivalent to a person running from Hyderabad to Anantagiri Hills.

“ This was the 90th year for the marathon and it took me 11 hours 43 minutes and 11 seconds to complete it” she says.

Participants had to run across five hills as they made their way from Durban to Pietermaritzburg  two cities in South Africa.  “ That is challenging and many runners don’t make it past all those hills. Other than that there are five cut off points where a runner needs to reach on time if you don’t you are out of the marathon. Out of our team of 51 members from India, only one to participate from Hyderabad this year.

Having taken part in two marathons already this year— Devyani started training for Comrades from February to May.  “ Over the course of these months I practiced running for 1000 km.  The training used to get hectic as after it I still had to make my way to work.”



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