KOCHI: Retired Lt Colonel Sundaresan Renganathan has been running one marathon every week for almost a year. And his runs across cities, towns and Union Territories are for an overwhelming purpose — raising enough money for the families of martyred soldiers. The run, ‘Run with a soldier, Run for a soldier’, aims to collect Rs 20 lakh, and will be distributed among 20 families he has identified.
The former Army man who worked in the infantry for the past 23 years says, “As citizens, we are indebted to the soldiers who died serving and saving the country. The Indian Army and the Government are doing their bit, but there is more we should do. Families lost a husband, son and father and I think what we are doing is not enough,” says the veteran who completed his 49th marathon as part of the campaign at the Spice Coast Marathon in Kochi.
The campaign will conclude on November 19, when he will run the 50th marathon organised by the Indian Navy in Mumbai. Everywhere he goes, he conducts awareness talks on the cause. “It makes me happy to know that people are quite sensitive and positive to such causes,” he said.
Colonel Sundareshan is a firm believer in fitness regimes which is why he promotes health and fitness at every marathon he participates in. “Mine has always been an extreme sport, especially the marathons I have taken part in so many marathons (covering 42.2 km) over the past one year. I am not promoting extreme sports, but that people should at least run or jog for half an hour at least. It is sad that people have become too comfortable in their homes with the advent of technology. If in the past, we walked to the markets to buy our vegetables and groceries, today, everything is available online,” he said.
Sundaresan began his run on December 11, 2016. He has run in Kargil, Shimla, Dehradun, Delhi, Roorkee, Guwahati, Manipur, Sikkim, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pondicherry.
The Tamil Nadu native has been running since 2008. Last year, he ran in South Africa for a distance of 89 km between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.