Inspiring Stories #39 – Irina Hazarika Barua (Guwahati)

When she started running a 100 days, everyone around Irina Hazarika Barua thought that she had lost it! Even her son joked to her about this. Starting from just 2km a day, Irina gradually built up her mileage to 10-15 km daily! She considers this challenge as a life changer for her.

Congratulations Samir Singh for achieving the unachievable!!!! You are truly amazing. Congratulations also to Mamta Jaiswal who leads the Women’s leaderboard.

On the final day of this amazing challenge, I saw participants from Ahmedabad, Jammu, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata and other parts of the country celebrating their 100th day. But, from the north-eastern part of the country, I and Amit Gulati were the only participants to have actively participated and completed the challenge (I hope the organizers correct me if I am wrong). And we ended our challenge by participating in Organothon – a run organised by Zublee Baruah, popular singer of Assam, in support of organ donation. And what a unique way to end our 100 days of running challenge!!!

This event has been a revelation for me and has brought a drastic change in my running life.

During the initial days of the event, when I first started running every day, come hell or high water, everyone around me thought I had lost it. I would carry my running attire everywhere that I went so that I would be able to run wherever I was during my running time. Even my younger son remarked that I would go mad running. But once he saw my name featured in the leaderboard, he became my greatest supporter.

The challenge has taught me that nothing comes easy and to achieve a goal I have to push myself. Initially when I had joined, I never thought I would be running more than the required 2 km a day. I was already running 4-5 km on alternate days with 15-16 km thrown in on Sundays. But, gradually the challenge got into my skin. I started pushing myself and found myself doing 12-15 km every day with a HM / HM+ once and sometimes even twice a week!!!

Instead of the 4-5 km two times a week, which I was running earlier, the challenge has revealed to me that I can run up to 15 km every day if required. Even HMs don’t scare me anymore.

When I joined the challenge, I could not think of being in the street –  running all alone. Since there were no participants from here, I had to choose between being independent and running alone or else bow out of the challenge. I chose the former, and now I am happy running alone.

But credit for the completion of my challenge goes to another 100 days of running finisher – ultra-marathoner Amit Gulati (Ranking 20th in the overall leaderboard). With no professional running coach in these parts, he was the one who guided me, motivated me, instilled confidence in me and showed me how to go about in the challenge. He put before me a target of at least 10 km per day. At first, I laughed because it was unthinkable that I could run 10 km every day continuously for whatever days were left. But he persisted, I tried and ultimately finished with an average of 10.8 km. Had it not been for him, covering 946 km would have been only a dream for me.

I started with the most minimum of average per day and built it up to 10.8 km which helped me to finish 15th in the Women’s leaderboard and 137 overall. This has gone a  long way in boosting my morale. I have emerged confident and am looking forward to practising for my maiden FM sometime in the early part of next year.

All-in-all, the “100 Days of Running” has changed my running life. It feels good to be one of the torch-bearers of the event in this part of the country, and I am sure many others will follow next year.

A heartfelt thank you goes to the organizers for organising an event which has changed the lives of so many! Congratulations to the team for the successful and grand completion of the 100 Days of Running event – 2017 edition. God bless you all for bringing sunshine into our lives.

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