Inspiring Stories 2018 #41 – Keshav Manik Tahla (Yamunanagar)


Keshav is a runner from Yamunanagar in Haryana. Most of the runners already knew him as an extreme runner, whose does not follow the usual training plans and stuff. He is also know for loving numbers and matching them with his runs. Another participant, Irina Hazarika Barua, shared interesting notes on Keshav we thought would be a fascinating read on this maverick 2018 edition 100 Days of Running table topper with 75 days done.

17th June 2018: 100 Days of Running; Day 50

It’s a great day for all of us – 50/100 days conquered. We doubted, we were uncertain and we were scared and apprehensive. But we persevered, and finally, with confidence, we have arrived and now, eagerly wait to conquer the next fifty days.

As we bask in the glory of our conquest over fifty days, let’s take a look at the leaderboard where Keshav Manik Tahla still rules with 2235.79 km on the 49th day. As I pen down this article, Keshav is on the road finishing 60KM on the 50th day. As he retains his position undaunted and undisputed, one wonders what makes him a winner?

“There has never been a meaningful life built on easy street.” – John Paul Warren

A. Ten facts we didn’t know about Keshav Manik Tahla aka The Coke Runner

1. Started running in the year 2010 formally and 2013 regularly. His dad was a State Level Sprinter in his college days 50 years back. According to him, walk/run/jog/workout should be finished before daylight (5:00 AM), and so, he goes for his run at 3:30 AM every day without fail at the age of 70.

2. “Anytime Anywhere Runner” – The Highway Runner – He has run in almost all weather conditions (check out the video clip of “Shimla to Kufri run” with heavy snowfall and minus 8 degrees), during all 24 hours of the day, in all road conditions including tough trails and in all possible attires ranging from formal running gear to extreme office formals, wedding formals, sports shoes, slippers, leather shoes, heaviest of the boots and even barefoot.

3. He has covered 10,000 Lifetime Kilometres so far. High points of his life as a runner include:
• Covered 3 Countries, 18 states, 23 cities till date
• Highest Temperature:50 degrees; Lowest temperature: -8 degrees
• Maximum Altitude: 18,380 Ft; Lowest altitude: – 80 Ft
• Completed a total of 200 Half Marathons and 20 Ultra Marathons
• Maximum distance so far – 132 Kms in 24 Hours in Bangalore Ultra Marathon
• Fastest Half Marathon – 1 hour and 35 Minutes

4. List of Ultras
• 24 Hour Stadium Run – 1 no
• 12 Hour Stadium Run – 4 nos
• Yamunanagar to Chandigarh self-supported 100KM – 2 nos
• 50Ks – A dozen

5. Self-challenge: 50 Consecutive Days – Total 5000 Squats and 3000 push-ups completed

6. Why does he call himself the Coke Runner? Because it is with coke that he hydrates during his ultra runs and he almost lives on coke (He has already consumed gallons of coke so far).

7. Not only does Keshav cover miles by running, but also by travelling. He has covered the North-South corridor (Kashmir to Kanyakumari) and the East-West corridor (Yamunanagar to Tawang), each of an approximate 3000 km, by driving, in 55 hours for each journey.

8. Surprise, surprise! This sportsman also loves to read. Keshav has a personal library in his room with a collection of 1000 books. He prefers mostly factuals like Manorama Year Book and biographies and auto biographies.
His favourite book: Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”

9. Favourite Movies 
• 300 (Keshav would love to become a Spartan one day)
• Point Break (a movie on extreme athletes).
Keshav is running a Facebook page with the name – “Extreme Athletes”.

10. The Coke Runner has an obsession with numbers. The last five digits of his phone number are “00000” and he covered 111.1 km on “Global Running Day Virtual Challenge – 2018”.

B. “Not all dreamers are winners, but all winners are dreamers. Your dream is the key to your future… You need a dream if you’re going to succeed in anything you do.” ― Mark Gorman

Keshav’s Five Major Resolutions lined up:

1. 1000 Consecutive Sunday Half Marathons
Running a Half / Full Marathon every Sunday Morning no matter what. He started the Second Consecutive year of Sunday Half Marathons in the WORLD’S HIGHEST MOTORABLE ROAD – The Khardungla Pass (Video clip attached) with a Gradient of more than 7000 feet in just 35 Kilometres and oxygen level depleting to mere 40% – A cruel cold and barren desert.

Challenges overcome during the Consecutive Sunday Half Marathons:

• Ran his 44th Half Marathon in curfew in Srinagar
• Few runs drenched in rain
• Two in fever
• One with lose motions
• Few with sleepless nights because of work related travelling
CURRENT SCORE – 92/1000 (Without fail)

2. To run a Half / Full Marathon in all the 192 countries of the world
CURRENT SCORE – 3/192

3. 100 Consecutive 50/100KMs for every quarter: Running a 50K / 100K at the beginning of every quarter (First of every quarter)
CURRENT SCORE – 7/100

4. 100 X 100
To Run one hundred 100KM runs in his lifetime
CURRENT SCORE – 5/100

5. To climb the Mighty Everest

C. What has Keshav in store in the near future?
• His next Ultra Marathon would be running Delhi – Chandigarh (250KM).

D. And during these 50 / 100 Days of Running he has completed
• 7 Ultras
• 3 Full Marathons
• 70 Half Marathons
• May Running Challenge – All India Rank 01 with 1500KMs in a single month – His lifetime highest mileage for a particular month
• Global Running Day – All India Rank 01 – 111.1KMs
• Longest distance covered during hundred days in a single day – 111.1 KMs

E. On how he manages to complete his incredible distances during his 100 Days of Running challenge, the Coke Runner says:

“Jab ek park main thak jata hoon, toh main dusre park main daudna shuru karta hun. Fir teesre park main and so on during my never-ending runs for 100 Days of Running Challenge.”

F. And what keeps him going?

Keshav says, for a winner when things get tough and the mind says “Bohot mushkil ho raha hai and let’s give up”, he tells his mind, “Asan manga bhi kisne tha!”

His mantra in life, “Daudte hain toh zinda hain.”

No wonder the Coke Runner occupies the top spot in the leaderboard!

Wishing him the best in the coming days and all throughout his running life. God bless!

6 thoughts on “Inspiring Stories 2018 #41 – Keshav Manik Tahla (Yamunanagar)”

    1. Incredible!!!! A true rolemodel for many aspiring runners like me. Hopeing to meet you some day and get those valuable Mantra directly from you 😃🙏 Love those numbers so please keep going …..

  1. I am not having that much ability to judge or comment on his extraordinary efforts and achievements..I am just following him on Strava and get goosebumps everyday after seeing his activity..In one sentence for me “He is a man of warriors”

  2. I am curious about his diet plan and what keeps him fit after those long runs. It’s really inspiring to see Keshav Sir Running that far in a single day. What he do for livelihood, He is a businessman or working under some company. I am curious about his whole day work, work out, rest and Diet?

    If Keshav Sir reply to me I feel really blessed and motivated. These days I am suffering with suffering with leg pain and I am committed to run at least 2 Km/Day for HDR. I want to do more of my worth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *