Western Railway official completes South Africa's grueling Comrades Marathon-2024

Mumbai, Jun 20 (IANS): In a unique feat, a Western Railway (WR) official has completed the Comrades Marathon-2024 in South Africa, which is considered one of the toughest long-distance races in the world, an official said here.

The champion, Sachin A. Sharma, who is the Secretary to the General Manager at the WR headquarters here, ran the 86 km-long ultra-marathon from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in 11 hours and 24 minutes.

One of the oldest -- launched in 1921 -- and toughest marathons worldwide, this year it saw around 20,000 runners taking part, making it also the largest event globally.

On return with his laurels, his boss and WR General Manager Ashok Kumar Misra and Additional General Manager Prakash Butani warmly felicitated him for his achievement.

The Comrades Marathon involves an agonising uphill run with an elevation gain of 1,800 metres, and Sharma's accomplishment is billed as a testament to his dedication and endurance as a regular fitness enthusiast.

He has thanked the former GM of Central Railway Naresh Lalwani who introduced him to long-distance running, and his coaches Girish Bindra, Adil Mirza, Vinay Upadhyay and others for helping and encouraging him at every step.

After bagging the Comrades Marathon, Sharma has set his targets on other major races like 'Silk Route Ultra' (122 kms) in Ladakh in September, 'Hell Race Jaisalmer to Laungewala' (160 kms) in December this year, and 'Pune Ultra' (160 km) in November 2025.

A keen athlete since his school days at The Scindia School, Gwalior, and in college days with interests in cricket, football, boxing, skating, badminton, shooting, Sharma pursued short distance running and weight training, jogging, plus yoga and kickboxing.

He has participated in numerous 10,000 metres runs, half and full Marathons, ultra Marathons, Triathlons, open sea swimming and other events in India and abroad.



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Title: Western Railway official completes South Africa's grueling Comrades Marathon-2024

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