Tarun Walecha, 46, has been running for the last six years. This year, he has decided to ramp up the excitement a bit, and is undertaking a rather atypical endeavour for a middle-aged Delhi man. He is going to run a half-marathon every day for a week, starting 25 December, Christmas day.
Walecha is an architect by profession. He says he wants to promote running as "more than a fitness regime". For a week, he will run in seven different locations in Delhi and NCR, with local groups. "This is not just about me," he said, speaking on the phone.
Through this Share & Care : Running Week, Walecha is trying to create awareness, and in turn help charities that work for underprivileged athletes. He has connected with various running groups to help him in this mission.
"We are going to ask these runners to donate running gear to the underprivileged athletes," he said.
So, why seven days of running? Walecha says that this will help him connect with more running groups and getting more resources for the underprivileged.
"It's not easy to do a half marathon. And when I do it for seven straight days it will raise some eyebrows," he said. According to Walecha, this will create an atmosphere of concern and inspiration. "I am trying achieve both," he added.
On the morning of Christmas, Walecha will start running, along with other runners in that area, across Lodhi Gardens. The next day, it will be held in Dwarka. The third day he will be in Sanjay Van and the fourth day he will head to Gurgaon. The next two days, will be in Greater Noida and Noida before finally returning to Delhi on the last day.
On the 1st of January of next year, Walecha plans to provide those collected gears to these charities. "This would mark a new beginning to their New Year and to ours as well," he said.
Remembering the time he started running in 2011, Walecha said that it would take him 2 hours and 45 minutes to cover the distance of half marathon. After training for six years, he now covers the same distance in 1hour and 40 minutes.
"It is quite an achievement and I can boast about it. But those young children are way more faster than me without any sort of formal training," he said. "Imagine what they can do if they have the right gear and get trained," he said.
Walecha said that he is trying to make running more meaningful. "We are not physically fit as a country. When we complain about not winning medals in the Olympics, we should look around and see how many of us actually care about health," he said.
The 46-year-old said that funding and facilities are the biggest problems that our country faces when it comes to sports. "If we can help these enthusiastic kids, we will take one step forward in winning medals in bigger games," he said.
Walecha goes on to say that he is not an athlete. However, he runs every everyday for nearly two hours.
"Fitness is not about olympic medals. It's about lifestyle. We don't encourage people to train and become athletes," he said.
He said that India is missing on the "fitness culture" and this is his way of promoting it.
Also see on HuffPost: