Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Roop Betala, a professional investment banker and private equity investor, started running in 2013 when his son challenged him to run after his 2013 SCMM and then registered him for Thane Hiranandani Marathon. Since then he has run 105 Half marathons in about 30 countries and 60 cities. He ran five Half Marathons in 2013 and in 2014, 2015 and 2016 he ran 27 Half Marathons and was awarded the “Most Consistent Runner” in 2016. A passionate runner, Betala completed a 100 days running challenge for three consecutive years. In 2016, on the 72nd Independent day, Betala ran his first Ultra Marathon of 72km.
He was also the Race Director for the Pink City Marathon.
Here he talks about his passion, running.
Why exactly did you start running? I am sure it cannot be just your son’s challenge alone?
Initially, it was my son’s challenge which made me to run the first Half Marathon. Then I realized that running is a nice exercise, so why not I continue the same. Over a period I have realised it is not just health but also disciplines life. I go to bed on time and get up on time, I don’t get tired ever since I started running.
How was your first running experience? How difficult/easy was it to motivate yourself to run.
The first run and first km was very tough as I had never ran in my life. Even as a young kid, I was more of a bike and car enthusiast. I also took part in various races, including the pro Formula 1 races. But then I thought if I don’t complete this marathon and go back home without getting that beautiful medal (my first medal in any sports event in my life) what kind of father I would be, what kind of role model I would be to my kids? So I completed my run, walking and running in turns. I completed the entire run in less than three hours.
In your opinion how does running a marathon help in health and fitness?
Running marathon is above health and fitness. Running gives you time to be with yourself. When you run you also spend time with yourself and you can make plan, take decision, learn punctuality, generation of positive energy and above all you enjoy the great photograph of yourself and proud of accomplishment.
How do you prepare for the marathon.
Since on an average I run two Half marathons every month, my preparation is on daily basis. I try to run about 5-6 days a week and practice for the same. Running on continuous basis make my practice for the bigger Marathons.
Do you have a daily running schedule or do you prepare only before the event.
I try and run about 5-6 days a week. Since my job demands a lot of travelling, some time I miss my daily morning run, but then I recover the same by running in the evening.
What sort of changes have you found in yourself after you started running (physical as well as psychological)
Physically, I have become more smart in the sense I feel fit and healthy. My BMI is close to average. My Health chart is good in the doctors’ view and thus I feel happy.
Psychologically, I have become more disciplined in the life, both personally and professionally. I now have more energy then what I had few years back and don’t get tired easily. So, I can travel more, and be more successful professionally.
How many marathons do you run in a year.
As said earlier I run 27 Half Marathons a year. I started running in 2013 and I ran 5 Half Marathons for three years (in 2014, 2015 2016) and in 2017 I ran 27 Half marathons. Apart from this I also run some 10K, Ultras and few charity runs. I also do 100 Days Challenge every year with about 1008 KM running in 100 days on daily basis uninterrupted.
Do you follow some diet regimen.
NO strict regimen but I try not to eat junk food. Having said that, Monday is the day I call Cheat Day when I eat what my heart desires, and don’t mind indulging in some junk food.
What would you want to say to those who want to begin running marathons.
For a beginner my advice will be just learn to get up from bed and go to shoe rack, that’s it. Rest everything will follow. If you can make up your mind and do that trust me you can achieve anything.
Run with just one motto: Run Forever – Fun Forever.