Udayavni Special

Soldier eyes Guinness record, begins 4,300-km run to be completed within 50 days


PTI, Apr 3, 2021, 2:27 PM IST

Jammu: Indian soldier Naik Velu P is all set to make his 30th birthday memorable as he left for a mission to enter his name in the Guinness Book of World Records by running from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, a distance of about 4,300 km, under 50 days.

Last year in June, Velu P became the first Indian ultra-runner to complete 1,600 km in just 17 days, a feat which is in the process of being entered as an Asian record.

“Naik Velu, serving as a Nursing Assistant in the 60 Para Field Hospital, is an ultra marathoner who is attempting a Guinness world record by running from Kashmir to Kanyakumari for a distance of about 4,300 km under 50 days,” Udhampur-based Army Public Relations Officer (PRO) Lt Col Abhinav Navneet said.

To start this epic feat, he said Naik Velu, who is celebrating his 30th birthday on April 21, was flagged off from 92 base hospital at Srinagar on Friday with a heartwarming gathering of enthusiasts who accompanied him in his solo run for the initial five km carrying the national flag and boosting his morale.

“To cover this mammoth distance from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in 50 days, Velu would be running 70-100 km per day, crossing major towns, cities and states,” Lt Col Navneet said.

The PRO said Naik Velu has already won many ultra-marathons, Tuffman runs and Stadium runs across India.

After covering 200 km distance from his starting point, Naik left Udhampur headquarters at 7 am Saturday and is on way to Jammu, running 10 km per hour, he said.

Born on April 21, 1991 at Krishnagiri (Tamil Nadu) and having represented his state in athletics at the age of 13, Naik Velu joined the Army in December 2011 and his first achievement in the Army was a gold medal in cross-country 12.5 km in 2012.

He subsequently shifted his interest to ultra-marathons and brought many laurels to the Army by making many such records.

He represents the India team of Athletic Federation of India since 2016 and in coming September he would be representing India for Stadium run at the world championship at Romania, for which he had won a trial run of 24 hour stadium running held at Bengaluru, Lt Col Navneet said.

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