The marathon runner from BQ Mess
The first edition of The Manipal Marathon is set to witness participation from students and faculty residing in the university town. However, running enthusiasts in the university town are also gearing up for the run that will begin and end at KMC Greens on March 5. One of them is 33 year-old Gangadhar Devadiga, supervisor at BQ mess.
With the experience of participating in various marathon events over the last 10 years, he hopes to set a new personal record by surpassing his previous best of covering a distance of 21 km in 1 hour and 35 minutes.
Devadiga hails from the village of Manchakal in Udupi district. He moved to Manipal in 2005 in search of better job opportunities and began working as a steward at the BQ mess run by Sodexo. Later, he was promoted as the Supervisor of the Dining Hall of the mess.
He began running in 2006, when he was asked by his then supervisor to represent Sodexo at a 4 km local race in which he finished fourth. Since then, Devadiga has participated in numerous running events, including 4 km, 5 km, 6 km and 21 km events.
His day begins at 5 am, with a session of jogging at End Point Road followed by a 5 km run. When asked about his training schedule, he laughed it off saying that he barely finds time for formal training in his busy daily schedule. He has to report to work at 6 am, where he supervises the serving of food at the mess. A typical day at work lasts for about 15 hours. “I don’t follow a strict diet and a rigorous training schedule. I just like running and I make sure that I run for at least 45 minutes to an hour every day,” he said.
More than the competition, he focuses on running to keep fit. Although he’d love to train for relatively longer periods, he has to apply for a leave of absence and prepare for the run, a day prior to the half-marathon.
Explaining his passion for running, he stated that each half-marathon he completes, helps him build his confidence. “My age and fitness levels only allow me to compete in a half-marathon, but I strive to do better. My dream is to run a full marathon at least once in my lifetime,” he added.
With the title of the Atharva TAPMI race, which was held last year, under his belt, Devadiga plans to participate at the Udupi and Mangalore marathons, till his body and fitness levels permit him to do so.
Featured photograph: Pawani Pandey
Edited by: Shriya Ramakrishnan.
In the interest of transparency, The Manipal Journal is a media partner of The Manipal Marathon, set to commence from KMC greens on 5 March, at 6 am.