India: Kozhikode man completes virtual 90-km Durban ultramarathon

Kozhikode - Naseef Ali was joined in the race by six friends from Dubai

By Web report

Published: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 7:47 AM

Last updated: Thu 17 Jun 2021, 7:48 AM

It was a unique ‘ultramarathon’ for Naseef Ali from Kozhikode, who did the 90-km ‘ultimate human race,’ organised in Durban, South Africa, but running in Kerala. And six of his friends from Dubai also joined the race, but running in the emirate.

This was the centenary year of the race and thousands of runners took part in it virtually from all over the world, as the Covid pandemic had prevented them from flying to Durban to participate in it. It was the second year that the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge had gone virtual because of the pandemic.

“This race is one of the toughest challenges among marathons as it is usually held in Durban where the topography is quite uneven,” Ali told a newspaper in Kozhikode.

“While around 30,000 people take part in it every year, only half of them complete it due to the difficulties.”

While Ali did not face the problems posed by a difficult topography in Kerala, he had other challenges confronting him including the lockdown in the state and the heavy rains that have been lashing it. “Because of the rains, I had soaked feet and after around 60 km, I couldn’t run anymore,” he said.

“I completed the race walking and it took three hours more than the permissible one hour to complete it. However, the organisers approved it, this being a virtual race.”

He also faced the challenge of convincing the police and getting the approval to run during the lockdown on Sunday.

AFP photo used for illustrative purpose
AFP photo used for illustrative purpose

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