Inspiring stories.. Age is just a number- Mr T Rajendran
Another runner we caught up with on the Race day was T Rajendran, who is quite a familiar face in the marathon circuit.. He is 80+ yrs old, hails from Sivakasi, runs barefoot, full of life, enthusiasm and every ready to have a quick chat. We had a quick chat with him after the event and he was more than eager to share his journey, stories and future plans.
He began walking and running only about 8 years ago, to improve his health in general. He walks or runs every alternate day for about 10 km and exercises at home 3 days a week when he is not walking or running. Being quite new to running, he was quite eager to learn about how to improve his speed as well as resolve issues with shoe-selection, which had led him to run barefoot in his events. He took the 4th place in the 5000m in the 75-79 age category, in 33rd National Masters Athletic Championship, held at the Kanteerava stadium. He hasnt looked back since then…
His first ever full marathon was in Viruddhunagar, back in February 2010. Apparently in that event, he ran 8kms on the wrong route and then managed to get back on track to complete the full marathon in 6:30:00. During the run, his toe nails came off and that is when he stopped wearing shoes. The one thing that stands out about him is the vibhudhi pattai on his forehead and the way he stands right in the front at every marathon along the Start line!
His most recent run was on 29th Sep in Singapore, which he completed and flew straight to Coimbatore to run the Half Marathon event .. he was so eager to show us the medals he has won so far, his companion pulled them out one by one…
About the Coimbatore Marathon
He spoke very fondly about the Coimbatore Marathon, saying it was always a memorable & good experience. He went on to say “It is equal to international marathons, in terms of how well it is organised, and the facilities provided..this is conducted like a family way, people are always willing & ready to help others out. Food & water provided at the aid stations and break fast counters is generous, shows what a good mind and heart the team has. The Volunteers with board saying speed breaker was brilliant, helped us avoid injury.. I pray to God it becomes recognised in the international circuit”..
Thangappanadar Dharmaraj Rajendran or Sivakasi thatha as he is fondly referred to is clearly somebody who is not discouraged by age.
An article in the Hindu about this amazing runner… http://www.thehindu.com/sport/octogenarian-tdr-as-he-is-known-as-tells-his-story-of-becoming-a-barefoot-marathoner-at-75/article19560050.ece
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