The Contenders

5

Arun Bhardwaj

46-year-old Arun Bhardwaj is an accomplished ultramarathon runner from New Delhi, India. One of the first internationally acclaimed endurance racers from India, he is also the only Indian to have run the Badwater Ultramarathon, one of the toughest foot races in the world. Arun created a place for himself in the Limca Book of Records as a national record holder by covering 550-km (Delhi-Chandigarh-Delhi) in 122 hours, 45 minutes in 2004

David Slotsgaard Bredo

David Slotsgaard Bredo

He was a national champion in his age group and is used to running marathon after marathon, with a PB of 3:03. David is used to feats such as 4 marathons in 3 days or 6 in 6 days, but says he runs because running is his passion. It sure paid off when he joined the elite Klub100 group. He is the third youngest to have run 100 marathons, in one year and also the youngest to have run over 100 in a calendar year, and in 2015 he ran 154 marathons.

Siddharth Choudhary

Siddarth Choudhary

Siddarth is an avid marathoner with 15 years of road running experience, including 6 years in competitive running. Founder of Gurgaon Road Runners (GRR) he has trained over 2000 people including corporate groups to take conscious step towards a healthy lifestyle. His record includes 7 marathons (PB 3:27) and 10 half marathons (PB 1:28). Siddarth won the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon DHL Corporate Category in 2013 and got third place in 2014.

PIA HANSSON

Pia Hansson

Pia Hansson hails from Denmark and has an impressive history of marathon and ultra running. Till date, she has completed 335 Marathons, out of which 131 were in 2014 and 150 were in 2015. She has attended "5 Marathons in 48 Hours" and has completed both the times. She also won the race "3 Marathons in 24 Hours" in 2015. Currently, she is at No. 3 position in Club 100 marathons rating list of the women. Apart from being a runner, she is the mother of an 11-year-old boy.

4

Meenal Kotak

A Chartered Accountant by profession, Meenal only began running in late 2013 but she started with a bang, running a sub-2 hour half marathon on her first attempt. By late 2014, she started running marathons and ultras and after meeting fellow Great India Runner Arun Bhardwaj she also found a mentor. With his motivation, her name was on the Hall of Fame in the 75km Performax Bengaluru in 2014. And today, she has turned mentor to many young runners in her city.

Joginder Chandna

Joginder Chandna

Known simply as Jogi to friends and runners around the world, Joginder Chandna is an Indian Navy Commodore who comes into the Great India Run after a brilliant 2015. He finished a 12-hour stadium run clocking in 94 km, followed by a 4:27 finish in the Hyderabad Marathon and a podium place after an impressive 145 km in his first 24-hour challenge at the Performax Bangalore Ultra. And all that after he had turned 50 in October!

1

Dinesh Heda

Chartered Accountant by profession, Goa-based Dinesh Heda started as a walker in 2010, and has gone on to run a stunning 20 half marathons, 10 marathons, and several trail and ultra runs ranging from 50K to 24 hours. He’s also well known as a pacer having performed the role at the Goa River Marathon, Satara Hill Half Marathon and Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. During a 12 Hour Run in Mumbai in 2015 he ran a 103 km, and did 135 km in a 24-hour trail run.

sunisharm

Sunil Sharma 

A practiced ultra runner Sunil has made a name for himself by running long distances in support of a social cause. He's a natural fit in the Great India Run team. In March 2015, he ran 127 km in 13h and 55 min from Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh to Sri Renuka Ji Lake near Nahan to promote the issue of “Water Conservation”. And this year in March, Sunil ran under the banner of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ from Chandigarh to New Delhi, a distance of 250 km in just over 38 hours!

Ranjana Deopa

Ranjana Deopa

India's Ranjana Deopa started running only four years ago but she has already finished more than 15 half marathons with a PB of 1.54 and 3 marathons with a PB of 4.13. Having crewed for La Ultra-333 in the high altitude Ladakh region, she knows a thing or two about ultramarathons. She underscored her pedigree recently winning the Half-Iron distance triathlon in Delhi. A co-founder of West Delhi Runners, she is one of the most prolific runners in the city.

2

Shweta Sharma 

Shweta Sharma has been actively running for more than 3 years. She has participated in and completed major running events like Standard Chartered Half Marathon, Airtel Delhi Half marathon multiple times. Besides these, she has participated in Warrior Race 2.0 which consisted of 15 unique obstacles over 6K. She also took part in Devil's Circuit, which is the biggest obstacle run series, on 4 October 2013 and 2 1 October 2014. For last three years, She is the Pinkathon Ambassador for Delhi.

Ritu Joshi

Ritu Joshi 

The 26-year-old from Delhi has been working with Arjuna Awardee Asha Aggarwal and has been winning podium spots at prestigious runs around the country. She won 3rd place in the 2015 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in the 18-25 category, third place in the IDBI half marathon in Delhi, and was runner-up at Delhi Olympic 2016 10K, Delhi Unversity cross-country. She won the Coca Cola Half Marathon in Gurgaon in 2016 in the open category to round off an excellent start. She's coming in to the Great India Run after a half marathon at Kaza in the Himalayas.

3

Dhanee Kumar

He’s not even 30 yet but this young man from Anjar in the Kutch region of Gujarat has already outrun many people twice his age. He won the 100 km ultra by Zendurance in Ladakh in 2013, then won the prestigious Run the Rann 100 km race, ranking as the Indian runner at the event. He followed it up with a win in the 160 km Globeracers ultra race in Rann of Kutch. And this year, again he won the Run the Rann in the 160 km category at Dholavira.

kauch

Kaushal Chauhan

He's just 21 and a running sensation already having won the mobiefit and The Great India Run's #RunForRio challenge in dominating fashion. He won the Millennium Cty Marathon 2015 with a timing of 2:50:51, and his personal best in the half marathon is 1:18:15, so he's already gunning for the higher echelons of running. Inspired by the 2012 London Olympics, Kaushal started running as a sport and in all he's finished 9 marathon events!

melanie

Melanie Delainey

31-year-old Melanie hails from Johannesburg and has been doing half marathons since she was a teenager. This year she completed her 7th Comrades Marathon run and hopes to take up a 6-day run later. After being involved in an accident, Melanie was in a coma for 2 weeks in 2014. Six months after coming out of it, she ran her first 100-mile race in 24 hours. The Great India Run will be her first time running outside South Africa.

sree-reddi

Sreekanth Reddi

An old running comrade of Arun Bhardwaj, Sreekanth has been checking off marathons and ultra-runs with great panache. He’s completed Mumbai, Hyderabad and Gurgaon marathons to start with and ran at the Tokyo Marathon last year. He’s coming off the 100 Miles Taby Extreme Challenge in Sweden and the 101 km Run the Rann in Dholavira, which he completed in 24:45 hours. He is also a cyclist having done distances of 200, 300 and 400 km.

Athletics Experts

Yuri Esperson

Yuri Esperson

Yuri is the creator of Q-Stretch (Quick Stretch) stretching technique for athletes, which is steadily gaining in the US. He is also a former member of USSR and Russian national Track and Field teams, and set an incredible 8 Soviet national records during the 1st International indoor 24-hour Championship in 1990. A competitive ultra-runner, Yuri is a member of Broadway Ultra Society in New York, and is also an extreme hiker.

julia

Julia Kulakova 

Julia is an athletics recovery expert and a professional dancer. She trained under many accomplished Russian dancers and Olympian athletes. Her clients in New York practice an integration of Eastern arts, yoga and tai chi along with the latest Western athletics advances, such as MELT (Myofascial Energetic Lengthening Technique). Her training regimen involves yoga, Russian athletics, tai chi drills, MELT, kettlebells and dancing.

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