Written by Nitin Sharma
| Chandigarh |

Published: April 27, 2020 1:16:52 am

coronavirus, coronavirus outbreak, india lockdown, chandigarh lockdown, CDR club, Chandigarh Distance Runners Club, , chandigarh distance runners club vitual run, chandigarh virtual run, indian express news Sanket Sharma, 38, too will be taking part in the virtual run. (Representational Photo)

With Chandigarh under lockdown and no sporting activity happening, more than 111 runners from Chandigarh Distance Runners Club, a running group, will take part in the Run for Charity Indoor Virtual Run from their respective homes on Monday. The club, which was formed in 2016, is one of the run clubs in the Tricity. It had organised more than 30 long distance runs in or around the Tricity before the lockdown. Chandigarh Distance Runners Club will donate the proceedings from the virtual run, tickets for which are priced at Rs 200 and can be bought online till 5 pm on Monday, to the local administration/NGOs to help them in the fight against COVID-19.

“Most of our members were very active in running events prior to the lockdown. The idea to conduct a virtual indoor run at home to raise funds was suggested by one of the members last month and most of our members supported the idea. Staying in Chandigarh means that the members would often take part in runs in and around the city apart from ultra-runs to places like Kasauli or Shimla. So far, we have received more than 111 entries for the virtual run and we expect more members and people to undertake this run and raise awareness for a healthy lifestyle as well as fight against COVID-19,” said 50-year-old Vishwajit Kaushish, one of the founding members of the club.

The CDR club, which was formed in 2016 by Kaushish along with his friend Ashok Giri, had initially organised small runs in Chandigarh followed by ultra-runs around the Tricity. With more than 450 members, the club also sees its members competing in events like AFI Stadium Run and marathons like Chandigarh Marathon apart from ultra- runs like Khardungla Challenge and Ladakh Marathon.

The virtual run, which can be attempted by anybody who takes part, will see club members tracking their activity via phone applications and running bands. Twenty-seven-year-old Deep Maheshwari, a PhD student at PGI, too will be undertaking the virtual run at his parental home in Delhi. Maheshwari was inspired by 49-year-old Rakesh Kashyap, who did a 42-km run at his Sector 11 home in Panchkula after March 23. “I had competed in Khardungla Challenge, a 74-km-long ultra-run in Ladakh last year and was preparing for the Comrades Run in South Africa. But due to COVID-19, the Comrades Marathon has been postponed. I first did a 42-km run at grass at my home after lockdown, followed by 42-km run on treadmill and 21-km run each on grass and treadmill this month. CDR had also raised more than Rs 2 lakh for the Kerala Flood Relief Fund by organising a run in 2018. This initiative will not only help the fight against COVID-19 but also motivate people to remain fit during the lockdown,” Kashyap said.

Sanket Sharma, 38, too will be taking part in the virtual run. Sharma, who works in a private bank and is also an archer, will be joined by his wife and daughter for the virtual run. “When I take part in marathons and long-distance runs, my wife Neerja and six-year-old daughter Deeher only watch me from a distance. While they would cheer me after the run, I would always tell them to run in short-distance runs. Both of them would be running in the virtual run tomorrow and I hope that it will inspire them to take part in actual events after the lockdown,” Sharma, one of the first members of CDR, said.

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