If while exercising you find yourself saying, “I’m too old for this,” you should probably have a sit-down with Vijaya Ramachandra Reddy, a 93-year-old marathon runner and sprinter from Hyderabad.
The nonagenarian, who took part in the Go Heritage Run on Sunday morning (and ran the whole 10k with ease), will also be taking part in the upcoming Airtel Hyderabad Marathon on August 30, again in the 10k category. You’d think that Ramachandra can do it because he must have been running his whole life, but the Nellore-born man says he only took up running in 2004.
“I’m a body builder and I used to wrestle too,” he says with a gleam in his un-spectacled eye, “It only depends on the interest of people. No question of age.”
Winning medals from races and marathons across the nation is no big deal for him he says, proudly showing off his medals from events he’s participated in at Bengaluru, Himachal Pradesh, Khammam, Karimnagar and more.
Living with his son and daughter-in-law in Kondapur, Ramachandra runs every morning around the Cyber Towers and Shilparamam area, and says that he enjoys running marathons, but prefers to run alone. “When people are around, it’s distracting,” he says, “When I’m alone I can focus on running. Alone is better,” adding that 10K marathons are now his staple and he can push himself to finish 21K runs too.
Wanting to inspire people of all ages, he says, “My aim is to help people live up to 100 years. I haven’t taken any training, I just try to improve myself. Anyone can do it.
“Doctors also ask me how I am doing this and what the secret for my health is. It’s nothing — you just need to live in peace and have a healthy lifestyle. Always be happy,” he finishes, with a toothy grin.