She has come a long way after initial hiccups. And despite all the physical and work- related setbacks, Kavitha Kanaparthi is the first woman Race Director in India.
‘I don’t race but run’
Says Kavitha: “We ran every morning with our father, waking up 5 am. It became a habit of sorts since childhood and as life progressed, running became a true companion, seeing me through tough times when a few miles helped me clear my head. It translated into everything else I did. It gave me a lot of confidence, courage, and belief in myself. I don’t race but run on my own.”
Hailing from the small village of Gandrai in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, belonging to a large family of farmers, Kavitha migrated to United States, completing her Bachelors of Engineering from Washington University in St Louis.
A lifelong runner, Kavitha ran with her father every morning for her school in Jaggayyapeta, AP.
“There were swimming, Bharatanatyam classes other than cycling, stick fighting, running and art lessons from the very beginning. This was in the late 1970s. What sparked my passion for running was that we had a teacher who used to travel three hours one way every weekend from Vijayawada, just to teach four students.”
What was initiated as a blog to share her running experiences and to invite people to run with her in remote regions, turned into an organisation called Globeracers.
“From the first run that I put together in the Himalayan region of Sandakphu, the thought of organising multi-day races took shape, culminating in the first Indian desert race — Thar Desert Run —, covering sand dunes, desert regions, remote villages and palaces. From that first organised race in 2009, Globeracers has expanded to organising races in some of the toughest regions of India, both in terms of logistics, terrain and elevation,” said Kavitha.
She has had races in various regions of India, such as Rann of Kutch, Himalayas, Western Ghats and Delhi Bhatti Mines, and is working on races in Mizoram, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, which includes endurance races both in running, cycling and triathlon fields.
Globeracers’ Athletes Fund is another initiative of Globeracers that brings athletes and sponsors together on one platform for funding, necessary gear, and training available to athletes to be successful.
“I am in training always but not training for anything in particular this year. In 2017, I plan on running in the Himalayas with no set goal of mileage but for 15 days, covering some of the most tough and treacherous terrains that have been mapped by my friend.”