CHENNAI: The man behind Dawn to Dusk (D2D) marathon - the third largest event of its kind in Tamil Nadu - Neville J. Bilimoria covered a total distance of 216.4 km in 12 hours (running and cycling, combined) in this year’s D2D held recently and might have as well broken his own Limca Record for being the first one to cover as much distance in 12 hours. While raising awareness on fitness with D2D, Neville also raised over Rs 30 lakh for charity.
D2D is an initiative by like-minded people who have come forward to bring awareness towards worthy causes and to raise funds mainly for the underprivileged children who cannot afford treatment and funds raised for their education through the event. D2D has also inspired many runners to run for a cause for the underprivileged children and many charitable organisations.
In the previous five editions, Neville has raised a whopping Rs 2.12 crore for charity through marathons.
“Everybody has a potential, it is up to the individual as to how they wish to channelise it. Things will fall into place if they are done in good faith. What started as a very small project in 2012 eventually became like this,” he said.
Talking about the paths to hit in Chennai for marathon lovers, he suggested Besant Nagar, Boat Club Road and East Coast Road (ECR) for long runs. “Also, one should do cross-training to flex different muscles,” he said.
When asked about his most challenging marathons so far, he went on to explain, “it was in Colombo when my fellow runner slipped and I decided to stop and helped her. While helping her to regain her posture, I met with an accident and felt I would not finish the race. But, I completed it.”
The most memorable marathon? “They are definitely the ones in Chennai as I meet a lot of friends on the way. You keep overtaking, you keep greeting friends.”
Encouraging everybody to run for his or her fitness, he concluded with his New Year’s mantra, “Don’t give up. Just keep going!”
Neville is a national medal-winning rower, passionate marathoner, an ardent cyclist, committed philanthropist and works as an immigration specialist, full time.