Rakesh Kashyap, Ultramarathoner Who Ran 246 KM in 36 Hours at Age 51


In today’s times, when children and youngsters shirk from physical activities and are stuck to their mobile phones for most of their entertainment needs, here is 50-year old Rakesh Kashyap who started running at the age of 47.

Rakesh recently successfully completed a 246 km ultramarathon called Spartathlon which is held annually in Greece and is one of the world’s most challenging and grueling races, that too at the age of 51. The Spartathlon covers rough tracks and muddy paths (often it rains during the race), crosses vineyards and olive groves, climbs steep hillsides and, most challenging of all, takes the runners on the 1,200 meter ascent and descent of Mount Parthenio in the dead of night. The distance from Athens to Sparta 250 km is to be completed within 36 hours which Kashyap completed 30 minutes before time.

To participate in Spartathlon, he first qualified for it by covering 160 km in 21 hours on the Jaisalmer–Longewala stretch where he became the 2nd runner up.  Apart from Rakesh Kashyap, two other Indians, Amit Gulia from Chandigarh  and Munish Dev from Delhi, completed the arduous race.

India Book Of World record

Belonging to Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, Kashyap lives in Panchkula and runs his construction business in Kasauli. He was certified by the ‘India Book of Records’ recently for covering maximum distance by running in one day.  He is an ultramarathoner ( marathon above 42 km) and a member of Chandigarh Distance Runners (CDR), a group of enthusiastic runners in the Tricity.

Other accomplishments

In November 2021, he won Black Horse Backyard Ultra held in Jaipur after surviving 27 hours.

He participated in India Backyard Ultra in Gurgaon and completed 214 km in 32 hours.

He has run from Chandigarh to Shimla (114 km) on foot four times.

Finisher certificate from Hell Race

He is a finisher of a few of India’s most famous and tough marathons like Malnad Ultra, Khardung La Challenge, Half Iron Man in which he completed a distance of 113 km by swimming (1.9 km in sea), cycling (90 km) and running (21km) in 7 hours , Hell race in which he completed 300 kms in just 3 days!

CityWoofer caught up with the quinquagenarian possessing extraordinary, strength, stamina and mental toughness.

Rakesh Kashyap
How and why did you start running so late at 47?

I have a sweet tooth, because of which I ate a lot of meetha. I gained a lot of weight, so I thought what better way to lose weight than running.  Also, I belong to Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh where there was a lot of running and walking involved in the hills. So, the calf muscles were already well-developed.

How tough was the competition at Spartathlon ?

389 runners participated from across the world in the Spartathlon, out of which only 182 people completed the run. The terrain was very tough — there was plain road, rolling road (with ups and downs) and steep mountains to climb.

What is your normal regular diet, any special diet while you participate in the marathons?

Besides the regular meals, in the morning, I have 2 eggs, sprouts, fresh juice and dry fruits, and in the evening, I have milk with haldi and once in a week, I add desi ghee to milk plus haldi combination.  When I am running for marathons, I focus on my intake of carbohydrates, proteins have to be taken care of throughout the year.

What is the difference between a young and relatively older runner?

Young people have speed as their bodies move faster, while older ones like me have slow speed which helps to sustain a marathon. At the Spartathlon, there were no young people who were running, everybody was in the 35-60 year age group.

What message would you like to give to the young runners and the older ones like you?

Regular practice is a must,  if a young person is running 7-10 km everyday and Sunday run of about 20 km, then only will he be able to build his stamina for a marathon at a later stage. My weekly target is 100 km including Sundays on which I run for about 42 km.



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