Mud, blood and guts, it takes all three to make a successful obstacle race. Mud runs, crawling under barbed wires, jumping over fire and rope-climbing are just some of the typical staples of a challenging obstacle run. Popular in the West, the trend of obstacle races is slowly picking up in India, and we have something coming up right here in Pune for all you enthusiasts!
Ruggedian is back to Pune with it’s second edition, and it looks like a lot of fun! Things seemed to have improved since last year, and the team behind the race is excited beyond words. We caught up with Akash Korgaonkar, the Ironman from India and the man behind it all, for a quick chat…
Ruggedian is back. How has the journey been so far this year?
Ruggedian has grown in the last one year. It is now a a multi-property racing platform – we have a Shivaji Run, Sahayadri Run and are also conducting a Half Marathon in Lavasa later this year. In January 2016 we launched Ruggedian Club and Club App for anyone and everyone who aspires to be a part of the community of fitness and adventure enthusiasts.
What made you start Ruggedian?
Ruggedian started because I come from a sports background myself. I first took part in the MTB Himachal Race in 2011 and then went on to finish the Ironman in 2014. My friends and I took part in these events, and this inspired me to start Ruggedian. I wanted to promote fitness through challenging avenues.
What are the challenges you face with this?
Obstacle racing is a new culture that people are still not used to. More often than not, people are not educated enough about this form of fitness. It’s more than just a marathon, you have to use your mind and body in a calculated manner. This is something that people need to know.
In terms of setting up an event of this magnitude, the challenges are many. Finding the right location, raising funds, lack of awareness among the audience, medical support are some of the main challenges.
Pune has a good racing culture with open spaces in many pockets around the city.
Do you think there’s scope in the future?
Yes, there is a lot of scope. But first, we need to set up a super league of sorts so that everyone can then know about events around India and take part in them. We need to get more sponsors / corporates on board and once this happens it will open up a lot of opportunities for innovative race formats and offerings. In fact, we are in the process of setting up a network of races around the country.
Pune has a good racing culture with open spaces in many pockets around the city. There are 30-40 racing events that happen in Pune every year. Plus, it is the closest city to my home town, Kolhapur.
What should we expect this year?
Last year, one of the racers said the obstacles were not challenging enough and we have taken this up as a new challenge. We have planned some new obstacles and also made the existing ones just a tad bit tougher. You can expect it to be more action-packed this year.
With an 8 km obstacle race track designed by Kolte Patil Developers Ltd. – Life Republic in Hinjewadi, Ruggedian is all set to throw a challenge to Punekars on June 26, 2016. How many of you are up for it?