Athens: Bengaluru’s Kieren D’Souza has become the first ever Indian to complete the Spartathlon, an annual run between Athens in Sparta in Greece with a circuit which lasts for 246.6 km and is widely considered, ‘The world’s toughest race.’ Only 50 per cent of the runners have successfully completed this race till date. The 23-year-old ran for 33 hours three minutes and 25 seconds.
Kieren has been training since 2012 and became the first Indian to qualify this year. He had earlier ran in 160 km events. He had become the fastest Indian to run above 100 miles by winning the Salomon Bhatti Lakes Ultra Marathon last year.
Kieren recently ran the 111 km La Ultra, the toughest ultramarathon in India, in Leh, where he had been training for a month before the event. Held in August, that event saw young Kieren set a course record of 15 hours 30 minutes; the time was 2 hours 27 minutes faster than the previous one.
He considers running as an easy job to do while getting sponsors is a tough thing. He said, “Being honest, running is the easy bit, getting sponsors for my event is the tough part. Even during my college days, I had to keep my pocket money separate, but it seems like its not changed one bit. Hope it only gets better after Spartathlon.”
Kieren is scheduled to return to India in two days time, recording his name in India’s sporting history books.