Starting Line

What sends us to the starting line, again and again?

Amsterdam race, mile 6. I pulled a hamstring injury as I went out too fast to keep pace with racers in a high – speed category. Rookie mistake.

Now my thought was let me at least get to Mile 10 & drop out. It was torturous. I wasn’t even able to walk, let alone jog. At mile 10, I took a pause. I used my arm band to lift my leg and limp a few yards and see if the pain abated. It had, a little. Now, the dread of DNF (Did not Finish) was pushing me to focus on the finish. Can I? I decided yes, readjusted my goals and pace and slowly but surely completed the entire marathon by Brute Force of Will Power.

After the highfives and photo-ops, I reflected upon and defined my success. I wanted to put every bit of what I learnt from this experience into practice. Once you find a compelling “why”, you move heaven & earth to pursue the dream and working for a company that hugely supports running makes it a bit easier. Soon, every finish line I accomplished, became the inspiration for a new start. NYC -> Chicago -> Boston -> London -> Berlin races became a series of micro love stories which transformed my entire family into running – my (reluctant) teenager, my wife (with RA), and a zesty 7 year old boy! Having to cancel Tokyo2020 – has heart wrenchingly deferred a dream of completing the 6 major marathons this year.

My resilience mantra for now? Eliud Kipchoge’s spirited words – “If selected I will be there. It (Tokyo) is at the front of my mind, and I trust and believe that when the time comes I will be on the starting line.”


Contributed by: Sunil Robert Vuppula | Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

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