YASH ON MASTERING HILL RUNNING AND TRIATHLONS 

My big time goal is to represent India in Trail World Championship. It may look like a moon shot but I'm going all out to achieve it.
 

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YASH KUMAR RAJ

HILL RUNNER + TRIATHLETE

Yash is 28 years old, born and brought up in UP but currently living in Chennai for the past 5 years. He is a software engineer by profession but a runner (trail and hill ultras to be specific) at heart.

What inspired you to start Hill Running?

I initially started running to control my increasing weight and then I gradually got into the habit. The more I ran, it became my hobby. I even met people in my office who were passionate about the sport. Despite being busy with their daily routine, they somehow made time for it and achieved amazing feats in various competitions. This attitude inspired me a lot. In fact, they played a big role in introducing me to Running and Triathlon events. It's perfect when you're able to train with like-minded people. It drove me to participate in my first Olympic Triathlon in October 2016 and HM in December 2016. 

 After this, there was no looking back and now running is no more than just a hobby, it has become a part of my life.
 

What effect has running had in your life?

Running changed my way of living and made me a more disciplined person. I wanted to motivate others as well to take up this sport. So I, along with two of my friends organized a one-month long fitness boot camp in our office, which was a huge success. Close to 80 people participated in it. At the end of it, many people ran their first 3k and few did their first 5k. 

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What are some of your achievements so far?

On a personal level, I managed to improve my performance as well and results followed. Please find below few of my achievements:

SRT Ultra: Winner (25k category), Dec 2018
Malnad Ultra: 10th (50k Category), Oct 2018
Kanceepuram HM: 2nd Runner-up, Oct 2018
Chennai Triathlon: Winner (Olympic Category), Dec 2017
Jawadhu Hill Ultra: Runner up(25k category), Aug 2017.

What are some of the challenges you've faced along your journey?

There were two major challenges that I faced, time management and injuries.

Being a corporate employee, I had to change my training schedule and time based on my office timings and shifts. I still face this challenge but now I have made peace with it :p.

Injuries are an integral part of this sport. I too had to face them. From shin splints to calf pain, from back pain to knee cap, I had them all. To overcome these injuries and to make sure they don't bother me in future, I started practicing Yoga which helped me a lot and I was able to recover from them without compromising my training.

I still get pain after some races but now I know how to deal with it.

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What's next for you?

I have graduated from a road runner to an ultra hill runner and will be focusing on major ultra running events in India in 2019. A major area of focus will be 50-80km events to build my base before I go for 100km and longer distances. My next event is Pagdandi Ultra on 17th March.

My big time goal is to represent India in Trail World Championship. It may look like a moon shot but I'm going all out to achieve it.

READ MORE FEATURES 

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The day I considered myself as a runner was when I completed the 100 Days of Running (HDOR) Challenge which was an all-India virtual Running Challenge to run 2kms every day come what may!
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Running might just be the most convenient form of workout which doesn't require too many equipment but it is important to identify what your level is to be able to make the right choice of gear.
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