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INSPIRATION! Nripen Chowdhury started running marathons at 65!

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Meet Nripen Chowdhury. He is almost heading towards 70 years, an age when most Indians would think of leading a secluded and retired life with painful knees and might be heart ailments. But Chowdhury is an exception. A retired businessman, he has been running full time and promoting active lifestyle even post 68 years of age. Born in Chittagong, Chowdhury’s father was a High School teacher as well as a physical instructor. He grew up thus in an environment where workouts and yoga were regularly practiced. 

He completed MSc in Mathematics in 1975 from Chittagong University and later started a business in Chittagong. Since 1980, he regularly went for morning walks but soon realised he was more fit than most people of his age. It was then that he started running instead of walking. In 2016, he came across a marathon video where runners ran wearing designed T-shirts and sports shoes of different colours. This scene inspired him and he laced up his running shoes at the age of 65 and started participating in marathons!

From a half marathon at Dhaka, he also participated in international events, like Tata Steel 25K and 10K marathons in Kolkata and finished both. Thereafter he did not look back. Since then he successfully finished a 25K run, 10 half marathons, two 15K run, eight 10k run, one duathlon and many 5K runs in Bangladesh and India. Recently he did his maiden full marathon at Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019 with clocked time 05.18.24 hr. and a half marathon out of the Indian subcontinent at Round the Bays, Wellington New Zealand with PB time of 01.58.35 hr.

He ranked 2nd in Goa River Marathon at 21K-Men’s super-veteran category, ranked 3rd in Vizag Bay Marathon at 21K in 65+ age group, and ranked 3rd at TSK25K. As Nripen Chowdhury adds: “After only six months of running, it changed my life for good. I feel more energetic after a run, I sleep well, which makes me fitter, happier and healthier. I enjoy running and wish to run until death.” Apart from running, he practices yoga & meditation for half an hour, two days a week. He is also founder of Chattala Runners, a running community-based in Chittagong. If all goes well, he will try to get into the prestigious TCS New York City Marathon and London Virgin Marathon. He gives some tips for future runners and says “The real secret for anyone who wants to run is consistency. You just have to keep running. Mental strength is also important. First start with the slow running of a short distance, then gradually increase distance and build aerobic endurance for running non-stop 30 minutes. Now you are fit to go for the long run and increase the pace but strictly follow ‘No running too soon too fast.”