I am from Finland. I have come a long way from my distant North European native country to lively South Indian megalopolis Bengaluru for my work as an R&D manager for Nokia Networks. I have been exercising some sports regularly during most of my 49 years of life, however, never before I have called running as a hobby. I have only been exercising jogging and running a bit reluctantly to build stamina and endurance for my beloved ball games, especially ice-hockey and squash.
Soon after I had moved to Bengaluru with my family in January 2015, my colleague and ultra-runner Gopal Halder took me to his “runners’ paradise” GKVK park for 12 km slow run. During the run we enjoyed the tropical scenery with various flora and fauna I had never seen before, and had nice discussions about food specialities in Gopal’s native Calcutta vs. Finland. That was longest and nicest run I had ever made. Soon after that I started to follow Gopal and some other ultra runners to the slowly extending weekly long runs together with regular shorter running & strengthening exercises. Running has now become a real hobby for me. It gives real joy, friendship and good health.
During my stay in Bengaluru I have learned the substantial difference between North Europe and India regarding the need of charities: in Finland taxes are high, however, government organizations take care of the people in true need. Here in India there is huge need for Non-Government Organizations (NGOs, charities) to support the most challenged people and to help solving the most critical environmental issues.
I run because I really enjoy it. It also gives possibility to support important topics and activities. By running I want to promote and support the very important work of the NGO Rejuvenate India Movement (RIM). RIM works for underprivileged people in rural areas by giving tools for economic empowerment and establishing grass-root micro-enterprises.
I am also quite excited about train journeys in India. Can’t wait enough for the flag-off!