Today for the interview we had to run & catch the most inspired runner who motivated 1000s of people towards running. Coach Ravinder, and the name says it all. He is a fitness coach & mentor for all the running enthusiast in the NCR region.
Through his strong interpersonal skills and self-devised training, he has helped many runners achieve their personal bests. He initially started with the program “Couch to 5km in 10 weeks” a small level motivation for inexperienced runners of all age group. Slowly and lately these people have automatically upgraded to his next level of program “Aging to Ageless” which covers higher levels like 10 km and half marathons.
His welfare for the society is not only devoted towards runners who can afford his training but as well for the less privileged ones. He runs an NGO by the name “Run with me Foundation” for the less privileged runners. With the help of this foundation, he was able to pull in 50 such runners to perform at state and national levels.
Let’s hear in his own words on how did he organize huge marathons and motivate 1000s and 1000s of people towards this natural workout.
1. What inspired you to start running and what keeps you motivated to do it every day?
I liked running since childhood but I took it as a full-time profession after turning 42. Post this there has been no looking back ever. From being an ordinary runner to the marathon runner, than to organizing marathon and becoming a coach I have had my share of interesting journeys since 2009.
2. You have been involved in organizing a lot of marathons – Starry Night Gurgaon, Noida Half Marathon, Trail-A-Thon and many more. According to you what is the most challenging part about organizing a marathon and how you approach the same?
The most challenging part arises in the last day of the marathon. We need to plan things in a such a way that we are set a day before the marathon. Few tips that you should consider are;
a) Make sure the BIBs and all the other materials are distributed to the participants before the event day starts.
b) All the volunteers are trained properly with their respective responsibilities. If possible, try to do a dry run with them at least 2 times before the marathon day.
c) Have a last minute detailed discussion with police and other officials who shall be present on site during the marathon day.
3. What do you think is the biggest misconception about marathons or marathon runners, that you’d like to clear up?
In general, many people are not aware of what is a Marathon distance. Some may call a 3 or 5km run too as marathon. A full marathon run actually is 42.194 km or 42.2 kms and half marathon run is usually 21.097 kms. Some as well have a myth that running long distances is not good for health. But the truth is that running like any other sport helps you in staying fit and with right training and mentorship our body is qualified for long distance running.
4. Your marathons have consistently seen an amazing turnout of runners. How do you market your marathons and what is the key to such a fast growth?
Ours is an organic growth. People who get good experience spread our brand as a word of mouth. Runners who join once start getting more runners with them the next time. Hence, we have never felt the need to market out event.
5. What were your key goals when you started organizing marathons and how many of them have you already achieved?
The marathon trend is changing and like I have always stated “Running is the new golf”. People who participate in a marathon are lifestyle runners, we treat them as our ambassadors. Of late we have been getting active participation from such corporate. What these runners really require is a place like a breakfast joint or place to meet, discuss and enjoy post the run.
6. How has Townscript helped you in your marathon-organizing journey?
Townscript portal manages the database of my attendees, payments (pending vs paid) very efficiently. Its payout clearance on request is very quick and so far I haven’t faced any sort of delay in this. Townscript has also helped me in my overall event promotion which further helped in increasing my sales. Lastly but not the least, it has an awesome customer support team which is there to help me in any time of need.
7. As a trainer, marathon organizer and avid-runner, what’s the most memorable marathon track you have run on – and why?
The best one till date was Airtel Hyderabad Marathon. The support this event gave to a runner/ participant was un-matchable with any other marathon. The only way a Marathon becomes unique and successful is with the help of best crew & ultimate support from local people and authorities. Let’s not forget the effort required in the organizing part of marathon, that too is impeccable.
8. What are your major focus while selecting a marathon route?
Any event is a success when it is designed, organised and executed from the end user perspective. Marathon’s end user are runners. So, it makes sense to design the route from the runner’s perspective. What all are the things they make require for a feel good experience? Here are few things that you can consider while deciding that.
a) Before deciding the route take into account how many runners do you expect on the Marathon day. Prefer wider roads if the participants are more and vice versa
b) Try to see that the route is away from the VIP zone
c) The route should be easy to navigate. It means you should take into accountability that there are less U turns, less traffic lights and fewer rounds.
d) Lastly, though of prime importance, the route’s road should be well maintained as well it should be pollution free.
9. What are the few things that you and your team focus on to ensure a great experience for runners while organizing a marathon?
Promises are the most important tool to build trust, handle social encounters etc. Big promises set bigger expectations. If those expectations are not delivered, then you lose your event credentials. That’s the reason, its always better to set less promises and deliver more cause in this manner you supersede the participant’s expectations. Lastly like in all the marathon events, “Hygiene” plays the most important role.
10. Do you have some tips for new organizers on how to search and select best pacers for giving the best experience to runners?
Before deciding the pacers we first need to consider for whom do we need them. Fast runners are performance runners. Their main goal is to help these runners to achieve their target. The slow runners or rather the inexperienced ones require mentoring, training & motivation before and during the entire run. For them even small marathons like 5k, 10k is a huge distance. This set of the audience requires pacers more than performance runners.
11. What are the upcoming marathons that runner’s community expect from you in the upcoming year?
a) High on Caffeine 10K Challenge
b) 5th Intelenet Trail – A – Thon (12 hr Ultra run)
c) Women 10k Run
To know more please visit website www.coachravinver.com
12. What advice will you like share with our readers who are looking forward to organizing a marathon?
Become a runner before becoming an organizer and then don’t compromise in quality. If you are looking for ROI in a marathon, you are mistaken. It’s a feel good activity and doesn’t make a business sense.
Thank you Coach Ravinder, it was great to have you on Townscript.