North Delta’s Kaushal Parikh achieved all of his goals over the weekend, completing a 90-kilometre ultramarathon while raising more than $2,800 for pandemic relief in India.
On Sunday, June 13, Parikh competed virtually in the 2021 Comrades Marathon, an annual race held in South Africa dubbed “The Ultimate Human Race.”
Parikh was one of 23 runners from Canada set to travel to South Africa in 2020 to compete in the Comrades Marathon when the COVID19 pandemic forced the event’s cancellation.
After the in-person event was again cancelled this year (2021 would have marked the race’s 100th anniversary), Parikh made the decision to compete virtually, logging his time using an app as he completed the race closer to home.
“It is actually kind of hilly terrain out there in Africa, but because it’s a virtual event and … there aren’t really any [similar] hills close by and I don’t even have a support system, somebody to kind of support me with the nutrition and all of that, I thought that I will make a twist to it and compensate [for] the physical challenge with a mental one,” Parikh told the Reporter the week before his big run.
On Sunday, Parikh ran the race’s entire 90-kilometre distance on North Delta Secondary’s new 400-metre track — that’s 225 laps — eight hours and 50 minutes, achieving his goal of completing the run in under nine hours.
As well, he achieved two other goals he had set for himself: running 600,000 kilometres between May 1 and June 15 (he ultimately ran 684,000), and raising $1,500 for Save the Children’s India COVID-19 Crisis Fund, a goal he nearly doubled by raising $2,840.
“This was a truly transformational and humbling experience, difficult to express in words,” Parikh said in an update emailed to the Reporter Tuesday morning (June 15). “The support received from the community was super excellent, and was instrumental in me finishing the race.”