#TriathloninKochi: Kerala running community comes together to help sick young athlete | Kochi News

For many runners and cyclists in the Kozhikode region, it would be common to see 29-year-old Abdul Khader leading a group of exercise enthusiasts on their runs or rides. That was until a few months ago. When he had a cycling accident in July last year, which left him with numerous compound fractures, things took a turn for the sports retail professional. Now runners, cyclists and swimmers across the state are coming together to organize a one-of-a-kind event to help Khader raise money for his treatment.
On the afternoon of March 12, a 17-hour (max) Ironman-style triathlon will kick off in Kochi, with participants swimming 3.8km in the Aluva River, followed by 180km cycling along the Kerala coastline. and a 42.2 km marathon that ends at Kozhikode beach the next morning. While triathletes Sajeesh Nair, Naseef Ali and Shanavas Chirayath will be the main participants, athletes from all districts and disciplines will participate with them on various stretches. The event is organized by the Kozhikode-based Royal Runners Club (RRC), of which Khader is a founding member.

“THE SPORTING SPIRIT CALLS IT”
IT professional Prasad Kanakkassery, who trained with Khader for many years, says: “He was someone who actively encouraged people to run, organizing events under his professional banner. He used to lead group races in various parts of the district. We were in regular contact with him after the accident and he never accepted help for a long time, saying his family was also involved. But, once the amount exceeded 10 lakh, things got tough and he even had to sell his land. . It was then that we felt it was time for us to do our part for him; that’s sportsmanship. For a while, runners have been organizing online campaigns, flash mobs and more for the cause, ahead of triathlon.
KAYAKERS, SWIMMERS, CYCLISTS TO PARTICIPATE ALSO
During the event, groups of swimmers and cyclists from across the state will join at various points, all the way to the finish line. One of the event’s main triathletes, Sajeesh Nair – an instrumentation engineer from Kochi who has been doing triathlons for several years now – said: “Kayaking groups like Periyar Adventures and a few swimmers will be joining us for the first part of the event at Aluva River, to provide safety and support. In the cycling section that follows, different groups of runners will join us at various locations. Once the marathon begins, we will have runners from Kozhikode and other localities who will join us.
“HOPE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND TRIATHLON AS BETTER”
While marathons are short-distance races that have become popular in recent years, event triathlons are relatively new to exercise enthusiasts in the state. Kozhikode-based businessman and triathlete Naseef Ali said: “When we held flash mobs and the like in Kozhikode, for example, many people were curious to know what the event was about and amazed. of how it was spread over so many people. the hours.” RRC runner Rijesh Cyriac said: “I remember one lady asking us, ‘How do you manage to run 42.2km after swimming and cycling for so many hours?’ But, when we explained to her that there are a lot of people who do this sport, I imagine that she found it interesting. Many people found this aspect of endurance
intriguing.”

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