20-Apr-2024
HomeENGLISHInspiring Journey of Sufiya Sufi: Conquering Roads, Breaking Records

Inspiring Journey of Sufiya Sufi: Conquering Roads, Breaking Records

Her dedication to ultra-running is relentless, and she continues to strive for recognition in India's sporting landscape.

In the quest for personal liberation and self-discovery, Ajmer-born Sufiya Sufi embarked on a remarkable journey that began with a simple three-kilometre run after her demanding office hours. Little did she know that this humble start would lead to her breaking five Guinness World Records, including a breathtaking 4,000-kilometer run from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, completed in a mere 87 days.

For Sufiya Sufi, running transcends the realm of record-breaking; it serves as a therapeutic escape, a means to shed the burdens of daily life, explore her homeland, forge connections with strangers, and bask in the liberating sense of freedom away from her nine-hour work shifts. Running is also a profound test of her physical and mental limits, a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement.

Currently, she is gearing up for her second run across Qatar and preparing for an audacious undertaking known as the ‘Run Around the Globe’ expedition in 2025. This epic challenge will see her cover an astounding 30,000 kilometres in 680 days, making her the first woman to embark on such a monumental feat. With unwavering confidence, she prepares for this monumental endeavour.

Sufiya’s journey took a pivotal turn after a decade of working as a baggage handling officer at the IGI airport in Delhi. Despite realizing her dream of joining the aviation industry, the regimented schedule began taking a toll on her health and stifling her desire for true exploration. Her journey into marathons eventually led her to hire a professional running coach, solidifying her love affair with the tarmac.

Fresh from conquering the challenging Manali-Leh circuit in an astonishing 97 hours, a feat that earned her recognition as the fastest runner in both male and female categories globally, Sufiya acknowledges the immense challenges she faced. She accomplished this feat not once but twice in under 100 hours, proving her determination and resilience.

While Sufiya Sufi’s running exploits have garnered attention and admiration, she laments that adventure sports like running still struggle for recognition in India compared to other nations. She has received minimal support from the government but finds motivation and support in her partner, a dedicated cyclist.

To sustain her relentless pursuit of running, which often requires months on the road, Sufiya relies on crowdfunding and the support of private companies, with Under Armour being a consistent sponsor. Her dedication to ultra-running is relentless, and she continues to strive for recognition in India’s sporting landscape.

When asked about her favourite run, Sufiya reflects for a moment before admitting that each journey has presented unique challenges, spanning diverse landscapes, altitudes, and weather conditions. Her own health plays a significant role, making each adventure a distinct and fulfilling experience.

For a detailed story, please visit: Awaz the voice

Also Read: India’s Global Leadership: G-20 and Development

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