Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review : Dare to Run

Title : Dare to Run
Author : Amit Sheth
Publisher : Sanjay Publisher
ISBN : 9789380392127

Amit and Neepa Sheth, the husband-wife duo took up running in their later 30s. In 'Dare to Run', Amit takes us through his journey from being a typical couch-potato to the one who made it to the finish line of the Ultimate Human Race - the 89 km Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa. It is a story of dreaming big and making those dreams a reality by sheer determination and perseverance. With that kind of focus and hard work, nothing seems impossible and Amit's life is a live example of the same.

In his own words, 'I loved all sports as long as I was watching them on television with a glass of beer in my hand!' While watching 2005 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon sitting cozily on his favourite couch, the festivities of the occasion enticed him to make a resolution that he would be a part of this festive atmosphere the following year. But the resolution slipped out of his mind almost the same day, to be revived after over six months and that was the time when he openly confessed his desire to his family. 

The first 200 m jog on the beach in Mumbai gave him a fair idea of the arduous task that he had committed himself to. But he followed the path that he had chosen and did it relentlessly. Dare to Run chronicles five years of the incredible journey that Amit undertook passionately and which eventually turned out to be a sojourn of tenacity, courage, discipline, self-belief and self realization. As one reads through the book, one realises how a strong drive to achieve something makes everything else fall in place and brings perspective in life. Once having made a beginning Amit kept on running to cover many milestones and conquer many finishing lines, however, this turns out to be a journey within himself. He had the privilege of having a great partner as Neepa Sheth in life and in running and throughout the narrative he talks about her strong, positive and encouraging presence by his side always. Amit brings in his poetic and philosophical flare of writing as he talks about time management, training regimen, injuries, failures and successes.

Dare to Run is much more than a book dedicated to running. Whether one is a beginner or a seasoned player in any discipline or field, Dare to Run is a great inspirational book to read. It motivates you to push the limits and watch the bigger and wider vistas opening in front of you.


I have been a completely non-runner and a non-sports person all my life and in fact, I had reached a point where I used to revel in the glory of being a non-physical person. I remember getting a stray mail in my inbox sometime in Feb last year(2012)  about a marathon that is going to happen in the city two months (14th April) from then. I don't know what, but something clicked inside me that day which motivated me to register for that marathon though the shortest version(5k) of the same. I started my training from 14th Feb. Initially I could barely walk 2 km which I gradually increased but I had to test myself on running. I started with 200m run but my legs, especially the knees did not take it too well. The excruciating pain kept getting worse every time I ran or even walked. But I had committed already and I was not ready to give up. I kept working on physical as well as mental training for two months and sure enough I was there at the starting line on 14th April and I completed the 5k distance in 36 min with 70% running and 30% walking.

I must extend my thanks to a co-blogger Abhinav Bachcha who is a player, a runner, a reader, a reviewer, and a great motivator. He helped me chalk out a training regimen for those two months. I read many books by great runners during that time including - Dare to Run and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I strongly believe that these books do help in giving a fillip to one's efforts especially when not everything is going great guns. 

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