After he qualified for the Boston Marathon, Ramanjit Singh Oberoi came from India to participate in the event, April 15, joining some 30,000 runners. He finished the 26-mile (42 Kms) Boston Marathon in 3 hours and 40 minutes, Oberoi told News India Times.
Many runners in these famous marathons have great backstories. So does Oberoi. He discovered running at the age of 55, and it is now his passion. The Boston Marathon is not even as long as some he has run already, but the charm of 30,000 people running, bowled him over, he indicated in his interview.
Oberoi’s unbounded energy is the result of his passion. After years of working in a bank and then in a security company, Oberoi came upon the pleasures of running after he did a mere 7 km run in 2012.
“I discovered running rather late in life when most people are slowing down. But I saw how it made me feel – and I could not give it up. I feel free and doubly alive – when I am on the road, in the hills, and I start singing. It’s the most enjoyable part of my life,” Oberoi enthused.
He began running in marathons at the early age of 55, in 2014, when he took part in a half-marathon. Since then he has notched up an enviable record according to a press release. In just the past four years, Oberoi has participated in 28 half marathons of 21 kms each, some in challenging conditions, for example along the steps of Khumbalgarh Fort (2nd only to The Great wall of China), in the rarified atmosphere of Ladakh, and in the hills of Shimla.
Oberoi has run three full marathons of 42 kms each, in Mumbai, Delhi and Jaipur, with his best timing being 3 hours and 42 minutes.
That is not all. He participated in two Ultras, which are longer than full marathons. The first one was of 50 kms in the Arravali Hills, followed just three days later, with the Mumbai Ultra, a 5 AM to 5 PM, 12-hour run, covering a distance of 100 kms. He also ran a 50 kms Ultra in tough conditions of the Thar Desert, the press release says.
His unusual runs include a trek to the Everest Base Camp in May 2018. While ordinarily this is supposed to take 14-15 days, Oberoi completed the entire trek in nine days. And, then there was the Duathalon Event in Ludhiana, comprising of a 5 km run, followed by 42 kms of cycling, followed again by a run of another 5 kms.
Needless to note, running is Oberoi’s passion. And that is what got him qualified for the oldest marathon in the world, the prestigious Boston Marathon.
“I’ve done higher number of miles than this race,” he noted. “But Boston is something else! the atmosphere, the organization, was electrifying. If 30,000 runners were running, another 30,000 were cheering. Three years back I would not have dreamed I could make it here,” Oberoi said. He also expresses surprise that 13,000 of the runners in Boston were women, and that runners from some 100 countries were alongside him.
He has no plans to stop. He will follow it up with the Ultra Comrades run of 90 kms in South Africa. “I’ve also qualified for the Chicago Marathon, but I will do that next year,” Oberoi said.
Born in Shimla on Nov. 16, 1958, Oberoi did his high school from King George Royal Indian Military College in Belgaum, Karnataka. He went on to graduate from Delhi University from where he also earned a law degree. He did a Master in English from Shimla University before joining the Punjab & Sind Bank where he worked till 1996, leaving to join a private bank and then a security company. The way he expresses it, Oberoi’s real life began after that when he discovered his passion – running.