MRC Veterans: Khushnood Viccaji

How did you take up running?
I have always been fairly athletic all my life, and took part in indoor / outdoor sports. Over the last few years, I also spent some time doing cardio workouts at a local gym. But it was never more than a few months at a time.
Last year, in September, I started going for brisk walks at the End Point Joggers’ Park, in Manipal. This was after I realised that I was becoming a couch potato cooped up at home all day long!
As my fitness and motivation improved, I gradually started mixing very slow jogging into my walking routine. Then someone convinced me to enrol for the Manipal Marathon in March this year. After the marathon, I got in touch with the MRC guys, and from then on, it has been a really enjoyable experience to go running with them 3-4 times a week!
What motivated you?
The motivation was simple — I knew that I had to get out and do some sort of physical activity. So what better than walking / running? Also, I did not want to turn into an unfit, chronically ill person as I am no longer a physically young person who can take his body for granted! Other than that, it is also the feeling of well-being and the fact that I have not been ill in a long time, that motivates me to continue with walking/running!
What has been your best achievement so far?
I participated in the 10k run at the Manipal Marathon, and completed it in a time of 1 hr 13 mins. That was at a pace of 7 min 8 secs per kilometre.
Recently I ran with the MRC guys during their 10kms x 10days challenge, and my timing on the last day, for an 8k run was 53 mins (6 mins 30 secs per kilometre)! That is my best timing so far.
How do you juggle work, family and your new-found passion?
I am fortunate to be able to work on flexible timings, so my work does not usually interrupt my running. I also make sure that any pending work is usually completed by working late into the night.
On the family front, my wife encourages me a lot to go running. Now I have to get her to start going out with me too!
How do you usually train?
No fixed or specific training method. I just go out in suitable running wear, and take it as it goes. I do use the Strava mobile app to keep track of my progress during the run, and it helps me to monitor my real-time performance, as well as day-to-day progress.
I also maintain an Excel sheet in which I update the statistics from the Strava app. That helps me to keep track of my overall progress and performance.
How do you find the running scene in Manipal to be?
Very enjoyable.
Clean air, good company with the MRC group, a few different options for running routes, and the regular trips to nearby beaches! 🙂
What are your future goals when it comes to running?
Hopefully, I will run a half-marathon in a few months.
Other than that, I want to maintain my fitness and good health well into my old age! And I am hoping that walking / running will help me to do just that. I know that improvements in distance and pace will happen very slowly, and I should not expect any dramatic results. So the ‘real’ goal is to just keep this going and not let this slip away as before.
Do you have any other interests?
Watching movies, listening to old Hindi movie songs.
What does MRC mean to you?
A fun bunch of youngsters who are committed to healthy living and a good lifestyle.
I for one, enjoy their company and support for all levels of runners — no one is too slow to run with them!  All are welcome, and age is also no bar!  🙂 They are trying really hard to get more and more people interested and hooked onto running.
Can you share with us something that inspires you?
A young teenager asked me to enroll for the Manipal Marathon. I said,
“I’ve never run a marathon before!”
She responded by saying:
There is always a first time.
And it struck me that if people much older than me are taking part, why am I making excuses to myself?!


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