On the trail
Sagar Pankaj Mehta, a 31-year old diamantaire from Seema Gems Inc in New York, successfully completed the grueling 51.2 mile (82 km) North Face Endurance Challenge on December 3, 2011. Sagar is the grandson of Sulochnabhen Mehta and son of Baiju and Pankaj Mehta.
The Ultra Marathon trail race began in the Marine Headlands of San Francisco, USA at 5 am, and Sagar took 13 hrs and 8 mins to cross the finish line. The trail covers more than 10,000 feet of vertical change. The official website of the event describes the course in this fashion, “Situated in the visually stunning Marin Headlands just north of the city, The North Face® Endurance Challenge Championship course has surprised runners with both its scenery and amount of elevation change. Participants are encouraged to train for repeated uphills and downhills of several hundred feet at a time.”
Sagar is an avid runner, having completed a 50 km Ultra Marathon race at Bear Mountain (NY) during May 2011. He has also ran the ING NYC Marathon for the last three consecutive years. In 2011 he signed up with Lend-a-hand India in order to raise funds for underprivileged children.
Speaking to Palanpur Online, Sagar says, “I have always enjoyed running 10ks and like to push the limits. In 2009, I decided I would run a marathon. Long runs allow me to lower my stress levels, and feel better both physically and mentally. They have helped me change my life style into a healthier routine.”
What prompted him to take up this challenge? “After running a few marathons, I wanted to push the limits again and decided to try a 50 km and a 51 mile race on trails. The trail races are what I enjoy most as it is relaxing to spend hours out in nature and the wilderness,” he says.
As there is no Indian charity affiliation with the Ultra Marathon, Sagar's parents will be making a donation to SPRJ Kanyashala Trust in Mumbai in honour of his achievement.
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