On The Fast Track: Three Everyday Runners’ Path To Performance

Kavita Chand, Kavitha Reddy and Pooja Shah completed prestigious marathons this year, while sporting their trusted Nike shoes
Kavita Chand, Kavitha Reddy and Pooja Shah completed prestigious marathons this year, while sporting their trusted Nike shoes

Today marks a personal milestone: two months of unwavering dedication to my daily runs.

Consistency was a challenge for me, but I am proud to say that I now uphold a near-daily running routine, thanks to my reliable partners: Nike guided runs on the Nike Run Club (NRC) app, my trusted pair of Nike Pegasus 40 and my muses – three everyday runners: Kavitha Reddy, Kavita Chand and Pooja Shah to whom I owe my inspiration to stay the course.

These runners also acquainted me with the running innovations they trust to train and race in.

Kavitha Reddy completed the 2023 Melbourne Marathon in the Nike Vapourfly

Reddy, a seasoned runner of over a decade, clinched long-distance running’s most prestigious feat: the Six Star Medal, after completing all six major marathons – London, New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo. 

For her Tokyo Marathon in March this year. Reddy chose to run in the Nike Alphafly Next% 2, achieving her personal best of 3.05. Renowned for its stability, comfort and propulsiveness, the Alphafly is built for peak performance in marathons and long-distance road racing. 

In October, Reddy trialled the Nike Vaporfly at the Melbourne Marathon, once again clocking a remarkable race time of 3:05. “I prefer running in new shoes so I can derive the maximum advantage of the shoe’s energy return,” she notes. 

Seasoned marathoner Kavitha Reddy ended the year by running the challenging Antarctic Ice Marathon 2023

As I write this, Reddy is undertaking the formidable challenge of the Antarctic Ice Marathon 2023 amidst an average windchill of -20 degrees centigrade. Not one to rest on her laurels, she does not just hang up her shoes upon her return, and instead gets straight back to race the Mumbai Marathon which she has run seven times. Following that, she will return to the Boston Marathon once more in April.

Pooja Shah (seen in photo) and Kavitha Reddy wishing each other luck before the Melbourne Marathon

Reddy was joined by Shah at the Melbourne Marathon where I witnessed their camaraderie and support from family and friends. It dawned on me that running isn’t an individual sport; once you embrace running, you forge friendships and earn support from the community along the journey. 

Running communities extend beyond physical grounds but also on apps like NRC which has brought Shah friendships in foreign locations. “When you’re struggling with motivation, preparing for a race, trying to overcome race day jitters, looking for the right shoe or setting goals, the NRC community is always there and has your back,” she emphasizes.

Unlike Reddy, Shah relied on her trusty Pegasus 37, which she had trained in for 600 kilometres, to run the Melbourne Marathon. Touted as the “everyday running shoe” and trusted by the running community globally, it is crafted with time-tested reliability in mind. The shoe worked a charm, propelling Shah to achieve her personal best, as she completed the race a remarkable 18 minutes faster in a time of 4.12.33.

Kavita Chand ran the 2023 Adani Ahmedabad Marathon in the Nike Alphafly Next% 3

Chand ran her first full marathon only as recently as November 2019. Upon her coach’s recommendation, she tried the Nike Pegasus and saw a marked difference in her performance, comfort and energy return. While experimenting with the Zoom Fly and Vaporfly for long distances, it was the lightweight and supportive design of the Alphafly that made her a loyalist. 

Recently, Chand achieved her second-best personal timing at 3:43:46 in the Adani Ahmedabad Marathon, a timing she takes great pride in. Come January 2024, she is gearing up to run the Dubai Marathon in the newly launched Nike Alphafly Next% 3, whose speed has been validated by elite marathoners such as world record holder Kelvin Kiptum; second-fastest women’s marathon record holder Sifan Hasan; as well as the legendary Eliud Kopchoge. “Personally, I loved the comfort and extra bounce, and I am looking forward to my upcoming races in these super shoes,” shared Chand.

Kavita Chand achieved her second-best personal timing at 3:43:46 in the Adani Ahmedabad Marathon.

These three runners began their journey with nothing but grit and a pair of shoes. In their unique way, they represent our country internationally, proudly waving our flag in foreign lands, all whilst defying the stereotype of sport as a male-dominated field.

Kavitha Reddy and Pooja Shah with their medals, after completing the Melbourne Marathon

Inspired by their stories, I believe I too can run a race one day and achieve my personal goals. I can hear Coach Bennett on the NRC app echoing a powerful reminder: every finish line is just another starting line. 

As I finish my morning run, I am already looking forward to my next one. 

- Beauty Writer


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