A book not only for grizzled veterans or newbie beginners but also for those who have yet to lace up their first pair of running shoes.”
Married members of the Seven Continents Runner’s Club
The stories in this book are an evidence of the greatness of the human spirit and all that is good in this world.”
When Amit runs, he experiences life in a way few people do. These accounts are less about running and more about life. For Amit, running is life.”
A wonderfully written account of battles won and lost, paid for with passion, determination, love and a small amount of craziness! We have not been put on this earth to waste a single day – Amit shown us that! Not only has he ‘dare to run’ – he has managed to take us along with him.”
When I first read the chapter ‘The Agony and Ecstasy of the Comrades Marathon 2009’ I immediately went out in search of the writer. What left an imprint on my mind was the way he encapsulated the emotions and moments of the greatest marathon in the world. My 25 years of running was captured in this inspiring essay. It portrays the trials and tribulations, not of running, but of the reality of life.
Amit's combination of poetry, philosophy and scriptures has inspired all those who have read his writings. The words of the wise all come alive when he relates them to running. Between the soles of his running shoes and the touch of the earth, Amit’s connectedness with and awareness of his surroundings extols the joy and pain of running. Out of this arises peace and stillness. His is not a personal but a universal expression of being alive while running.”
22 Comrades Marathons
Amit's stories are a beautiful and often spiritual foray into the worlds of long distance running and human nature. They are about determination, discovery, courage, self-awareness and the joy and pain of running. They reflect on testing and pushing your limits, conquering your fears, and on the incredible spirit of community found amongst runners. And most of all, they are truly inspiring and a fun read. ”
Amit writes as the ‘everyman’ of running, having to balance family, work, training and injuries. He shares insights that provide motivation and strength to stretch targets and open possibilities of achievement. Amit’s story is one of hope, inspiration and becoming a good person in a material world. Joined by his wife and training partner Neepa, Amit tells of their journey together towards the finish line of the Comrades Ultra Marathon. For anyone asking the question, “Now what?” regarding running or life, this inspirational and thought provoking book provides answers. ”
For the novice runner, this book is well from which to draw inspiration and motivation. It reveals the path to progression in a life changing sport. This book will also touch the heart of all seasoned runners as they will recognize many of their strengths and weaknesses in these essays. A great book! ”
Like Amit, I too was a non-sporty, 30-something, wannabe runner when I first started daring to dream of running marathons, and like Amit, I too went from being a couch potato to being a Comrades marathon runner, so this collection of essays on the ecstasies and agonies of running hold a particular poignancy for me. Like no other running writer I've read, Amit puts into words just what it means to challenge yourself to do the impossible (which when you're starting out is not collapsing after a trot round the block) - and then, wake up one glorious day, and find you've actually done it. In this book Amit muses on why us less-than-speedy runners are prepared to do something that so frequently takes us into our discomfort zone and gives a wonderfully insightful analysis of the emotional aspect of running (interspersed with generous servings of philosophy and spiritual wisdom). This is the story of an ordinary runner doing extraordinary things but who isn't so addicted that he runs every day.
Read this book if you want to run - and think you can't. Read this book if you already run and want to understand why. Read this book if you want to take your running to the next level and, like Amit, for whom it took two attempts to finally conquer the infamous 89-km Comrades ultra marathon, have the satisfaction of knowing you dreamt the impossible dream - and, through sheer slog, grit and determination, made it come true.”
Amit has the ability to inspire all runners with his wit and style regardless of their abilities as well as those that dream about perhaps running one day. There have been many books and articles written about elite athletes and their stories, training programs and thoughts on the subject but the truth remains that the majority of marathon runners are recreational athletes who have full time jobs, hectic schedules and little time to train and these stories are a reflection of what many of us have experienced in our battle against our own mortality to go above and beyond our comfort zones.
Amit has been a tremendous source of encouragement to me in my quest to achieve my own ultra marathon goals. I hope that the stories in this book will inspire the readers as much as they have inspired me.”
Amit sent me the initial script of his book and I was totally mesmerized. Amit writes as he talks, simply and yet eloquently. This book is an inspiration to anyone who wants to run but thinks it is not for them. Amit has made running look so simple and yet completely fulfilling.
I am proud to be his friend and one of the first few who read his book.”
I read Amit's account of not finishing the Comrades Marathon one day in mid-2009. His account was so powerful it made me cry. Right there and then I knew that I had to attempt this famous race, and I knew I had to make contact with Amit.
Over the following year we corresponded via email about our goals, our experiences, our hopes and our dreams. We shared our achievements, our heartache, our injuries, our successes and failures, our families. We became what I consider to be good friends.
Amit never failed to inspire me. His outlook on life, on running, on success, peace and religion are unique, intriguing, thought-provoking and inspiring. When Amit runs, he experiences life in a way few people do. Amit sees and interprets his environment in a way that others do not. These accounts are less about running, and more about life. For Amit, running is life.
When I walked into the lobby of the Hilton hotel in Durban in May 2010, I instantly recognised Amit. He is a man with a warm, playful and determined face. He and his wife (Neepa) gave me an Indian good-luck charm before the race. I carried it with me the 89 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg to the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban. I then had the privilege of watching Amit run into the stadium to realise his dream of finishing the Comrades Marathon. I will never forget, for as long as I live, the look of joy on Amit’s face. Because of our shared experiences, because of our journey, because we run, Amit and I are now friends for life. ”
I read Amit's story about taking part in an 89-km ultra marathon in South Africa called Comrades that is run in the mountains and has a 12-hour cut off time. When he reported how he was taken off the course at 81.7 km because he missed the 11 hour 20 minute cut off, it made me cry. It was also so motivating that I decided to sign up the following year and have a go at it myself. Needless to say that it was a cathartic experience and I give full credit to Amit for motivating me to try.”
I became friendly with Amit and Neepa over the winter of 2008/2009 by means of the conversation and discussion forum on the Comrades Marathon website. In the International Finishing tent that Comrades day in May 2009, I kept an eye out for my friend Amit and remember commenting to my girlfriend Samantha when I saw who I thought was Amit’s family waiting anxiously for their husband and father to arrive.
It was with great sadness that we all read his race report on the Forum when we returned to our daily lives a short while after race day. However Amit was built of sterner stuff; without haste and with great bravery he took up the challenge and spurred on by his 2009 experience he again began the journey towards Durban’s Kingsmead in 2010. This book is evidence of the greatness of human spirit and all that is good in the world and I have been privileged to count Amit as a friend and more importantly a Comrade.
In 2010, I again ran in South Africa and later learned with great joy about Amit’s epic run along with his wife Neepa.
On a biting cold October day in Dublin Ireland, at my home marathon, I finally got to meet Amit and Neepa at a finish line. I am sure that it won’t be the last time we will share a finish line as it’s a small world that we Comrades live in. Sport can definitely make life great. It gives us highs, lows, happiness, sadness, both pain and ecstasy but above all it gives us friends and great memories.
Thank you, Amit, for sharing your stories of life inside and outside running. Allowing me into your inner thoughts has inspired me towards my own highs and also through the lows that life throws at us. But I suppose that’s what friends are for.”
Every couch potato will find this book amazingly motivational. A great read. It will tug everyone to enjoy the excitement of running and motivate them to improve their health."
Amit did not get a medal the first time he ran the Comrades Marathon. He did better. He expressed the ‘Spirit of running the Comrades’ in words. Those words became chapters and now a wonderful book. ”