Satyashil Pradhan was 38 when he was determined to do the Comrades Marathon. He is so unique with his approach to running the Comrades marathon. He thought and planned to run his first full marathon after signing up for the Comrades Marathon. He ran his first full marathon in Jan 2018 and ran his maiden Comrades marathon in Jun 2018 with a superb finish time of 10:45:04 minutes.

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My first ever Comrades marathon, the distance I might have covered alone but the journey I travelled was with my Coach!

2 weeks ago today, on the day of the Comrades, almost all you were with me tracking, cheering, wishing for me to get through my first Comrades and cannot thank you enough for all the support.

One man who stood by me through this journey needs a special mention. For someone like me who had not even done a full marathon before registering for the Comrades, even completing it under the 12 hr cut off was a huge risk. It was rather a bigger challenge for my Kay to coach me this special case with a lofty goal.

Once we got started all I had to do was just follow the plan which was broken into multiple smaller goals. It consisted of all the elements right from running, strengthening, rest, pace variations etc. It was meticulously done to ensure I was challenged enough while keeping in mind I stayed injury free. Training under Kay was personalised and I say this because while Balaji and I were training for a similar distance however both our plans were different which is the best part of being under Kay.. one size does not fit all.

He was there every time I needed him. When a planned event “Koli Hills” was cancelled he sounded more concerned than I was and I was touched to see Kay along with his son Aditya come all the way from Bangalore to Yercaud to support me and 3 other Comrades runners do our training run (2 of whom are not even training under Kay). I am sure you can imagine the amount of effort it takes right from planning the route in the hills to our safety but he was there to do it all. All this at the time when he was highly engaged in the preparation for the first Ooty Ultra which he organised. I don’t want to miss thanking Gayathri Balaji also for her immense contribution to make this self-supported run happen.

His passion for his job as a coach and his trainees to do well is unmatched. I cannot forget when I picked up an injury, in a matter of no time he provided some advice himself and consulted his physio, asked me to do a video call, spoke to an Orthopaedic to ensure I was undergoing the right line of treatment. At this crucial stage if anything would have gone wrong then it meant me bidding goodbye to my dream! 

Just before I left for South Africa he hosted me and my wife for dinner at his place and thanks to Meera for a perfect meal and the time that Kay spent with me left me with an incredible amount of energy and confidence.

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With Coach Kay before my trip to Durban

Thank you Kay, for being a part of this journey, believing in me and helping me achieve my dream!

56 years old Vasu’s incredible maiden Comrades Marathon journey