FAB BAG Magazine

Published on May 28th, 2014 | by Jehan Raffiuddin

Wish Vineeta for the Comrades Ultra-Marathon 2014!

Vineeta Singh Comrades 2014

You know her today as the co-Founder of FAB BAG. Her b-school friends know her as the girl who used to run the streets of Ahmedabad for hours when the city lay asleep. What started off as a casual one-time group run, has led her across the world, beyond full marathons to complete multiple ultra-marathons where she “learnt more about herself than during any other experience in her life”. In today’s special feature, we bring you Vineeta Singh and her stubborn will to push against physical & mental limits as the miles keep flying by.

The Start: It was in 2012 that Vineeta participated in what is commonly known as “The Ultimate Human Race” – the 89km Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa. After 11hrs 56mins 36 secs of running, she crossed the finish line and you can see a glimpses of that run in the video below.

Double Glory: Last year, she battled an exceptionally tough race day weather with searing heat and strong winds to complete the run with exactly the same timing of 11:56:36. In doing so, she also finished as the fastest Indian woman runner and one of the only 16 Indian runners who managed to complete the race.

June 1st, 2014: This Sunday, the Fab Bag Crew will glued to their TV sets & Comrades and following running bib #12332 as Vineeta attempts to set a record of being the  only Indian woman to complete 3 consecutive Comrades ultra-marathons… and we would love it if you are a part of it! Here’s what you can do to get involved:

  • Leave a comment: Scroll down and leave your message wishing Vineeta for the Comrades 2014!
  • Share this: http://bit.ly/VineetaSinghComrades2014 on Facebook if you’re rooting for her this Sunday
  • Tweet this: http://bit.ly/VineetaSinghComrades2014 to fuel her up as the clock ticks down to race day!

The following sections contain excerpts from her story in her own words:

“So… why do you run?” Ever since I took up long-distance running in 2007, there have been many times that I’ve been asked that question. Initially, the proposition of running the 42.195 kms of a Full Marathon seemed like an elusive challenge. Call it self-affirmation, but before my first marathon, I had spent days and nights trying to answer the “Can I do it?” question. Then, there came a time when I just knew that I had to do it not to prove anything to the external world – but just for myself. We were a group of 6 batchmates who started prepping by scheduling late night/early-morning runs. Committed as we were – we even drew up a bizarre ‘no-show’ fine policy where whoever slept and didn’t turn up for the 3AM runs had to treat the others who did. In January, 2007 I completed my first full marathon. I didn’t know it then, but something in me had changed forever.

There are many things I’ve learnt while running and in the preparatory phases, but what shaped me the most was the realization that when you train hard for a challenge, the preparation is as much physical as it is mental. Move past the initial rush of the gunshot at the start, the cheering crowds, the volunteers handing out refreshments and you’ll feel the noise receding to a light din. You cross the halfway mark as you feel the pain set in and before long, your body becomes a machine in the irreversible grip of forces beyond muscles and ligaments. It’s the voice in your head that talks to you and tells you that you’re better than this. It’s the scene you visualize a 1000 times in your mind where you cross the finish-line and trot up to those who’ve believed in you sometimes more than you have. It’s the thrill of knowing that you could have given up, but you chose to stand, fight and complete the challenge you had set for yourself.

After multiple marathons, I felt confident enough to attempt the 75km Bangalore Ultra-Marathon in 2010 (video here) where I was fortunate to finish 2nd in the Women’s Open category. And then, it was the Big One – the 89km Comrades Marathon in South Africa that draws thousands of runners from across the world every year. The catch – you HAVE to complete the race in 12 hours flat and the race officials actually barricade the finish line at the exact second when the race clock hits 12:00:00. That’s not all – there are interim cut-offs with section timings and if you miss any one of them, you get disqualified and picked up by one of the dreaded “Runners Buses”. After a literally life-changing experience, I completed the 89km run on June 3rd, 2012 in 11hrs 56mins 36secs (video above). You can find a complete blog post here on the run here that is unfortunately quite a long read!

Today, when I am asked about why I run, I know that I run because it gives me the strength to believe that I can push myself beyond what I could five years back. I run because it’s the best way I know I can spend my ‘me time’… it gives me the space to think and philosophize over where I want to be when I turn 50. And mostly, I run because… I think I am a better person when I do.
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Don’t forget to wish Vineeta for her Comrades 2014 run!

If you’re keeping your fingers crossed and cheering till you’re hoarse, do leave a comment below and wish her for the big run. Many hugs… xoxo!

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About the Author

Dances like there's a full house cheering. Dresses like it's the runway. Travels like a nomad and lives each day like it's her last. Chief trouble-maker on any social media platform you can name. High on life since 1991.

  • Dr.Nitika

    My best wishes are with you,wish you luck

  • Neha

    You are truly inspirational.. All the very best. May you set the record for the third time. More power to women like you.

  • Ashni

    Best Wishes :*

  • Pooja Basu

    Great article. Wishing Vineeta all the best. More power to you!

  • AJ

    Impressive and truly commendable, all the best, you’re one helluva of an amazing lady!

  • Great article. Wishing Vineeta all the best. More power to you!

  • Mukta

    Wishing Vineeta all the best ….:)

  • Best of luck Vineeta! Go break some records 🙂

  • Sandhya Rao

    best wishes

  • Prachi Shah

    Hey Vineeta good luck to you…you always inspired me…live your dreams!!

    Nice article by Jehan Raffiuddin.

  • Arzoo Saiyed

    Dear Vineeta,

    Wish you all the best… make us proud and do it again 😀

  • Rajrupa Sinha Roy

    congratulations Vineeta…. wish u more success in future.. 🙂

  • Neha Goel Gupta

    all the best vineeta

  • Ishu

    Goodluck 🙂

  • sauleha

    Best wishes


    All the very very best Vineeta and i pray that God gives u lots of strength and energy to complete the race in better timing than before so that u cn break ur own record.I am so impressed by the article and ur hard work and i proud that i am related to a such a person….thanks FabBag ….n ALL THE VERY BEST

  • Neha Sarawagi

    All the Best Vineeta!!

  • Krutika

    Herez wishin you Good Luck in setting a New record each time you attempt to! You truely inspire me! Cheers!

  • Saachi Garg

    Wishing you all the luck you need for the marathon..

  • Swati Kothari

    Hii Vineeta All The Best Dear!!!!!!!!

  • Megha

    wishing u all the best…may u win fabulously…like our fab bag…………

  • Sneha

    Good Luck Vineeta Singh !! Stay Hydrated ,and do amazingly well !! I just came to know about you even though been a part of fab bag for sometime now,Proud of you and being a part of such a hard working team, Take care..You go Girl , all you have worked for , May you shine abright !! All the very best 🙂

  • Ranjani

    Vineeta, You go girl!!! Best wishes 🙂

  • Narinder Kaur

    All the best!! Vineeta…

  • TheFakeSteve

    All the best to Vineeta and the other Indian runners! Hope to join you guys next year. And meanwhile think about running one of the ultras we have here in the western coast of the US and perhaps one day the Western States 100 – its truly a party! 😀

  • Nivedita Pachisia

    Hey Vineeta!! Wishing you all the very best for tomorrow!! Hope that you achieve all your dreams and goals and break the record!!

  • Kamakshi Rajput

    hey vineeta all the best dear u r the real inspiration

  • TheFakeSteve

    Vineeta has become the First Indian woman to win a Comrades Bronze medal with a finish time of 10:54:40.

  • TheFakeSteve

    Correction…she is the 2nd Indian woman to win a Bronze at Comrades. 1st one is Vaishali Kasture who finished in 10:23. Amazing achievement for India!

  • Abhilasha Aggarwal

    Hey Vineeta, U r FabGurl urself and are responsible for making others also fabulous just like urself… Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you to kick off this fantabulous venture and also wish you much luck to your marathon run… !!

  • Chitra Acharya

    all the best you will win and break the previous record vineeta dear

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