Often it is unassuming neighbours who live extraordinary lives. Ramasamy Jeyaram from Annanagar, Chennai, took to marathon running at the age of 65 at the urging of his US based daughter. A welcome departure from well-meaning but unfortunate advice to retired parents to relax and take it easy. Jeyaram burst out of his shell as he took to marathon running. Like many others he found his inspiration and mojo at adventure clubs such as The Chennai Cool Runners, Chennai Dream Runners, Madras Randonneurs and the Chennai Trekking Club.
He has successfully run the full marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival and the Marine Corps Marathon at Washington besides many other full and half marathons across the country. At last count he had completed nine half marathons, six full marathons, two triathlons, Brevet cycling events for all categories from 200 kms to 1000 kms twice over, two half-ironman and a full-ironman event conducted by the Chennai Trekking Club and most recently the International half-ironman event at Goa on 20th October 2019. He earned the title of Double Super Randonneur in 2017. He said, “I participate to achieve what others cannot do.”
At 72, he is the epitome of the popular saying that it is the process and not the end result that is important. After a break of two years from competitive events, he enrolled for the half-ironman event in Goa in 2019. He had to start from zero he said but adopted a gruelling weekly schedule of 5 kms of swimming, 100 kms of cycling and 45 kms of jogging to prepare for the event. It was wonderful to see a picture of him cross the finish line at Goa with his arms raised in triumph. He missed the qualifying mark by a mere minute or so as he lost time at the swimming stage and had a touch of cramps while cycling. He was a winner, nevertheless. Back in Chennai, he poured over the timing chart determined to iron out flaws and be successful at the event next year. Challenging yourself is the mark of a true winner.