Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], April 30 (ANI): For N S Dattatreya, the announcement of the return of the World 10K, scheduled to be held in Bengaluru on May 15, was both a moment of joy and relief. The COVID-19 pandemic had halted his daily routine and regular practice, even stopping his social interactions with several participants who could be considered his "fans".
"Every event is a celebration for me," says Dattatreya who will be running his 2nd TCS World 10K this year. "COVID made me stay at home and I lost my regular practice too. Running helped me to enhance my health and I created a good friend circle as well."
After his retirement, Dattatreya felt uncertain and idle in his life and turned to physical activity in the form of walking and running to keep his mind and body occupied. After taking part in a 5K run back in January 2019, he was approached by many participants who congratulated him on his participation and drive to complete the entire 5K run. "Many participants appreciated and congratulated me. It motivated me to run in more events." It is the reception he receives from his fellow runners that inspires him to participate in more running events.
It then comes as no surprise that Dattatreya's son, Murali Dattatreya has inherited the running bug from his father and gone one step further. Even though the son has a glittering collection of gold medals at the state and national level Athletic meets as well as in the 21st Asian Masters Athletic Championship in Malaysia, it is his father's energy and joie de vivre that warms the son's heart. "Many participants speak to him, get his blessings, and take photos with him. Event managers call him on stage and appreciate him and give him some souvenirs. Due to this, I can observe a sparkle, smile, and happiness on his face." Both son and father will be featuring in this edition of TCS World 10K.
When asked about any special routine or diet that he follows, Dattatreya keeps it simple. "Volunteering in temple activities keeps me busy and active. I am regular in my morning physical exercises. I do warmup and stretching exercises, cycling at home, and gardening." It is this simple lifestyle that has the 93-year-old being highlighted as an inspiration for younger runners.
What motivates Dattatreya to continue running, even at this age is the fact that he considers age to be but a number and the interest and willpower he has in his running as more important. "Running gives me confidence. Everyone's love, motivation and appreciation inspire me to live more and do more." In the end, Dattatreya simply wants to be a role model for youngsters.
The USD $210,000 World Athletics Elite Label Race will witness some of the world's finest distance runners on the roads of Bengaluru as well as thousands of mass participation competitors from across India. For the first time, the event will be conducted in two formats: on-ground and a virtual app-based run. (ANI)