Navin Vekaria – 50th Half Marathon Runner

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Navin Vekaria, aged 37, Gaam Sukhpur Bhuj, originally from Kenya is a regular SKLPC volunteer helping at the Annual Mela and Navratri.

Navin is a marathon junkie and has a hobby for running. He is a regular runner and runs most weekends with his running buddies. His passion for running has achieved him many medals and to top it all he completed his 50th Half Marathon in Windsor on Sunday 24th September.

Navin’s first ever full marathon was in April 2009 which he completed in 4 hrs and 33 mins. He then ran London in 2012 with an improvement on his previous time.  Unsuccessful in getting an entry in London in 2013 he ran the Edinburgh marathon instead. The Marathon is a lottery and he kept on applying every year. He was successful yet again in 2014 where he came close to a 4 hrs finish time.

As part of his training for the full marathons, he did a lot of half marathons and this encouraged him to apply for more half marathon as they were less time consuming and it allowed him to improve on his time.

Navin with his mentor Piyush bhai have ran some amazing marathons in the UK and Europe together. Some of his achievements are:

  • London
  • Chester (running from Chester, England into Wales and back and we didn’t need our passports to cross the border – lol),
  • Bournemouth
  • Manchester
  • Seville (Spain)
  • Valencia (Spain – the best European marathon we have done together)
  • Marathon du Medoc (Bordeaux, France – running through more than 30 vineyards and drinking wine along the way)
  • Midnight Sun (Tromso, Norway – running at midnight in June through daylight because this is within the Arctic Circle).

With a target of 50 half marathons set in his mind Navin started preparing methodically to run faster and stronger over 13.1 miles. He would do couple of fast midweek runs and initially he was running on his own, but later was also joined by his mentor Piyushbhai.  He concentrated more on speed during weekdays instead of the endurance required for a marathon. Soon enough the fruits of his disciplined training showed and he started to improve his half marathon times. The number of half marathons started increasing and earlier this year he ran his best time of 1 hr 39 mins.

Navin reached his target of 50 half marathons on 24th September in Windsor where he was supported by a huge contingent of fellow Stanmore-Active runners. To congratulate him at the finish line were his family, friends and Mentor.

A big thank you to his wife Manjula and his lovely two daughters for their selfless support in this wonderful target.

Navin has assisted Stanmore-Active in training runners and he is part of the core team. He is held in high regard by everyone and has set benchmarks for some of the runners to aim. He is a good laugh, creates and enjoys the Stanmore-Active banter, and is a good motivator.

Navin’s achievements so far:

  • 50 Half Marathons
  • 15 Full Marathons
  • Best Half Marathon time – 1 Hr 39 Mins
  • Trekking on Mt Kenya, Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Longonot

This is just the start…he is now working on reaching the 100 milestone!!