Chennai suburb resident rekindles lost passion, wins marathons

Poornima R

Chennai: All through her childhood, Poornima R was a sports person and luckily, it continued even after entering college. However, personal commitments put her in a spot, which was followed by getting married and nurturing a pre-term baby. Becoming a homemaker did not deter the Adambakkam resident from chasing her childhood dream. Despite the challenges, she particpates in marathons regularly and has evolved into a personal fitness trainer. In conversation with News Today, Poornima shares her journey.

Being a regular track and field participant, Poornima was trained by Sports Authority of India for six months when she was in class 9.

“It gave me an opportunity to represent and win in several national tournaments. I was a gold medallist in 400 metre held in junior level in 1998. I have always had the dream to represent India in Olympics,” she recalls.

Due to her exceptional record, the Salem native got an opportunity to do undergraduation in computer science at Anna University. She continued to actively be a part of sporting events. “I was a State champion for all four years.”

However, family circumstances did not give her an opportunity to continue taking part in sports. She worked as a network engineer for four years and sacrificed my passion. “The thought of quitting my ambition constantly kept thudding me, disturbing my peace. I ensured it did not affect my work and received promotions that put my family in a better condition,” Poornima shares.

As years rolled by, she got married and had a pre-term baby. As her boy required more care, she quit job and became a

Poornima training ‘Bandit Runners’, a community in Nanganallur.

house-wife for two years.

“I began to rekindle my lost passion for athletics and took baby steps. I realised I had the flexibility and stamina to continue sporting. Being a track-and-field person, I did not know much about marathons which was happening frequently in the city,” says the 33-year-old athlete.

Soon after which, she started practicing with community clubs dedicated for fitness that helped recoup her abilities.

“I was comfortable with the community team and became a part of Bandit Runners. With steady efforts, I ran in marathons and began winning one of the first three prizes. I regained my confidence,” Poornima, a regular trekker and ultra-run participant, states.

The athlete found it a bit challenging to manage the family, child and my passion. But soon, it became a cake walk, for she began to organise her schedule.

Asked about her recent accomplishment, she says, “I won the first place in the Spirit of Wipro, 10,000 metre in . Since it was an open category, one can expect an eight-year-old or even an 80-year-old. Winning in the event was something I never foresaw. Much to my surprise, the second place was won by a 12-year-old girl. I was very proud.”

With her winning accolades, her family became supportive of all her ventures. However, her dream to participate in a world-level contest is still alive.

“I have been training myself in the Masters championship where women above 35 years take part and I’m all positive and hopeful that I qualify for the finals,” Poornima concludes.

She can be reached at [email protected]

Bhavani Prabhakar