Gul Panag on the run!

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Gul Panag is organising a unique marathon called The Joy Run and it is special because in this, people from various cities will run at the same time on the same day for a cause. A pure fund-raising event for charitable causes, it is an opportunity where hundreds of NGOs across India are joining hands to promote their cause and raise funds under the NGO called I Love My Mother Earth. The run on February 19, 2012, will have personalities from all arenas joining hands for a cause. Gul Panag sat down for an interview before the unique run to talk about the event that she had nurtured in her heart all these years.
Q: What is your vision for the joy run?
A: It’s really apparent we need to take care of the earth. And while there is growing awareness, and good measures are beginning to be put in place, there’s still a long way to go. So on a personal note, I hope the joy run, gets huge sign ups, that people run and their efforts create more awareness and desire to give back a little more.
Q: You run a lot of marathons yourself; what’s the difference between this marathon and other marathons?
A: Most marathons are organised largely as sporting events. This one, I’m given to understand, is acause with NGOs supporting every runner. I think the purpose is what sets it apart.
Q: How many days does one have to prepare to run a 10 km marathon?
A: It really depends on how fit you are. Many people walk the distance; some run and walk in combination, while others do the entire run. You need to have a regular training schedule to sustain a 10 km run. I run three times a week, and then on alternate daysgo to the gym, do yoga or play tennis or swim.
Q: Any tips to first time marathoners?
A: Pace yourself. Make sure you set a reasonable schedule to run every day or every other day, so you can build up to the event. Set markers that allow you to increase the duration and distance you run everyday. Make sure you’re well hydrated, that you do warm up and cool down to avoid injury, and enjoy yourself. Running is probably one of the most natural and best things you can do for yourself!
Q: How many people are you targetting to make a part of this run?
A: On my part, I am a vocal advocate for both personal fitness and taking care of the environment, and Ithink the more people that support the cause, by running and therefore creating awareness for these critical issues, the better it will be.
Q: How do you plan to reach out to the youngsters across 12 cities?
A: Through an already established network of college students and NGOs in these cities. Besides, the volunteer baseSoap-online as well.
Q: What are the new initiatives you are planning at SOAP?
A: At SOAP we’re continuing our volunteering efforts. The number of volunteers on the platform have increased considerably. We’ve partnered with Icongo, Karamveer- Right Every Wrong and now with ILMME to spread our effort to initiate citizen action
Q: What took you to Africa?
A: Africa was a holiday – really a bonding time with my brother Sherbir. We had so much fun!
Q: Any resolutions for 2012?
A: I’d like to better my marathon timing, learn to fly a plane, do a good film and continue the efforts at SOAP!

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