It’s never too late to start, and Ram Prakash Nirmal makes a good case in point. A resident of Gaur Green City in Indirapuram, Nirmal, now 65, ran his first 7 km at the age of 58 in 2009. Though he won no medal — since medals were meant only for those who made it through the half marathon — he did come back with a burning desire to prove himself. And he did.
He trained harder and participated in the same event the next year. This time, he came back with a medal from the half-marathon category. There has been no stopping him since. He comes back with medals from most of the running events he participates in. Till date, he has run in more than 25 marathons in 10-km and 21-km categories. He hopes to run a full marathon someday. He draws inspiration from people such as Major DP Singh, who became India’s first amputee marathon runner.
Nirmal’s day begins at 5 in the morning, which includes a few rounds of the Swarnjayanti Park in Indirapuram. Though leading a busy professional life as branch manager of a renowned pharmaceutical company, he never lets work get in the way of his fitness.
At peace with himself, Nirmal is not too swayed by prospects in national competitions. He says, “I don’t believe in competing. The best one can do is compete with oneself and get better every day.”
But things are not always good — a swollen knee and hernia issues sometimes act as "speed breakers", as he likes to call them.
Nirmal is also an active member of Indirapuram Runners, a community of enthusiastic runners. He is a constant source of inspiration to the young members of the team.
A supportive family and staying positive are his greatest strengths, and he ensures that his 3-year-old grandson, Adwik, too, grows up with the same fighting spirit.