Indian Record :Highest number of visually challenged full marathon runners

Highest number of visually challenged full marathon runners was achieved by covering a distance of 42.2kms accompanied by Guide Runners India team, under the guidance of Head Coach Dr.Bhumika Patel at Bengaluru Marathon on October 21, 2018 .

The record has been submitted to Limca book of Records

A Big applaud for the Guide Runners India team to make the impossible possible as they put their heart and soul for continuous support to the visually impaired athletes throughout their journey to success.

For Full Marathon: Bhumika for full and Venkat for half, to be a strong support for Sunitha. Praveen Shetty to support Mala. Bhadresh for full and Sudha for second half, a strong support for Renuka. Nandeesh to guide Kavya, Rahul and Abhishek to support Nandeesh till the finish line. Sachin and Shekhar for support for Ajay.

A Decade of Running-Non runner to Official guide at Boston Marathon 2019

Rightly said, the only thing that is constant is change. But I’d like to add to it. Drastic changes in life only happen if you keep working towards your goals tirelessly.

Hi, I am Bhumika Patel, 44;  Global Program Manager – Cybersecurity at IBM.

I started running in 2009, but it was since 2013 that my running career flourished. I represented India at World Master Athletics Championships in Brazil. I participated in first Pinkathon with 3000 women from my company winning the Award for Best Corporate participation-IBM, Maximum Participation from a corporate – IBM and won my first Pinkathon 5k (individual) and corporate 5k team winner. With the same awards in 2014, this time with 2000 women from IBM; I also won the first prize in 21 k and the Hero of Pinkathon award. This continued in 2015, when I completed my First International at London Marathon and made yet another 21k podium at Pinkathon. This was when I began volunteering for Pinkathon Training with Milind Soman’s encouragement and soon as Headcoach for the Blind People’s Association Ahmedabad, Devnar School For Blind-Hyderabad, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and Mitra Jyoti Institute for Blind, and several homes for visually impaired across India.

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Today I lead corporate/women running teams in various locations across India.

In 2015 I completed my First International at London Marathon. In between the hard training days, I would try to adjust my give back to these women and kids, which I found very challenging at start but gradually I settled down into a routine. I found it very satisfying to encourage and support cancer survivors and visually impaired to run. And happiness reaches its zenith when they scale kilometres or cross the marathon finish lines.

While training non-runner women is not an easy task, training visually impaired girls from an underprivileged background can be more challenging. In 2016, I started training the visually impaired and alongside started conducted separate Guide runners’ trainings which later shifted to Cult centers across the city as workshops to sensitize about challenges faced by the visually impaired with techniques to guide them, as a part of Pinkathon training. We had to ensure a strong back up of volunteers from among the Pinkathon training girls and corporate/running community for coordination, pick up, drop, running gear collection, distribution-storage, correspondence like emails, leave applications from offices or colleges of the visually impaired, crew support during training/races etc. Amidst all this, I completed several global marathons- London, Berlin, Copenhagen,Tokyo,Chicago,Frankfurt within 4hrs.



Thus the visually impaired training resulted in stupendous team work by empowered women. My work with Pinkathon Training was recognised internationally and I was voted as GameChangers2017  ’21 Women who are transforming the world through Running’ by Women’s Running Magazine USA in 2017.

The team have evolved and become more organised and self driven over the years. There is a lot I have learnt in my journey of training the visually impaired. In spite of varying degrees of vision loss, these young girls and boys have not a thing to sulk about. The girls saw a significant improvement in fitness and timings improved over the previous runs at Pinkathon. Running workshops were conducted on running, strength training and recovery with guiding techniques and sensitization, at Cult centers across the city for men and women both, as there was growing demand to become guides. This was a major activity carried out simultaneously with visually impaired training. There was active participation from corporates and the project Received the India South Asia Outstanding Volunteer Work 2018 Award by IBM along with Grants.

These achievements were noted by media and Blind institutes contacted me after listening to news in All India Radio broadcast news for Blind and many more visually impaired were encouraged to join.


In July 2018, 15 visually impaired runners were selected from among 25 to train for the half and the full marathon on Oct 21th at Bengaluru. We started taking the necessary steps in a jiffy like conducting their blood tests, their physical assessments, planning out their workout regimen and diet charts as per their report analyses. Me and Milind already knew their grit and after witnessing their enthusiasm and achievements and in early 2018 decided that the runners who complete the full marathon will be trained for the Spirit of Pinkathon run from Mysuru to Bengaluru which is roughly 145 km. What happened in the 6 months of training, is something I will treasure for a lifetime. The guide team and the doctors kept on their toes to make sure the runners complete the  runs as per plan, free of any pain or injury. There were moments of fun, laughter, pain, difficulties. The tough times always started from bringing the visually impaired to a central venue in the morning wee hours, three to four times a week. It was astonishing to see how the girls and boys actively attended trainings and later then their office/college with the same amount of enthusiasm. On Pinkathon Day/October 21, 2018, History was created as India Book of Records awarded a certificate to 23 year old visually impaired girl Suneetha N D, who became the first visually impaired girl in India to finish a full marathon (42.2km)

There were a lot many write ups, news articles, videos and interviews posted on various platforms about this event which happened from 23rd to 25th January 2019. I was stupefied by the tremendous love and appreciation by the country. Karnataka Olympic Association for the reward and the department of youth services rewarded the athletes at the finish line! And thank you Pinkathon and Milind Soman for a grand commendation. Their generous gesture will be a prime motivation not only for them but also for numerous athletes pursuing their dreams in sports. I am invited by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to run as Official Guide at the upcoming Boston Marathon 2019 and its a significant milestone in bringing International exposure and expertise to help the athletes with a brighter future!




IBM & Pinkathon :


Credit: Shradha Dalvi


You can follow my journey


Twitter @bhumikarunner

Instagram @Bhumika.patel1


“I was a part of her mind and made her move” Nandish 42.2K Guide Runner

Hi Bhumika

It is a Great pleasure and I get Excited when somebody asks me “did you complete a marathon”?

My Inspiration to run long distance is none other than M K Gandhi (Father of our Nation) He traveled The Length and breadth of our country on bare foot, He has commented in his Autobiography the best Way to see the city is to “walk and know them”, which he did in London and Johannesburg. I follow the same concept of seeing the city at least to the possible extent by running whenever I visit a new place.
My Running expeditions are (Unquote)
15kms in my 8th grade in a local place called tiptur.
Ran in Nagoya (Japan) in year 2000, 2006 by running, when the temperature was -4deg centigrade
50Kms Trek “walking on the Railway track on the Shiradi Ghats before the trains where launched”.
BTM to Bannerghatta and back.
Once got Traffic cleared which was piled for more than 10kms on the Shiradi ghat section since nobody could reach the place and nobody was aware why there is a traffic jam in 2006
Completed 30kms in the Runners for life marathon race in 2002
Completed a full Marathon in 2005 in 4.45 hours.
Descended & Ascended the Nandi Hills (20kms) Multiple times.
Cycled Bangalore – Mysore in 6.5hours
Given an Opportunity I would like to Run be it a Beach, Snow, Desert, Valley, My Village, still many more to go.
I used to Walk to office in South Africa (Boksburg) 10kms one side, with such a picturesque environment and with no traffic, I was Wondering can’t we have this in Bangalore?
Lalbagh , cubbon park, GKVK and UAS society have been seeing me run from last Millennium.
I am into Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Squash, Tennis, badminton, Cricket, Swimming, long distance running and Cycling and last not last but not the least, Workout in the Gym and some Gyan sharing with the folks
I have been running marathons for quite some time and I am flat footed, my strides are good but not my Cadence, Which I need to improve, I try improving each time I run.

Training the VI Runner

Bhumika, posted for a requirement of Guide Runner in “IBM runners group” in Whats app.
I accepted with Willingness to see what I can give and learn.
The first day in Kanteerva stadium I was Introduced to Other members and we Started the Run with VI girl called Renuka and subsequently on the next day I was reassigned to a girl called Kavya.
I used to pick Kavya and Nandeesh and Ajay from Samarthan in HSR layout
Kavya had never done long distance running prior in her life. During her Initial days in training in Kanteerava stadium, I noticed she used to get pain in her chest, since her breathing was not in Sync to her running style. I did a course correction of it, but it still required lot of practice, since her lungs are still not blown to the full extent.
Kavya a very shy by nature, agile and slim body if trained properly she will be able to make wonders. She always used to ask me “Anna, you don’t get tired while running ahaa”? my answer was a “No with a Smile”.
I was more tensed then Kavya for the race day on 21st October 2018, always had a doubt, will she make it or not? She had no idea what Full marathon meant to her.
Lap 1 (21kms)
On the race day, she started well, she started pulling other VI runners by cheering and made a steady progress. We ran like a pack of wolves under Bhumika’s guidance, 16th km she started slowing down near MG road near Kumble circle, she started walking and I had to motivate her to climb the slope and then slow down. She managed reaching 19th Km and started complaining of the Leg pain, Hip bone pain, so we went to the nearby Medico for a Spray. She was steady, but her body was not made for such endurance test. I knew if she could do a 21km, she can complete 42, “fingers crossed”. We reached our base camp of 21kms around 7 am.
Lap 2 (21kms)
I checked if she can make the next, she had no answer. I said let us do it, she wanted to walk, and I gave her an Option (1:2) 1 length walking and 2 Lengths running, I tried my all means her to run, but she could hardly go.
I had to convince her like my kid (Chiranth 10 years of age) feed her, with the protein drink, fruits, she is a poor eater and does not take the water in time.
She complained of a leg catch and I made her stand on the foot path and gave her a massage to the calf muscle, I know how the pain feels.
At the 33rd Km, she wanted to take skip a path and go to the other road, I told her even if cannot run, we will walk , if cannot walk , we will never take the short cut , realized mind playing the dirty game of taking the short cuts, it is not about winning the race or going ahead of others, but it is winning the mind with your body. I don’t know how many times I have said this to Kavya, “You can do it”, her answer was, “Sir I cannot run”.

Once she was about to sit down, So I had to hold her hand and run for a certain distance.
It was like training my son for running and cycling, I cannot lose hope, give up or get angry or frustrated, it is all about completion and seeing the 42kms mark completion.
We reached 41kms of running and Walking and now I asked her, let us complete it with style, she agreed for it, she completed with style and I was behind her seeing a girl running her first ever competitive run and that to 42kms.
I felt emotional and was with Joy, making her complete, Was she capable? Answer is Yes and No, she would have given it up in between, but she is the one who ran the race, so the answer is “Yes”. I was a part of her mind and made her move.
I learnt how not to give up and take the righteous path with whatever difficulty it might be, no short cuts in life, Practice makes person perfect, A great satisfaction of teaching and implanting the seeds of experience.
Seeing the VI girls and boys running and being with them I am extremely honored, and a sense of completeness comes and urge of doing it more prevails.
Thanks for providing the unique opportunity to train and run along with the VI kids.
Marathon is not like a normal race it needs a thorough preparation of 18 weeks at least if one needs to Compete Professionally. The Regime is as below.

nandish marathon plan sample1

If we can inculcate this to them , they can not only complete but also do it like a pro , specially (Nandeesh , Sunitha, Kavya and Ajay)

Warm regards
Nandish Kumar S


See Also:

Training Wheels – Girls of HSR-Bellandur


HSR Bellandur training was launched on Jun 30 2018 at Bellandur Central Mall. There was good participation from the residential communities around the mall. There was good support from Divya G, Saroj, Divya M and Rashmita in giving a continuity to the initative.

Sapna and Suverchas have been the most consistent training girls. On Oct 21st they took on the role og guide runner for visually impaired for girls from Mitra Jyoti Institute of Blind. The visually impaired girls and boys training happens 3 days a week at HSR location. More are expected to join from coming weeks.



Blog : Bhumika,Sapna







Visually impaired Training -Highlights

Since 2016 we started training as guide runners for visuallyimpaired.

These Girls and Boys are from underprivileged background and the challenges are immense.

Leading Ngo’s have nominated some of its best visually impaired athletes. These athletes have been selected after assessing their performances in previous races, Bangalore 10k was one of them. Since then, they have been undergoing rigorous trainings for around 6 days a week with my team.

Starting with their whole body physiotherapy assessments and blood tests, the athletes  were given their nutrition support which included energy drink, pre run snack and nutritious breakfast post run.

They have also been provided running gear and shoes.

Their workout consist of 3 running days, two days of strength training, per week.

Also foam rolling, stretching sessions. Doctors and physiotherapists attend the sessions regularly to assess their health.

Apart from this there are few athletes from the Mitra Jyoti institute for Blind who join us regularly.

Pics from Pinkathon Bengaluru 2016

 I strongly believe that every human being has her set of rights to achieve what normal people do. It was in a Pinkathon event that I learned that there were hundreds of them willing to run and undergo training and the journey started since then. These visually impaired women & kids are from underprivileged background and the challenges are immense.

Event: Training session at JP Nagar  & HSR Samarthanam, Meet and Greet with new members, 2016

Event: First Aid session for Visually Impaired by Alert India, Jagadish, 7 Sep 2017

Event: Self Defence Session for Visually Impaired, Ritika and team,  Sep 2017


Event : Bengaluru 10k training at Stadium.June 1st 2018 ,  Footballer Sunil Chhetri’s dad joined us as Guide runner for the day !

Event : Visually impaired athletes running Bangalore Marathon
Schedule 1 : Body assessments of VI runners
Date : 25th August 2018
About 10 visually impaired runners of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled who will be running the Bangalore Marathon on 21st October 2018 are heading speedily towards progress. Since they will be the first set of runners in India to run a full marathon, their schedule is under stringent surveillance by their coach Bhumika and her team.
They underwent body assessment today with physiotherapists. This body assessment is the first major step in their training process since their diets for the 2 months to come will be decided according to their test reports.

Thanks to Dr Sitaraman from PhysiobeFit for the assessments and advise.

Event  : Strength Training sessions at the gym and Kanteerava stadium, Aug to Oct 2018

Event : Running workouts, three days a week at Kanteerava Stadium, HSR Layout, some sessions at Bannerghatta

Many thanks to the running community for their donations of running gear and accessories. Huge contribution from Runners 360 and Pacemakers

2021-22 snapshot

See Also :

Blog: Bhumika, Shraddha Dalvi, Sucheta

Pics credit: Enthusionz, Mayur Chandranee

Nature Lover Girls of Cubbon Park

Bengaluru trainings first started with Cubbon Park location! We achieved a major milestone onn Jan 26th 2018, as we celebrated 100 weeks of #PinkathonTrainings at Bengaluru #Cubbon Park !! Thank you Vasundhara for organic millet cake and thanks to Pinkathon Milind Soman for encouragement and support !


Pinkathonday Celebrations continued at Cubbon Park on 27 Oct too! With medals and prize distribution.


44809533_1073938986111755_1417843711718457344_n - Copy.jpg


A big thank you Balasubramaniam, Vasanthi, Vandana, Vasundhara,Preeti and team for leading and supporting the various events at Cubbon Park.


Blog: Bhumika


Glow Girls of Kadugodi

Kadugodi location started 4 months back. Lot of fitness enthusiasts came together with an identical goal… Fitness.
The USP of this location is excellent campus facilities sponsored by PNC Cognito School management. The campus has good facility to run a loop of 1 km and open ground for exercises and drills.
Great team effort by Sucheta, Hema Vivek supported by Saroj and Sudha!
All Pink sisters started they routine practices with lot of determination and consistency following the 29 weeks training program designed by Head Coach Bhumika Patel ” says Sucheta
As they received the news of Oct 21st Pinkathon Day &NammaBengaluru Run all were excited as they got an opportunity to participate in an official run which was a maiden race as well for most of them.
Right from registration, distribution of bib and T shirt, participation in the race, till a strong finish all pink sisters the enthusiasm was sky high.
Kadugodi Training girls congratulations for a strong finish with remarkable timings for the maiden 5k race on 21st Oct 2018.
1. Shweta G – 45 min
2. Sangeeta Kumari – 40 min
3. Shilpi kantia – 45 mins
4. Deepa Chauhan – 44 min
5. Shalini  Tomar – 56 min
6. Priyanka Verma – 56 min
7. Devi Murugapan – 50 min
8. Meenal Dubey – 47 min
9. Nutan Dhaka – 47 min
It was a big day for Kiran Johari too. She finished her maiden Half Marathon in 3:03:34 hrs gracefully. Kiran was very dedicated and consistent in her run workouts. Congratulations Kiran for an inspiring finish of Half Marathon.
Congratulations kadugodi training location for a big success on a big day!!
See Also

Kavya lost her eyesight due to stone injury while playing as a child

Recently a group of visually impaired girls etched their names in Indian history by running their first time Full marathon! Kavya was one of the finishers at NammaBenngaluru Marathon on Oct 21st and it makes me very proud !

Accompanying her to finish line was my colleague from IBM,  Nandish Kumar, who has dedicated several hours to support the trainings.

Dr Rajneet from ColumbiaAsia Hospitals, provided good support with picking up nutritious food for her and ensuring they visually impaired had access to it. He has also done a few training runs with Kavya.  She was provided with new running tshirts, running tights and sports bra. We would either do breakfast or dinner together on most training days.

Kavya is a 19 yr old visually impaired girl whom I met at Samarthanam, HSR. She was recommended to me by her wall climbing instructor as a very strong athlete. Samarthanam also has a sports facility providing her with adequate wall climbing training. One fine day, she called me herself that she was keen to join running. I gladly agreed :- )  She has been very regular and consistent.  Since she joined later part of training, we still have work to do with her.

 During her childhood days, a kid threw a stone at her while playing, because of which she completely lost sight in one eye.

Her Interests include Wall climbing and running Marathons ! 

Due to her progress and achievements in sporting activities (wall climbing, long distance running), she is completely inclined towards sports and intends to pursue a career in this field.

She was placed 3rd at the national level for wall climbing for visually impaired.

She has been selected to participate in an upcoming international wall-climbing event in France.

Her father is into agriculture and her mom and younger brother lend him a helping hand.They are supporting her to pursue her dreams.

She completed her 10th in a normal school from her native place, Tumkur and joined Samarthanam institute 6 months back.

She has recently undergone a 3 months’ course in technical and sector based skill training at Samarthanam’s Livelihood Resource Centre for the disabled. Although she intends to pursue intermediate education (PUC/11th and 12th) in the future, currently, she is seeking employment.

She is ready to forego her education at this juncture, depending on her progress in sports and is extremely confident and determined to succeed.

Wishing her All the best for the upcoming race !

#VisuallyImpaired #MarathonTraining #PinkathonDayBengaluru #NammaBengaluru #PinkathonTraining #Live2Inspire

Blog credit: Rahul, Bhumika

India’s 1st Visually Impaired Girls to finish a Full Marathon