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Berlin Marathon: Vikram Rai from Darjeeling competes running barefoot

Berlin Marathon: Vikram Rai from Darjeeling competes running barefoot

A long-distance runner from Darjeeling, Vikram Rai, successfully managed to complete the 48th Berlin Marathon in 4 hours and 17 minutes.

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Berlin Marathon: Vikram Rai from Darjeeling competes running barefoot Berlin Marathon: Vikram Rai from Darjeeling competes running barefoot

A long-distance runner from Darjeeling, Vikram Rai, successfully managed to complete the 48th Berlin Marathon in 4 hours and 17 minutes.

"I never participated in sports in school, and to run in a world record-setting international race is a dream come true," said Vikram after the race. 

Vikram, a 42-year-old assistant professor at St. Joseph's College in Darjeeling and a former student of St. Joseph's School (North Point), didn't start jogging until 2015. 

"I received the running shoes thanks to a bad case of gout and extremely high cholesterol. There hasn't been a chance to turn around,'' Vikram stated.

Vikram these days runs on Vibram shoes, which are a type of minimalist shoes meant to replicate being barefoot and has thin flexible soles that are contoured around the shape of a human foot. 

Running over the years has developed into a passion. Apart from losing 10kg over the years, Vikram has also founded the Vik-Run Foundation that encourages and organises runs and takes up social causes.

International marathon runners have been staying in Darjeeling, and the Vikram has been linked to these events.

Meanwhile, in the same marathon, Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge competed against the clock to beat his own world record at the BMW Berlin Marathon in Germany on September 26.

The 37-year-old Kipchoge, who is regarded as one of the best marathon runners ever, finished with a world record time of 2 hours 1 minute, knocking exactly 30 seconds off the mark he had previously held. 

His performance brought international attention to the 42.2km Berlin race.