2020-05-01 01:01:01
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OUR BLOG

| Mar 03, 2020

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Team Pacemakers Blog

Meet the Pacemakers

by: trailwalker

Team Pacemakers have walked a whopping six times at Oxfam Trailwalker Mumbai. Over the years, they have become everybody’s favourites. Sheer positivity, amazing grit and some cool dance moves – The Pacemakers have become a part of our Oxfam Trailwalker family. Rajeev writes an account on the team’s behalf.

Read up!

HOW DID THE TEAM COME INTO EXISTENCE? HERE’S HOW!

It all started on a relaxed Saturday morning after my regular run when I (Rajeev) met one of my 100km partners with whom I used to just share a smile for almost 4 months, while we crossed each other during our daily runs. He was sitting by the roadside after his exercise routine while I was crossing by; I thought it’s a good opportunity to connect further. Since then it’s been more than 7 years and 6 Oxfam Trailwalkers together. Ravinder is an Indian Navy Veteran with substantial experience with the forces and corporate (now with JLL). Within 5 minutes, I asked him “Are you up for a 100km?”. His prompt reply? “Yes”. I told we needed two more team members to make a team of four and he immediately called another of his charming ex-navy friends, Harry (Harjinder Saini) and I called one of my senior colleagues from Reliance - Sunil Sharma (now with GIA). Within 10 minutes of this maiden interaction, our team “PACEMAKERS” was formed.

GUIDANCE FROM THE BEST

As we were anxious to know more about Oxfam Trailwalker and give it our best, we decided to meet one of the most determined people we knew. Vikas Singh (now CEO - AP Globale) whose team finished the fastest at the first Oxfam Trailwalker in Mumbai, was kind enough to spend 3 hours with us in his office and shared the do’s and don’ts. I can tell you all of it is as applicable today as it was six years back. This session made our journey slightly easy and gave us more confidence. We did three overnight practice walks (which we do every year before the event) and started working on gathering funds to ensure our place is booked.

FRIENDS BECAME MORE LIKE FAMILY

We were so excited during the first year of our participation that we could not sleep almost until 2am the night before. We had never expected the memories the next 25 hours gave us. 

Pacemakers

All these years of walking the Trailwalker together has given us friends for life, who are more like family now. While Harry moved on to Canada, we were joined by another gem Virender Kadian, an ex-navy personnel. He proved to be a real inspiration to all of us showing that nothing is impossible. A rod with multiple screws from knees up till left buttock, was no reason for him to refrain from taking this challenge. After two serious falls during one of the Trailwalkers, he was advised by the doctor to take rest. The search went on for a for a new team member - Aniruddha Dandekar (now with TIAA) became a part of Team Pacemakers. Aniruddha lost parts of his toes due to frost bite during a Himalayan expedition – but with his determination, he has been walking with us for the last three years.

 

TREMENDOUS SUPPORT OVER THE YEARS

2019 was our sixth year of participation and this would not have been practical without the enormous support from our “Support Crew”. They are the ones who selflessly spend entire days and nights with us ensuring we have food, water and anything else we may need to keep walking. Shamsher Sir, Rajesh Jaswal Sir, Pradeep Sir (all the way from Chandigarh), Abhishek Saini, Gurmannat Dhiman and Aaryaman Sharma have been tremendous pillars of support throughout these years. Most importantly Rajesh Sawal who ensured we reached the start point safely, all required material is available with us at any time across the 100km distance, and made us reach back home to our families after completing the walk when we are practically dead asleep.
 

WHAT MOTIVATES THE PACEMAKERS TO FINISH FAST?

Our motto has been to keep walking for the entire 25-26 hours and complete the 100km stretch in one-go so that we have Saturday to relax and Sunday to celebrate with all our families and friends. This has been our tradition and a way to share the pride with those without whom we can never do this.

Pacemakers with Support Crew

Oxfam Trailwalker is not an event where just four team members participate - it is actually an event involving four teammates and their families and friends as well. Our families have lived the moments with us; walked with us virtually throughout the night, asking our whereabouts, checking for our updates on WhatsApp and cheering us on every milestone achieved.

We have lived the experience and with every year passing our bonds are getting stronger and stronger.

OUR ACHIEVEMENT IS ALL BECAUSE OF EACH ONE OF YOU!

At last, we thank Oxfam India for giving us this opportunity and all the people whose name we don’t know, those hands who ensured we had indicators throughout the route, those young college volunteers who ensured our muscles were relaxed when we needed it the most, be it 12 in the noon or 3 am in the night. Sincere thanks to all our sponsors who have been supporting us through all these years with their kind contributions. Our achievement is all because of each one of you.

Pacemakers
We write this on behalf of our entire team; there are so many people to talk about, so many people to thank and so many memories to cherish that a 1000-page book also would not be sufficient.

 

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