Akash Korgaonkar is the brainchild behind Ruggedian Club Kolhapur. He along with partner Upal Shah are responsible for the adrenaline thumping obstacle races and adventure sports that the club lines up across the country. For the uninformed, Ruggedian Club is one of Maharashtra’s (and India’s) sought after event organizers because they specialize in bringing adventure sports such as trail running, obstacle course races, rock climbing, and other outdoor events to the masses.
They design events in a manner that caters to adventure seekers of all ages and levels. Akash is based out of Kolhapur and that is the official headquarters for all Ruggedian related activities. In light of the recent Shivaji Raje Marathon that was held in the picturesque village of Panhala, Mobiefit being the official training partner of this event managed to get a quick chat with the head of events at Ruggedian.
What lead you to conceive Ruggedian? Were you always an adventure junkie?
After completing Enduro3 and MTB Himachal, me and a couple of friends thought that we should own our sports events start-up in Kolhapur. We launched our first event, ‘ Rugged Sahyadri’ which was a hit among the participants and this motivated us to take up this idea seriously. Our prime motive however was to boost the fitness culture of Kolhapur.
How did your family react to this venture?
My family was very supportive. Infact, everything that I have accomplished is because of family and close friends. My Dad and Mom created a strong base for me and my brother which gave us the necessary courage and confidence to achieve our goals. My wife is also to be credited, as she is responsible for my healthy diet. My brother too has always been a pillar of strength and been there for me no matter what.
Tell us about some of your achievements
This question always gets me thinking and I look back to relive each and every thing that I have experienced. Of course there are some unforgettable achievements like completing the MTB Himalayas which is Asia’s premier Mountain Biking Competition. I have also won the Enduro3 which is India’s first and biggest adventure race. But the highlight for me was when I finished the Ironman Challenge 2014 in Zurich, which was a dream come true! And finally, Ruggedian is my most prized possession and have put my heart and soul into achieving this.
Do you have any inspirations or people you look upto?
Friends and family have provided me the motivation to pursue my dreams. But I’d like to mention that Ultrarunner Anuja Mudda, Bangalore based Ironman Dipankar Paul and my brother Raj have helped me setup my goals and achieve them.
How do you overcome personal and professional challenges?
I am a positive thinker. I take on the challenge and urge myself to follow it without giving in to my fears. I would say that though physical strength is essential, being mentally strong is what helps me see things through. I would like to cite the example of Arjun from Mahabharata- set a goal in my mind and keep an eye on the target without being distracted by any other obstacles around you.
Has staying fit helped you?
Oh yes! In every possible way. I believe it has given me the mental strength to make things possible for myself.
Any advice to amateurs who want to adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle?
Just go for it! Don’t think twice. This will be the best decision you could ever take in your life. Play whatever sports you like but make sure your sweat it out.
What do you eat before, during and after your workouts?
Before – Dry fruits, green tea and apple or potato
During – Banana or an energy drink
After- Protein powder, fruit and carbs
Three quotes you live by
1. Challenges drive you to give your best.
2. Diet always comes first!
3. Healthy mind = healthy body!
Any secret to instant motivation?
The Ironman Challenge video is my favorite pick-me-up