They call him Jogi, short for Joginder Chandna, but there are no half measures about the Indian Navy Commodore. He started out as a small-distance runner, with a daily mileage of 5 km just to remain fit and healthy. This year, Jogi will be running alongside some of the world’s best ultra-runners in the Great India Run, a 1480km run between New Delhi and Mumbai. The Great India Run will start on July 3, 2016, and will have pit-stops at six cities, including Jaipur, Udaipur and Ahmedabad.
If there’s one defining quality about Jogi, it’s his willingness to take on any challenge. There aren’t many people who can claim to have finished an ultra before their first marathon.
In December 2012, he ran his first 10K and has not looked back since. SCMM’s half marathon came in Jan 2013, which he finished in an impressive 1:56, and improved it to 1:49 at the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon later that year.
In August 2014, provoked into running a trail run a by a fellow runner, he registered for the Bhatti Lakes 50K Trail Run. Four weeks of rigorous training and Jogi came away with a 5:40 finish, just missing out on the podium. In January 2015, he followed that up with a -marathon at SCMM, clocking 4:14.
From there on his runs kept getting stronger and stronger. In 2015 he tackled his first 12-hour stadium run in Bangalore, clocking in 94 official kilometres (and nearly 99 on the tracker). A second marathon in Hyderabad (4:27) on what is considered India’s toughest course came soon after. That was followed by an even more impressive 145 km in November 2015 on his first 24-hour challenge at the Performax Bangalore Ultra. He finished 2nd in his age category and 3rd overall with that stunning debut. And all this after he had turned 50 in October!
If you ask Jogi, he’ll say the best is yet to come, and that he will keep challenging himself in both distance and timing. Jogi is the quintessential born runner – with no coach or mentor to back him, his only secret is hard work and sincerity. Even while juggling his many tasks – a senior position at work, and managing his family – he wants his running to mean something. “Miles to Smiles” is what he hopes to create. And that’s his ultimate finish line!