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Age is not a barrier for setting examples for others
The famous poet, Dushyant Kumar had once said, "We can make a hole in the sky, we only need to throw a stone with full confidence." AK Singh, whose full name is Awadhesh Kumar Singh, has made this statement true. The Regional Commissioner-I, Singh is presently posted in the Employees Provident Fund Organization, Chandigarh, Punjab. Singh is the emerging star of the country in the marathon in the age group of 50 years and above, although he has no sports background. The native place of Singh is Nalanda, Bihar.

Singh has excellent academic background. He was an intelligent student since his childhood. Even in competitive exams, he did well. After passing graduation, Singh gave his services to Railway, Income Tax Department, Corporation Bank, State Bank of India etc. He topped in the Income Tax Inspector exams in Maharashtra Region. He also topped in Assistant Grade Competitive Examinations which was conducted by SSC. In 1994, he topped in probationary officer examination of State Bank of India. In 1998, Singh got 22nd rank in an examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission and contributed to the Guntur office of Andhra Pradesh as Assistant Commissioner in the Employees Provident Fund Organization. Later on, Singh worked in Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata, etc.

In order to keep himself fit during the posting in Kolkata, Singh used to do morning walk in 2015. He continued to do this till 6 months continuously. Meanwhile, he read an article on the marathon. Thereafter, he thought that he had also the ability to run marathon. Though, Singh was habituated to take liquor and cigarettes on a daily basis, but he left liquor and cigarettes in one stroke.

Singh started to gather information related to marathon. Meanwhile, he got information regarding registration of the Baroda Ultra Half Marathon which was going to be held in 1st November, 2015. He get registered himself without delay. He participated in the Baroda Ultra Half Marathon in the age group of 45 years and above and secured the 23rd position. Having secured respectable position in the first attempt, his confidence increased a lot. Thereafter, Singh participated in Delhi and Kolkata Half Marathon in 2015. In the Kolkata Half Marathon, Singh got the 19th place, while in the Delhi Half Marathon, he secured the 153rd position. Singh achieved these feats without any coaching, which gave him a lot of confidence. Singh felt that if he takes coaching in a professional manner, he can easily win gold medals in his age group.

In November 2015, Singh was transferred to Ludhiana, Punjab. He met Gurmeet Singh there, who was a coach of well Known athlete OP Jaisha. In the first meeting, Gurmeet Singh refused to train Singh, but after two or three meetings, Gurmeet Singh, got ready to take a test of Singh, who passed the test easily. Thus, on 20 January 2016, Singh started his professional training of marathon.

After just six months of professional training, Singh participated in "Run the Light Marathon" in Chandigarh in July, 2016 and won gold medal in his age group. In this marathon Singh secured the 12th rank in all age groups. Singh bagged the sixth position in the IDBI Half Marathon held in Mumbai in August 2016.  He secured fourth position in the Baroda Ultra Half Marathon held in October, 2016. In December 2016, Singh finished third in the Kolkata Half Marathon, which was organized by Tata Steel.

In the Airtel Delhi Half marathon which was held in Delhi on November 20, 2016, Singh secured the 19th position. Singh completed the 21.1 km Half Marathon in 1 hour 38 minutes, while in 2015, he took 1 hour and 55 minutes to cover this distance and he secured 153rd rank. It was a long leap from the point of view of achievement. Singh had secured sixth position in the IDBI Mumbai Half Marathon held in 2016. Then in the year 2017, he took the fourth position in the Standard Chartered Half Marathon held in Mumbai. In December 2017, Singh secured the second position in the Half Marathon held in Patna.

A few senior marathon runners advised him to run in the Boston Marathon, because it is very prestigious in the world. In the year 2017, in Longford, Ireland, first time he ran a full marathon and got the third place, but could not get eligibility for the Boston Marathon. In the 2017, IDBI Delhi Full Marathon, he got 13th rank, but he again missed the eligibility criteria for Boston Marathon. In the IDBI Delhi full marathon which was held in 2018, Singh secured 9th position and also qualified for the Boston Marathon. Singh competed this distance in 3 hours and 24 minutes and thereafter participated in the Boston Marathon in April, 2019.

Before this, Singh secured the 1st position in Daily World full marathon which was held in Chandigarh in April, 2018. He is also Brand Ambassador of Daily World Marathon. Singh has also won gold medal in 800 meters in the Punjab Master Athletics in 2018. In the National Games held in Guntur in 2019, he got bronze medal in 800 meter event and also qualified for the Asian Games. He will now represent India in the Asian Games in his age group of 50 years and above. He wants to win gold medal for the country in international events also. Singh's coach Gurmeet Singh also believes that he has still potency to win gold medal for the country.

About the author: Satish Singh is currently working as Chief Manager in State Bank of India's Economic Research Department, Corporate Centre, Mumbai, and has been writing mainly on financial and banking topics for the last 10 years.

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