Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hyderabad couple Uma, Krishna Prasad Chigurupati wins marathon at North Pole

HYDERABAD: Krishna Prasad Chigurupati and his wife Uma Krishna Prasad from Hyderabad are no ordinary couple from the city. They have the distinction of being the first married couple in the world to participate in a marathon at the northern most point of the globe, the North Pole. The couple, who set out from the city on April 4, scaled the chilly snow covered terrain on April 9 running by each other's side to reach the exact point which the US navy engineer, Robert Peary had managed to reach in 1909.

The couple is also the first ones to complete a marathon `Grand Slam' which includes running in all the seven continents and even the North Pole. The two had covered all the continents by December 15 and had set out to get the grand slam title.

According to the Krishna Prasads, the North Pole was the toughest terrain they ran on. "Reaching the place itself was quite difficult. We had to take a private aircraft from Svalbard and reached a point closest to the North Pole point and ran 14 loops of three kilometres each, completing our run in 9 hours and 11 minutes," said the Prasads. Interestingly, the Prasads, who were in a group of 26 runners, ran from 10 pm and throughout the night. "It was special because the Sun does not set in the North Pole and hence running in the night was like running on a sunny day," said an excited Uma Krishna Prasad. The couple said that by the time they finished their run, they were too tired to even stand up. "But we held our flag high and felt proud to be the only Indians to be there," they said.

According to Krishna Prasad, their interest in marathons started rather accidentally when he went for a half kilometre marathon in Iceland with one of his relatives. "While it started as a fitness thing, it soon became a passion. Each marathon we participated was an exhilarating experience," said Uma Krishna Prasad. Krishna Prasad, who is the managing director of a pharmaceutical company, Granules India, and Uma Krishna Prasad, who runs a startup business venture, Krsma Vineyards, say that the tour across the world and marathons in exotic locales have now become a lifestyle for them. The couple were back from the North Pole trip on Tuesday and are now wondering when their next trip should be.
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