Runners for Life started as a Google group of runners who met once a month.The Fuller Life, the parent company of RFL, provided logistical support by way of aid stations, and volunteers to manually record running time.
Monthly runs became fortnightly runs, with an annual RFL premium membership, where members received an annual t-shirt and all runs at a discounted cost. The community was a few hundred people strong, and the camaraderie was off the charts!
At the behest of our runners, and in collaboration with them, we jumped into organizing the first small-scale race. The first scheduled event was the Bangalore Ultra, in November 2007. The idea was ultramarathoner Madhu Avasarala’s. With him as Race Director, we set off to put together the best Ultra on this side of the planet. To prepare for it, we planned a race on a tougher surface, in hotter climate, along the banks of Kaveri. We called that the Kaveri Trail Marathon. Thus, two of the country’s most loved races were born.
With the interests of the 10k runners, half and full marathoners catered to, we focused on new runners with a shorter distance. We introduced the Urban Stampede corporate relay race to entice non-runners into this lovely sport.
With each passing year, the KTM and Ultra gained popularity and got set up as separate events with avid followers for each. In the meantime, in a bid to add to the runner’s repertoire, we organised the country’s first Duathlon in July. We also structured and started organizing Nike Run Club, Bangalore and Mumbai.
As the team grew in size, so did the scope of our events, and the depth of our connection with our community of runners. We saw the emergence of smaller running groups that banded together as per their interests – different terrains or differing distances. Everyone congregated for the RFL races and other races we all travelled together to run in.
Running began to gain popularity across the country, with most cities boasting of at least one city marathon, many of which we had a hand in developing. Our association with many players in the running business was flourishing. We partnered with PUMA for the first time for the Urban Stampede.
Since then, we haven’t looked back, in our effort to support the running community in as many ways as possible.