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Madhuri Palli: Andhra Pradesh’s Comrades Marathon Conqueror


Meet Madhuri Palli, a 46-year-old Visakhapatnam-based radiologist and the founder of Vizag Runners Society. She recently achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first female runner from Andhra Pradesh to complete the grueling Comrades Marathon. Her journey to this achievement is a testament to her unwavering dedication and commitment.

The Comrades Marathon Triumph

Madhuri Palli’s remarkable accomplishment took place on June 11, when she conquered the Comrades Marathon in South Africa. This ultramarathon covers an astonishing distance of 89.885 kilometers, challenging runners between the cities of Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Madhuri’s finishing time was an impressive 10 hours, 25 minutes, and 57 seconds, comfortably ahead of the 12-hour cut-off time.

A Test of Endurance and Mental Fortitude

The Comrades Marathon is renowned for its demanding course and rigorous competition. Madhuri describes it as the ultimate test of endurance and mental fortitude. Crossing the finish line at this iconic event holds a special place in her heart, marking an incredible achievement.

Her Journey: From Full Marathons to Comrades Marathon

Madhuri’s running journey began with her first full marathon attempt in 2016. Over the years, she steadily progressed, conquering three full marathons, five ultra-marathons, and three 25-kilometer ultra marathons. Among these, her longest was the 65-kilometer Buddha Trails in Darjeeling. However, none of these experiences could quite compare to the feeling of completing the Comrades Marathon.

Acknowledging Her Support System

Madhuri gives credit to her coach, Ashok Nath, and the Vizag Runners Society for her remarkable achievement. Her journey was made possible through effective training and unwavering support. Under the guidance of her coach, she began her training in January, tailored to her injury-prone nature. Madhuri’s training routine consisted of running six days a week, often twice a day, for approximately an hour and a half. This included challenging runs to increase both distance and speed, combined with a dedicated focus on nutrition and adequate rest.

The Importance of a Coach and Support Group

Reflecting on her first full marathon experience in 2016, when she faced a knee injury and doubted her ability to finish, Madhuri highlights the significance of a knowledgeable coach and a strong support group. This challenging period spurred her to delve into the science of running and led to the establishment of the Vizag Runners Society.

Inspiring Others

Madhuri Palli’s achievements extend beyond personal triumphs. As she now concentrates on recovering her strength after the rigorous Comrades Marathon, she remains a source of inspiration for fellow runners, particularly women. Through the mentoring program of Vizag Runners Society, she continues to motivate and guide aspiring runners. Madhuri emphasizes the discipline and resilience running has brought to her life, helping her overcome challenges and stress, even when the odds seemed insurmountable.

Madhuri Palli’s journey is a story of relentless determination and triumph, proving that with dedication, the seemingly impossible can be achieved. Her accomplishment at the Comrades Marathon has not only made her a trailblazer for female runners in Andhra Pradesh but also a symbol of inspiration for all aspiring athletes.

Madhuri Palli’s Marathon Achievements

2016Full Marathon42.195 kilometersTime not specified
2017Ultra-MarathonNot specifiedTime not specified
2019Ultra-MarathonNot specifiedTime not specified
2021Comrades Marathon89.885 kilometers10 hours, 25 minutes, 57 seconds
Indian runners