If you had to pick someone to run for your life, Ali Nawaz Raja is your man. Fondly known as Ali bhai and more recently as the ‘Ultra Man’ of DR, he began his foray into running in 2008. Never away from a gregarious smile and never at a loss of words, Ali bhai is the live wire in the DR family. Being that, of course you do get a shock sometimes!
An ‘Ultra’(50 K) at CTC 2015, one of the toughest trails in the city with very harsh conditions, attempted with a carried injury is one such shock. Never the one to give up, Ali bhai soldiered on to complete this extreme race. He has thus far attempted and completed 2 ‘Ultra’ runs. He also was nominated as ‘Pacer in SCMM 2015 and TWCM 2015.
He sets up unique challenges to capture the imagination of the ever-growing running community. ‘Year-Month-Day’ run is one such challenge. Started in 2012..it involved running 12km for 12 days consecutively! In successive years, he has improvised on it such that the last digit of the year signifies the month in which challenge will be attempted. This meant that in 2015, he ran 15 km a day for 15 consecutive days in the month of May……the hottest month here in Chennai!
In 2016 he attempted and successfully completed 16 k x 16 days in June. Such is the buzz and popularity of the unique challenge that he has created and made his own, that many among the running circuit, not only in Chennai but all over TN and India, supported him and took the challenge alongside him. To give an idea of the steel of this man, he ran the last 2 days while running a fever.
While Ali bhai was part of the Race Management Team for the DRHM 2016 and Race Director of the 2017 edition.