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, he has now been unanimously nominated as Race Director for the 2017 edition. With his grit, energy and enthusiasm to take up a challenge, we know we are in safe hands!


One would imagine a Chartered Accountant to be all about numbers and balancing the sheet! One could be sure that he would be equally fixated about them while running. In a runners world full of numbers in personal bests, optimum heart rates, cadence, pacing, sub 1’s, sub 2’s and sub 5’s, there are a few who run for the sheer  joy  and fulfillment it brings to the self.

Team DR is proud to have in it’s midst Venkat Venkatraghavan, for whom running, apart from being for fitness, is a means to the concept of community! He will take in the surrounds of the locale, stop to smell the air, chat up with the locals, help a blind person across the road, choose to push a wheel chair co-runner and do the small little things which go to make this world a better place.

A self-employed practitioner, his profession takes him across geographies in India and there probably isn’t a place where he has been and not networked with a local running group or runners to enjoy the weekend long run. He is well and truly the DR brand ambassador. Of his many outstation runs, fondly remembered are the trail run along Yamuna in Allahabad, Vadodara City Circuit Run over 6-7 bridges and at Kamatibaugh, Okhla Bird Sanctuary run in Noida and Banta Park run in New Delhi and the run around the lake and villages in Salt Lake. With the playlist on his phone playing Vividh Bharathi film songs from 1950s to 1990s of Hindi and Tamil, he does indeed travel back in time as he runs ahead!

That he is an accomplished runner is of course backed up by the numbers…..! His personal bests are 52:48 in Chennai 10K, 1:58:06 in HM at TWCM and 5:32 for the full.

He has also played a big role in mentoring the OMR chapter of DR, the OMR Dreamers and many look up to him for inspiration.

He is a valued member of the DR Trust and is officially a part of the RMT for DRHM 2017. We know that half the job is already done in assuring that DRHM 2017 will be as successful as it’s previous editions and more with him at the helm of affairs.


He could, if he chose to, be the handsome hunk, with his looks and shade of razzmatazz and yet he is one of the most gentle, suave, mature and circumspect person you would come across. For anyone who meets him, an instant connect is natural, for, his genuinity is effervescent. These might read like tall praises but deservedly so, for that’s what he is.

In times, when being in-your-face and loud, seems a necessity to be seen, heard and be taken note of , he is calm , composed and  of pleasing personality easily liked by all. That in itself is a rarity in this era. He belongs to the blessed tribe for whom subtlety is a God given countenance

While always being into sporting activity of some kind, he took up running seriously in 2007. He has run many half marathon events, the most recent of them being TWCM 2015 and SCMM 2016. He currently has a personal best of 2h:15m for the HM and 1h:00 for the 10K. He is now training to attempt his first full marathon, while targeting a 2h HM finish and sub 1h 10K finish

One of the early members of Dream Runners, he is passionate and dedicated to the team and has unconditionally contributed to what Dream Runners is today.

His silent and dedicated efforts in development of few chapters of Dream Runners is appreciated by all. He himself takes these accolades with the same measured smile as he would when he finishes his half marathon with a great timing. Whether it s a born trait or an acquired skill is left to the imagination of the audience but he moves on gracefully, winning few more hearts along the way.

Dream Runners are proud to have him as a part of the RMT for DRHM 17. An asset to the team, as he comes in with the strengths of a gentleman.

Prashant Sankaran – A Dream Runner .Like a zephyr he moves on!!!