Name: Himanshu Kumar
Speciality: Distance Running
Achievements: Completed several races of varying distances including four half marathons, the grueling Satara Hill half marathon, which includes a straight 10.5 kilometers uphill in the first half and much more.
About Himanshu Kumar
An accident in 2008 left Himanshu Kumar an amputee. But the gritty 21-year- old, inspired by Terry Fox, is turning his handicap into an instrument of change for the physically challenged. A high school graduate certified in computer animation, Himanshu could have well landed an office job paying a steady income. Instead, he chose to use his handicap to better the wellbeing of the physically challenged.
Terry Fox, Himanshu’s inspiration, is a Canadian athlete and humanitarian, created a lasting legacy by running across Canada on an artificial limb to raise funds for cancer research after losing a leg to the disease. To this day, the annual ‘Terry Fox Run‘ is organized in 60 countries to raise funds for cancer research.
This inspiration and a burning desire to get the better of his handicap saw Himanshu discover the athlete in himself. In his growing up years, his experiments with sports were limited to the regular game of gully cricket with friends. He never fancied himself a sportsman. But with the support of his family, particularly his brother, Himanshu began to train in distance running.
“Achieving proficiency in distance running is one of the best answers to my handicap and the perceived limitations around it,” he says. Mentored and coached by his brother Manish, Himanshu began his training in 2011. His successful completion of the Jaipur Half Marathon in 2012 and desire to run internationally inspired a British sponsor to gift him with a blade in 2013.
Since them, Himanshu has been running with the blade and has successfully completed several races of varying distances including four half marathons. His races include the grueling Satara Hill half marathon, which includes a straight 10.5 kilometers uphill in the first half. He completed this race in 2013.
In February 2016, Himanshu went on to ride 1,500kms from Mumbai to Delhi and also earlier completed a run between Agra and Delhi in 2015. Says Himanshu, “Through these events, I wish to motivate amputees to look beyond their accidents, helping them achieve their personal best.” He adds further “I want to set an example. So people stop holding themselves back because of their disability.”
Himanshu’s run from Agra to Delhi was aimed to raise awareness about paraplegic sports and prosthetic legs. “When I met him, at that very moment I realised that this guy cannot relax. He wants more from his life. A disability can surely not stop him,” said Rahul Verma from the Delhi Runners group (DRG).
Himanshu has his own registered foundation, through which he tries to raise funds for people who cannot afford prosthetic legs. “The money generated will go to the underprivileged, who cannot afford prosthetic legs,” Himanshu informed, adding, “This event is for everyone who is disheartened in life. If you really want to stand up, you will.”