Breeze Sharma (official name is Brij Mohan Sharma), works for the Indian navy and is a legend in the field of ultra running in India. And he is the only one who has ran 100 miles (163 kms) thrice which is one of the criteria for Badwater 135, held in Death Valley National Park, California, and is considered to be the toughest foot race on the planet.
Breeze Sharma is from Rajasthan and posted in Mumbai. Breeze has often been asked what his nutritional secret is that makes him put in such super human efforts. To everyone’s surprise, he is a simple dal, chawal, roti kind of guy, that too, only once a day. There are only three Indians who have run this race so far, Arun Bharadwaj in 2011, with a time of 41.07 hours and Piyush Shah in 2013, which he did not finish and Breeze Sharma this year, between July 18-20 in 40.47 hours, becoming the new record holder. Besides the extremely tough conditions of the race, where the runners are running 135 miles (217 kms) non-stop, in scorching heat, where temperatures reach about 55 degrees, it is not only the temperature but also the costs involved that make this race very difficult. Breeze paid almost 7.5 lakhs from his own pocket as few sponsors who had promised to fund him backed out.
The only international ultramarathon, the handful of Indian ultramarathoners run is the Comrade run in South Africa, which covers a distance of 89 kms. The Badwater starts in Badwater Basin, which is the lowest point in USA, 279 miles below the sea level and after running about 120 miles through the Death Valley National Park (so called because there is no vegetation there because of the scorching dry heat which can kill human beings, if you are not hydrated enough) through Lone Pine, and up Mount Whitney Portal at 8360 feet, which is the highest point in USA. It is miles and miles of an endless stretch of road through the desert. A crew of anywhere between 2-4 members travels in a mini van behind the runner with food and water, almost 100 litres of it and several ice bags to maintain a constant supply of cold water and for icing the runner in the extreme heat. Food includes fresh fruits and supplements. The van also has extra clothes and shoes for the runner.
The Logical Indian congratulates Brij Mohan Sharma & his crew for the achievement.