WOODFORD runner Raj Samrai wants to give himself an early gift for his 50th birthday and set a personal best time in Warrnambool’s Surf ’T’ Surf 10-kilometre run.
The 32nd Surf ’T’ Surf will be held on January 6, nine days before Samrai’s birthday.
The experienced marathon runner said his previous best was about 47 minutes.
He is aiming for “anything below that”. Samrai is a strong supporter of the Surf ’T’ Surf, which has added a 3km lap of the lake event.
Since moving to Australia from the UK five years ago with his wife Rashmita and children Ashwynn, 14, and Marissa, 12, Samrai has thrown his support behind the healthy lifestyle-focused event.
“I have run the Surf ’T’ Surf for the last five years since my family and I moved to Warrnambool,” he said.
“I consider it a fun run. It’s good to be part of the community.”
A former pharmacist, Samrai now works for community welfare group Bethany.
“They are sponsoring me to do it. Part of Bethany’s mission is to have a healthy workforce,” he said.
“Once you get into exercise and running, it becomes quite normal and you do it three or four times a week.”
Samrai, who has run in the Sydney, Melbourne and Great Ocean Road marathons, has his sights set on a bigger challenge. He will run in the gruelling 90km South African Comrades Marathon in June.
“That will be the big one — another half century challenge,” he said.
“I will average 80km a week in the lead-up to June.
“In terms of training, everyone has different training programs. The idea is to condition yourself.
“I’ll taper off training in the month leading up to it and do 10 or 12km a week.”